Depending on where you are travelling from, there are plenty of options for the transfer to the rising star on the global ski resort stage, Hakuba, to go and hit the slopes. Here is a quick guide for the best options of getting to Hakuba from the major Japanese cities, or if you book a chalet with Ministry of Villas, then we can help book direct airport transfers for you.
Tokyo to Hakuba
There are four different options for getting to Hakuba from Tokyo: bullet train & bus, express train, bus and by car. The easiest and the fastest way to get to Hakuba is to take a bullet train (Shinkansen) from Tokyo Station. The train arrives at Nagano Station, where you will find bus No 26, which will deliver you to Hakuba.
If you want to take the express train, it departs from Shinjuku Station daily at 7.30 am. The trip takes around 4 hours, and the express train will bring you directly to Hakuba Station.
The Alpico Bus is another public transport option for your Tokyo-Hakuba transfer. The bus departs from Shinjuku Station, and the trip takes around 4.5 hours in off-peak season. During the holiday’s delays are more frequent, so consider buffering for some additional time while planning your trip.
Finally, you can get to Hakuba from Tokyo by rented car. The voyage will take the same amount of time (4.5 hours), but you will not have to depend on public transport schedules or crowds.
Nagano to Hakuba
The bus stop (No 26) is located on the east exit of Nagano Station. The transfer time is around 1 hour. Buses depart roughly every hour from 8.20 am to 8.30 pm.
Narita to Hakuba
The fastest way to get to Hakuba from Narita International Airport is to take the Skyliner Express Train, which departs from the airport, and arrives at Ueno after the 40 minute voyage. At Ueno you need to switch to the Shinkansen bullet train, going to Nagano Station, and then take a bus to Hakuba.
Another easy (but not essentially the fastest) way to reach Hakuba is to book a shared Chuo Taxi. This option is perfect for the larger groups (7 and more people), as you can reserve the whole vehicle for the private use, and it will bring you right to the front door of your chalet.
The cheapest way to get to Hakuba from Narita is to take a bus, and this is quite efficient if your flight arrival time roughly matches the schedule of the Nagano Snow Shuttle. There are four runs available daily at 9 am, 12.30 pm, 3.30 pm and 8.30 pm.
Finally, you may rent a car at one of the rental shops in the Narita’s airport and rely on Google maps and your own directions.
Haneda to Hakuba
The most convenient and cheapest way to reach Hakuba from Haneda is by the Nagano Snow Shuttle, with an estimated transfer time averaging 4-5 hours, and no additional changes are needed. However, there is only one journey available at 9.30 am every day, so this once again depends on your arrival time.
You may also take a shared taxi (Chuo Taxi) at the Haneda airport or rent a car.
Finally, you can reach Hakuba using three trains and a bus, but this is not the best option, especially if you are travelling with children, due to the slightly complicated changeovers.
Yet, if you decide to take this route it is as follows: once you get to Haneda Train Station take the Express Train (Keikyu Airport Limited Express), which will bring you to Shinagawa Station. When at Shinagawa Station, change to the Yamanote Line, and go to the Tokyo Station. Once you arrived in Tokyo Station, take a Shinkansen train, which goes to Nagano Station. At Nagano Station you have two options: take the bus No 26 or use shared taxi. Ta da!
Useful Information for Hakuba Travellers
For an additional JPY500 Nagano Snow Shuttle will drop you off at your chalet or accommodation entrance. This is a good option if it’s snowing heavily outside!
If you are travelling with kids, or if you have a heavy bag, there is a convenient luggage delivery service called Takkyubin, which will send your luggage in any place including airports, saving your energy, time and money. Japanese efficiency at its best!