Direct Bus

Nagano Snow Shuttle

The Nagano Snow Shuttle offers 4 return trips a day between Narita Airport and Hakuba Valley. Large comfortable coaches, equipped with WIFI make this the easy way to make the trip. No hauling luggage through crowded stations, or searching for platform numbers. Just head to the counter at terminal 2 and you’ll be on your way.

Accommodation drop off options are available during daylight hours, and if you arrive after dark, you will be taken to your accommodation.

This is also the cheapest option for getting from Narita Airport to Hakuba.

Private Transfers

We offer a wide range of private transfer services for 2 to 200 people. With private transfers, you will be met in the arrival lobby of the airport and taken to your vehicle.

All services operate under the road transport law of Japan, and all drivers have passenger carrying full licenses.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

There are several public transport options from Narita Airport to Hakuba Valley. Experienced travelers have their own preferences but for brevity’s sake, we are focusing here on the easiest route. If you’d like to explore other options, please feel free to contact us, or check out our Tokyo page for more options

Train stations are located below Terminal 1 and 2, while passengers arriving at Terminal 3 will need to walk or catch the free shuttle over to Terminal 2.

JR operates the direct line between Narita Airport and Tokyo Station. (The Keisei Line runs from Narita Airport to Keisei-Ueno Station, where you can connect to JR Ueno station and catch a Shinkansen also, but for first timers, using JR is generally an easier proposition).

GETTING A TICKET

Tickets can be purchased right up until a minute or two before departure. While there are ticket vending machines (this is Japan after all), most people will find it easier to purchase a ticket from the manned sales counters. As we are focusing on JR here, you can purchase your ticket all the way to Nagano from here.

Unless it is a super busy period, it is generally easiest to just head to the counter and purchase a ticket on the next available train. The attendant will work out the quickest connection, and give you the price. (to Nagano will be about 10,000yen). You’ll be given 4-5 paper tickets.

  1. The base fare ticket from Narita Airport to Nagano
  2. The Express surcharge ticket for the Narita Express from Narita Airport to Tokyo (This will have departure times, arrival times and seat numbers on it on it)
  3. The Shinkansen surcharge ticket from Tokyo Station to Nagano (For reserved seat tickets this will also have departure times, arrival times and seat numbers on it on )
  4. A receipt (generally a little longer than the other tickets)

Narita Airport to Tokyo

JR Narita Express

The Narita Express takes a little over an hour to get from the Airport into downtown Tokyo. The train is all reserved seating, so every passenger has an assigned seat. Trains start at Terminal 1, and then head to Terminal 2, After departing Terminal 2, there are not more stops between the airport and Tokyo Station.

Luggage Storage on the trains is for suitcase sized luggage and is located at one end of each car, but there is a lack of space for skis and snowboard equipment. If you can get the last seats in your car, then there is a little storage space behind them.

Arrival at Tokyo Station is at underground platform 1-4. It is quit a hike to get up to the Shinkansen platform, so we recommend leaving at least 30 minute between you Narita Express arrival and your Shinkansen departure, more if you are unfamiliar with the layout.

Tokyo Station

Tokyo Station

One of the largest stations in Japan, and the hub for many Shinkansen Bullet train lines. The main concourse has 10 regular platforms and 10 Shinkansen platforms. Add to that the underground Sobu platforms (4 including the arrival of the Narita Express) and the Keiyo Line Tracks (2- heading to Tokyo Disneyland) and you will guess that this is not a place for the faint-hearted. During off peak hours it is organized chaos, while during rush hour it is mayhem. This is amplified doubly if you are carrying ski equipment.

The key to getting to the bullet train lines is to follow the arrows with the following icon.

Once you get to the ticket gate, you insert all your tickets, and collect everything that pops up on the other side of the ticket gate.

There are 4 platforms with Shinkansen to Nagano. They are numbered from 20 -23.

Identify your platform line, then take the escalator up to the platform. Once on the platform, there are overhead illuminated signs that have the car numbers for the next 2 trains leaving from that platform. People queue in an orderly manner in Japan, but if you have reserved seats you can board the train once the initial rush quietens down.

Be warned though, trains only board a couple of minutes before departure, so you need to get on board quickly once the doors open. Everything leaves on time!

Tokyo to Nagano

JR Hokuriku Shinkasen

There are 3 types of Shinkansen that run from Tokyo to Nagano (and beyond)

  • KAGAYAKI are the fastest trains. They only stop at Ueno and Omiya along the way, and arrive in Nagano about 1 hr 20 min after departing Tokyo. All seats are reserved, so you need to get a seat assignment. These trains all show Kanazawa as the destination, but all trains do stop in Nagano.
  • HAKUTAKA trains also head to Kanazawa after Nagano, but make more stops along the way. There are generally 3-4 non-reserved cars on the train (meaning the seats are first come-first served – line up well in advance).
  • ASAMA trains only run as far as Nagano, and stop at almost all stations along the way. Note that there is no food and beverage service on Asama Trains.

There are also 3 classes of seat on each train

  • Regular Seating (5 seats across in a 3-2 layout). Both reserved and non-reserved seating
  • Green Car – Higher grade seats in a 2-2 configuration. Only reserved seating.
  • Gran-Class – Deluxe seating, with limited complimentary food and beverage service (not on Asama Trains)

While most of the time it is easy to get seats as you go, trains do get sold out, and run at up 150% capacity during peak seasons.

Nagano to Hakuba

There are 2 bus services from Nagano to Hakuba.

Nagano Snow Shuttle

Nagano Snow Shuttle has 7 return trips per day between Nagano Station (Hotel Metropolitan) and Hakuba. This service can be reserved in advance to connect with your bullet train.

Bus Stops in Hakuba are:

  • Goryu Escal Plaza (Hakuba Goryu Resort)
  • Hakuba Base Camp (Echoland)
  • Mominoki Hotel (Wadano)

Fare is 2,300yen per person.

Alpico

Alpico operates buses form the East exit of JR Nagano Station. These buses cannot be reserved and are on a first come first served basis.

Bus Stops in Hakuba are:

  • Hakuba Goryu (on the main road below Kamishiro Station
  • Hakuba Station
  • Happo Information Center