Nagano City is the gateway to Hakuba Valley. Prior to the Olympics in 1998, most traffic came up from the castle city of Matsumoto, with trains operating on the JR Oito line much more frequent than they are today. However, with the Olympics being held, a new bullet train was added from Takasaki in Gunma Prefecture, and this allowed bullet train access from Tokyo thru to Nagano. At the same time, the road from Nagano to Hakuba was upgraded along what is now called Olympic Road, shortening the time it takes to get here to about 1 hour by road.

Work is still be done on this road and many curves have been straightened in recent years.

Buses between Nagano and Hakuba vary between Winter and Summer seasons, with more options in the colder months.

Winter Season (December to March)

Nagano Snow Shuttle

In collaboration with Hakuba Kotsu Bus Company and Alpico Bus, the Nagano Snow Shuttle offers 7 return trips a day between Nagano Station and 3 Stops in Hakuba Valley.

This bus can be reserved, meaning you have a guaranteed seat, and you can safely book seats with connections on both the bullet train and the bus. (advance bullet train + bus bookings)

The bus stops in Hakuba are Escal Plaza, Hakuba Base Camp, and Wadano (Mominoki Hotel).

The bus stop in Nagano is the Metropolitan Hotel, which is connected directly to Nagano Station, and passengers can transfer without going outside into the cold winter air.

Time table will be updated and shown here when it is released.

Alpico Bus

Alpico Kotsu (“Highland Shuttle”) shuttle offer first come (no reservation possible) services between Nagano Station (East Exit bus stop # 26) and several points in Hakuba.

Passengers must line up at the bus stop and boarding is on a first come first served basis.

Bus Stops in Hakuba are roadside at Kamishiro (near Kamishiro Station), Hakuba Station, Happo Information Center, and Tsugaike Kogen (only some buses travel this far).

Time table will be updated and shown here when it is released.

Green Season (April to November)

Alpico Bus

In the summer months, Alpico Kotsu operates an abridged service from Nagano Station to Hakuba.

Buses a less crowded than in the winter months.

Buses leave from bus stop 26 at the east exit of Nagano Station

Tickets can be purchased on the bus (cash only, only 1,000yen note or lower are accepted)

Fare is 2,000yen per person (or 2,200yen for Tsugaike and Norikura)

Nagano to Hakuba
Nagano Sta.GoryuHakuba StaHakuba HappoIwatakeTsugaikeNorikuraComments
Hakuba to Nagano
NorikuraTsugaikeIwatakeHakuba HappoHakuba Sta.GoryuNagano Sta.Comments