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 Travel Guide - Domestic: Getting to Yuzawa, Nozawa Onsen and Hakuba

This page gives information for travel from Tokyo Station to the main ski areas of Japan in Niigata and Nagano prefectures. The main train routes can be seen on this Joetsu and Nagano Shinkansen Map

Please click the below links for travel information to the ski resort area of your choice:

Yuzawa
Nozawa Onsen
Hakuba


Getting to Yuzawa

Traveling by car from Tokyo to Yuzawa

Take the Kanetsu Expressway from the Nerima I.C. in north-west Tokyo. From there, it is a straight drive into the mountains and Yuzawa Town. The journey can be made in less than 2 hours in perfect conditions (more time should be allowed due to possible bad weather conditions and the possibility of congestion on weekends and national holidays).
Be careful to take tyre chains during the winter months: there are checks held upon arrival in Niigata - drivers without chains might be asked to return back though the 17km tunnel back towards Tokyo. From the Yuzawa IC, Shiozawa Ishiuchi or Muikamachi Interchanges, take Route 17 to your destination.

Traveling by train from Tokyo to Yuzawa

The Joetsu Shinkansen from Tokyo or Ueno station takes you directly to Echigo Yuzawa station - the main station of Yuzawa town in the heart of "Snow Country". The train takes from 66 to 85 minutes depending on which one you get, and is a distance of 199 kilometers. Train service names are 'Toki', 'Max Toki', 'Tanigawa' and 'Max Tanigawa'. The Tanigawa services will stop at more stations.

Note:  All trains do not stop at each station. The main station in Yuzawa is called Echigo Yuzawa. After Echigo Yuzawa, some trains carry on up to Niigata City, and some take a diversion off the main track and go to GALA Yuzawa, as shown in the above map.

If you are traveling direct to GALA Yuzawa, please be sure to catch the right train. Signs and announcements are in English.

Train timetable
This link provides up to date information on shuttle bus times: Japan train timetable. To search, input stations from "Tokyo" to "Echigo Yuzawa" [Please be careful not to type in "Yuzawa" only - this will give you directions to a town also named Yuzawa in a different prefecture.]


Getting to Nozawa Onsen

Nozawa Onsen has that 'undiscovered gem' feel about it. Access can be slightly more complicated than other areas. This link from Nozawa Onsen Ski resort is that best that we could find to explain the travel and access options. contains various information, including a Nozawa Onsen travel guide.

Traveling by car from Tokyo to Nozawa Onsen

The easiest way to do this is to first drive to Yuzawa via the Kanetsu Expressway from the Nerima I.C. in north-west Tokyo as described above. Then from the Shiozawa Ishiuchi Interchange take routes Route 353 and Route 117 though the mountain range to Nozawa Onsen.

From Yuzawa, the drive will take around 75minutes, though driving times will vary according to conditions.

* Remember to bring chains and make sure your radiator has anti freeze.

Traveling by train from Tokyo to Nozawa Onsen

1) From Tokyo to Nagano Station by bullet train
Departing from Tokyo Station to Nagano passengers board the Nagano Bullet Train (Asama Shinkansen). Traveling time is around 90min.

The bullet trains run regularly throughout the day. This link provides up to date information on shuttle bus times: Japan train timetable. To search, input stations from "Tokyo" to "Nagano" If you search for 'Hakuba' you will be directed to Nagano station by bullet train, and then to Hakuba station by local train. The local trains are quite inconvenience - we recommend taking the express bus.

2) From Nagano Station to Nozawa Onsen

By bus:
Catching the bus from outside Nagano Station is the most direct route. From Nagano Station, there are frequent direct buses that go to Nozawa Onsen and bus stops can be found below the east exit escalator, usually at bus stop number 4, but make sure you visit the Nagano Station Information Office to ensure you catch the right bus from the correct bus stop.

Customers pay for the bus ticket when upon alighting at ozawa Onsen Ski Village.  The bus stops in the centre of the town: this Nozawa Onsen map shows the bus stops

By local train and bus / taxi
An alternative to the express bus is to take the local train line from Nagano Station to Togari Nozawa Onsen station.  This journey takes 60 minutes.

While waiting on the Nagano station platform be sure you are on the correct platform number, because one of the local train line platforms at Nagano is usually split in half. For example platform 3 & 4 share one side of one platform divided by a simple wall. Make sure you are on the right side of that wall.

From Togari Nozawa Onsen Station you catch the bus to Nozawa Onsen Village and you pay for this ride as you disembark the bus. That bus journey takes a further 10 minutes.

There are also taxis available at Togari Nozawa Onsen station that can go to Nozawa Village.



To check train timetables from Tokyo through to Togari Nozawa Onsen please use this Japan train timetable link. The stations to search for are 'Tokyo' and 'Togarinozawaonsen'. Be sure only to use the routes suggested that travel via Nagano.

Getting to Hakuba

Traveling by car from Tokyo to Hakuba

There are two options from Tokyo to get to Hakuba by car
1. Take the Chuo Expressway to the Okaya J.C.T and head towards Nagano on the Nagano Expressway. Exit at the Toyoshina Interchange and follow Rte 147 &148 through Omachi and onto Hakuba. 4hrs
2. Take the Kanetsu Expressway to the Fujioka J.C.T and head towards Nagano on the Joshinetsu Expressway. Exit at the Nagano Interchange and follow the Hakuba Nagano Olympic Road to Hakuba. 4hrs

* Remember to bring chains and make sure your radiator has anti freeze.

Traveling by train from Tokyo to Hakuba

1) From Tokyo to Nagano Station by bullet train
Departing from Tokyo Station to Nagano passengers board the Nagano Bullet Train (Asama Shinkansen). Traveling time is around 90min.

The bullet trains run regularly throughout the day. This link provides up to date information on shuttle bus times: Japan train timetable. To search, input stations from "Tokyo" to "Nagano" If you search for 'Hakuba' you will be directed to Nagano station by bullet train, and then to Hakuba station by local train. The local trains are quite inconvenience - we recommend taking the express bus.

2) From Nagano Station to Hakuba by express bus
Buses from Nagano to Hakuba run every hour, with the last bus departing Hakuba at 8:20pm. (Friday night 9.20pm). Buses depart from the East (Higashi) exit of Nagano Station from bus stop 6. Hakuba station ('Hakuba eki-mae') is the 4th stop.
Click here for a Nagano-Hakuba bus route info & timetable

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