Last updated on October 1st, 2023
Getting around Chubu by public transport is one of the best ways to visit the Chubu region. You can save a lot of effort and money if you plan your Chubu trip properly. Continue to read on our pick on the best Chubu transport pass for your Chubu on budget trip.
For DIY Chubu itinerary with railway and buses, the transportation fee when traveling in Japan always not cheap. Thankfully, there are a wide range of transport passes available for visitors to save on transportation fee. Depend on how many days for your Chubu trip, you’re advised to plan and narrow down the places you want to visit. Then, search for the best transport pass that suits your budget and planning. You can save a lot of if fully utilized the great Chubu transport pass.
Getting Around Chubu
There are a few transportation options available if you planning to travel to Chubu by public transport. However, a wide range of transport pass available to help travelers when traveling in the Chubu region.
Best Transport For Getting Around Chubu:
- By Train: JR Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass, Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass, Alpine Route Pass
- By Bus: Shoryudo Highway Bus Ticket, Okuhida Bus Ticket
- Self Driving with rental cars
Note that the usage for each Chubu transport pass might be different. We have documented out most of your questions answered in our comprehensive Chubu Transport guide here. Continue read on!
Traveling in Chubu by Train
For travelers from Tokyo, Japan Rail Pass is always the best transport pass that offering unlimited train ride when visiting Japan. Added, there are also a few rail pass for the travelers to plan their journey for a specific region. Here is the list of useful transport pass that can help to explore the Chubu region.
There are a few types of transportation pass for trains:
- JR Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass: Consecutively 5 days for unlimited rides on JR trains within Takama, Kanazawa, Toyama, Nagoya, Osaka, and more.
- Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass: Consecutively 5 days for unlimited use of JR trains between Nagoya and Toyama, JR trains between Nagoya and Shinano-Omachi and transportation along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.
- Alpine Route Pass: Consecutively 8 days to pass through the Alpine route with an unreserved seat.
Chubu Transport Guide: The Japan Rail Pass is not cover for Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. However, you are giving the option to get the discounted Option Ticket combined for a one way Tateyama Kurobe (Alpine route) at additional cost.
JR Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass
Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass (5 Days)
Consecutively 5 days for unlimited rides on JR trains within Takama, Kanazawa, Toyama, Nagoya, Osaka, and more at ¥19,800. Certains buses and Shinkansen included.
Note: On October 1, 2023 the cost of the Takayama Hokuriku Tourist Pass is increased to ¥19,800. The number of seat reservation is also increase from 4 times to 6 times.
Unlimited non-reserve seat on ordinary cars on JR limited express, express, rapid, and ordinary trains on JR conventional lines, including:
- Tokaido/Takayama lines: between Nagoya and Toyama station.
- Hokuriku/Kosei/Tokaido lines: between Kanazawa, Kyoto station and stations within the Osaka City area.
- JR Hanwa/Kansai-airport lines: between stations within the Osaka City area and Kansai-airport.
- Non-reserved seats of ordinary cars of the Hokuriku Shinkansen between Toyama and Kanazawa station.
- The use of reserved seats on ordinary trains of JR conventional lines are free of charge up to 6 times.
Covered also the bus route within Takayama, Shirakawago, Kanazawa, and Toyama.
- The Nohi Bus/Toyama Chitetsu Bus/Hokutetsu Bus: Shirakawa-go/Kanazawa line and Takayama/Toyama line between Takayama Nohi Bus Center, Shirakawa-go, and Kanazawa. Some exceptions applied and reservations required.
- The Kaetsuno Bus: World Heritage Bus between Shirakawa-go － Shin-Takaoka station.
Check on the price for Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass from Klook.
Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass
JR Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass
Unlimited rides on JR local and limited express trains along the route (Takayama-Matsumoto Area) as well as all transportation of the Alpine Route. Consecutively 5-Days for non-reserved seating at ¥21,200.
Non-reserved seating on JR limited express, express, rapid, and local trains, including:
- Between Nagoya station and Toyama station (via Tokaido/Takayama lines).
- Between Shinano-Omachi station and Nagoya station (via Oito/Shinonoi/Chuo Main lines).
- Take note that the use of Home Liner excluded.
Transportation Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route:
- The non-reserved seat on Toyama Chiho Railway limited express trains between Dentetsu-Toyama station and Tateyama station.
- Between Dentetsu-Toyama station and Tateyama station.
Check on the price for JR Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass from Klook.
Alpine Route Pass
Alpine Route Pass (立山黒部アルペンきっぷ )
There are four types of tickets that can pass through the Alpine route with an unreserved seat. It depends on where you start for your journey with prices listed. Please take note that there are some limitations that you cannot get off during the train ride. Besides, additional fees required if you are boarding for a reserved seat. Besides, one important note on Alpine Route pass is you can only travel in a single direction (clockwise or anti-clockwise direction) to complete the loop.
The Alpine Route Pass is valid consecutively 8-Days for both locals and visitors. There is also a blockout date during Japan Golden Week. Check JR Central’s Official Website to know more details.
Alpine Route Pass: Shizuoka, Hamamatsu, Nagoya City, and Gifu
ひだコース (高山線・中央線経由): covers Nagoya (or Shizuoka / Hamamatsu / Gifu), Takayama Main Line, Toyama, Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, and Matsumoto areas.
- Shizuoka 静岡 to Toyama 富山, Alpine Route, Shinano Omachi 信濃大町 to Shizuoka 静岡 (Adult: ¥27,580 and child: ¥14,060)
- Hamamatsu 浜松 to Toyama 富山, Alpine Route, Shinano Omachi 信濃大町 to Hamamatsu 浜松 (Adult: ¥26,630 and child: ¥13,230)
- Nagoya City 名古屋市内 to Toyama 富山, Alpine Route, Shinano Omachi 信濃大町 to Nagoya City 名古屋市内 (Adult: ¥21,180 and child: ¥10,710)
- Gifu 岐阜 to Toyama 富山, Alpine Route, Shinano Omachi 信濃大町 to Gifu 岐阜 (Adult: ¥21,180 and child: ¥19,710)
- Nagoya City 名古屋市内 to Toyama 富山, Alpine Route, Shinano Omachi 信濃大町 to Nagoya City 名古屋市内 (Adult: ¥24,480 and child: ¥12,350)
Alpine Route Pass: Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Himeji
京都市内・大阪市内・神戸市内・姫路発コース (北陸線・中央線経由): covers Nagoya (or Kyoto / Osaka / Kobe / Himeji) , Kanazawa, Toyama, Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, and Matsumoto areas.
- Kyoto City 京都市内 to Toyama 富山, Alpine Route, Shinano Omachi 信濃大町 to Kyoto City 京都市内 (Adult: ¥28,450 and child: ¥14,170)
- Osaka City 大阪市内 to Toyama 富山, Alpine Route, Shinano Omachi 信濃大町 to Osaka City 大阪市内 (Adult: ¥29,600 and child: ¥14,740)
- Kobe City 神戸市内 to Toyama 富山, Alpine Route, Shinano Omachi 信濃大町 to Kobe City 神戸市内 (Adult: ¥31,390 and child: ¥15,640)
- Himeji 姫路 to Toyama 富山, Alpine Route, Shinano Omachi 信濃大町 to Himeji 姫路 (Adult: ¥34,450 and child: ¥17,180)
- Kyoto City 京都市内 to Toyama 富山, Alpine Route, Shinano Omachi 信濃大町 to Kyoto City 京都市内 (Adult: ¥25,890 and child: ¥12,900)
- Osaka City 大阪市内 to Toyama 富山, Alpine Route, Shinano Omachi 信濃大町 to Osaka City 大阪市内 (Adult: ¥26,940 and child: ¥13,420)
- Kobe City 神戸市内 to Toyama 富山, Alpine Route, Shinano Omachi 信濃大町 to Kobe City 神戸市内 (Adult: ¥27,670 and child: ¥13,790)
- Himeji 姫路 to Toyama 富山, Alpine Route, Shinano Omachi 信濃大町 to Himeji 姫路 (Adult: ¥31,090 and child: ¥15,500)
Traveling in Chubu by Bus
The bus is another budget option when traveling in Chubu. Some of the attractions such as Shirakawago, Hirayu onsen are not connected with the railway and can be only accessible by bus. So sometimes, the bus is the better option when traveling in Chubu on budget.
Moreover, there are a few transport buses in Chubu by using a highway bus that worth to recommend to travelers if you are planning to travel in Chubu by bus.
Shoryudo Bus Pass
Shoryudo Highway Bus Ticket
Unlimited use of buses and highway buses around the Chubu Hokuriku region of Japan. Only applicable for foreign visitors. Take note reservations are required to ride some of the buses.
Choose from below Shoryudo Bus Pass (Check price from Klook):
- 3 days – Matsumoto, Magome, Komagane ¥9,000
- 5 days – Wide Area ¥15,000
- 3 days – Takayama, Shirakawago, Kanazawa at ¥11,000
Okuhida Bus Pass
Okuhida Bus Ticket (2-Days/3-Days)
Cover unlimited bus ride by Nohi Bus to Okuhida area. Depart from Takayama or Hirayu Onsen. The best and only transport pass when planning to visit Kamikochi and Okuhida.
Self Driving in Chubu
Planning for self-driving in Chubu? Chubu region is very ideal to plan for a driving route to Takayama, Shirakawago, Tateyama, Matsumoto, and other interesting places. For group travelers or traveling with the elderly, self-driving is a better option. You can travel at a slower pace and traveling around freely.
If you are planning to rent a rental car for Chubu self-driving itinerary, consider booking your rental car from RentalCars.com with high customer reputation and best price guarantee.
Besides, check out this article for some useful tips on How to Rent A Car For Self Driving in Japan.
My Pick of Chubu Transport Pass
Please bear in mind that there are not PREFECT TRANSPORT PASS that can well suit to your Chubu itinerary. Depend on places of interest and duration, we were debating to get the best value transport pass. In the end, we choose to get the Alpine Route Pass and Okuhida Bus Ticket. The reason is these two passes can cover most of our attraction in Chubu itinerary, which is Tateyama Alpine Route and Kamikochi.
The Alpine Route Pass will cover all of my train ride from Nagoya to Takayama, Tateyama, Matsumoto, and back to Nagoya in clockwise direction within 8 days. Besides, I purchased the additional Okuhida Bus Ticket and visit to Kamikochi and Hirayu Onsen. In the meantime, I also booked the bus ticket from Takayama to Shirakawago.
Although the transportation fee is not cheap, but I managed to visit most of the attractions in the Chubu region. It is still much cheaper than purchase train and bus ticket separately.
Overview: Chubu Transport Guide
All in all, hopefully, my Chubu transport guide is useful to help in planning on your Chubu on a budget trip by using public transport. It depends on your Chubu itinerary and where you want to visit in central Japan. Traveling in the Chubu region by self-driving, by trains and buses is very convenient. But we highly recommended to plan ahead of time for your transport option to save for some money. Most importantly, please slow up your pace to explore the Chubu region.
Lastly, free feel to continue read on my Chubu travel post to attractions in the Chubu region, including Takayama, Shirakawago, Kamikochi, Kanazawa, Tateyama and more.
Related Chubu region travel blog:
- Nagoya Itinerary: A Guide For Things To Do in Nagoya
- Where To Stay in Nagoya: The Best Hotels and Areas
- Shirakawago Itinerary: A Walk Into Cultural Japan Village
- Takayama Itinerary: What To Do and Eat in Takayama
- Where to Stay in Takayama: Best Hotel or Traditional Ryokan?
- Kamikochi Itinerary: One Day Hike in Japan Alps
- Kanazawa Itinerary And Travel Guide: Things To Do in Kanazawa