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Shirakawa-go and Takayama One-day Bus Tours and Private Taxi Plans

Shirakawa-go and Takayama are two hidden gems in the heart of Japan, known for their beautiful landscapes and rich cultural heritage. Both destinations are relatively close to Kanazawa and can be reached by public transportation or taxi. 

Picture yourself strolling through the charming streets of the old castle town of Takayama, discovering its many souvenir shops, eateries, and sake breweries, or taking in the breathtaking views of the Japanese Alps while surrounded by traditional thatched houses and lush green fields in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Shirakawa-go. If this sounds like the perfect getaway, read on to find out everything there is to know about the best bus and taxi options for getting from Kanazawa to Shirakawa-go and Takayama! From exciting one-day bus tours to express buses that get you to your destination in style, to private taxi plans that let you explore at your own pace, there's something for every budget and every taste.

One-day bus tours to Shirakawa-go and Takayama

If you're looking for an effortless and hassle-free way to explore the enchanting villages of Shirakawa-go and Takayama, look no further than the one-day bus tours offered by White Ring Co., and West Japan JR Bus Company. These tours offer the perfect blend of convenience and adventure, allowing you to sit back, relax and enjoy the scenic views of mountains, valleys, and the Hida River while someone else takes care of the driving. 

With round-trip and one-way options available, these tours cater to all types of travelers.

The company operating the tour varies depending on the day of the week, so be sure to check the bus schedule before making your reservation.


White Ring Co., offers four different tours departing from Kanazawa Station, each designed to let you explore all the must-see attractions of Shirakawa-go and Takayama. All of the excursions listed below are led by English-speaking guides.


The Shirakawa-go and Takayama Platinum Route Tour is available on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The tour will take you through both towns, with plenty of free time to enjoy both the gassho-zukuri architecture of Shirakawa-go and the old streets of Takayama. In the afternoon, participants will also have the opportunity to make their own hand-baked rice crackers at Sasaraya, a popular local rice cracker shop in Fukumitsu Town. Lunch is included in the participation fee (12,000 yen for adults).


The Weekend only! World Heritage Shirakawa-go One-Day Bus Tour is available, as the name suggests, on Saturdays and Sundays. This tour will take you to Shirakawa-go in about 1.5 hours. Once there, you'll have the chance to see the town from above from the Ogimachi Castle Ruins Observatory and still have plenty of time to explore the area on foot before lunch. In the afternoon, participants will also have the opportunity to make their own hand-baked rice crackers at Sasaraya in Fukumitsu Town. Lunch is included in the participation fee (8,500 yen for adults).


The Shirakawa-go and Gokayama World Heritage Village Tour is available on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. From Kanazawa, the tour first takes you to Shirakawa-go and through Gokayama's Ainokura Village, another gassho-zukuri settlement that retains the charm of the original Japanese landscape. In the afternoon, participants will also have the opportunity to make their own hand-baked rice crackers at Sasaraya in Fukumitsu Town. Lunch is included in the participation fee (11,000 yen for adults).


The UNESCO World Heritage Shirakawa-go Light-up Tour is a limited tour that is only available during winter. The tour departs in the afternoon and takes you directly to Shirakawa-go, where you'll experience a delicious dinner at the traditional Japanese restaurant Hakusuien before enjoying the light show that takes place throughout the gassho-zukuri village during this time of year. Dinner is included in the participation fee (11,000 yen).


The West Japan JR Bus Company also operates one-day bus trips from Kanazawa to Gokayama, Shirakawa-go, and Takayama every Saturday, Sunday, and holiday. Both round trips and one-way trips are available.

The tour will first take you to Gokayama, where you'll have the opportunity to see a Kokiriko dance performance and learn about the history of the area directly from a local family. The excursion then continues to Shirakawa-go and ends in Takayama. The participation fee (6,200 yen for a round trip and 5,200 yen for a one-way trip) includes transportation and the admission fee to the Kokiriko dance performance. Meals are not included.

Shirakawa-go and Gokayama World Heritage Village Tour
Shirakawa-go and Gokayama World Heritage Village Tour
World Heritage Sites Shirakawa-go and Gokayama: Same but totally different!! From/to Kanazawa Station / lunch included / accompanied by an English-speaking guide
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Weekend only! World Heritage Shirakawa-go One-Day Bus Tour
Weekend only! World Heritage Shirakawa-go One-Day Bus Tour
Enjoy Shirakawago to the fullest! From/to Kanazawa Station / lunch included / accompanied by an English-speaking guide
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Shirakawa-go and Takayama Platinum route tour
Shirakawa-go and Takayama Platinum route tour
Bus tour to Shirakawago and popular Hida Takayama!! From/to Kanazawa Station / lunch included / accompanied by an English-speaking guide
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【One day bus tour】Kanazawa Sta.~Gokayama / Shirakawago / Takayama
【One day bus tour】Kanazawa Sta.~Gokayama / Shirakawago / Takayama
Reservation possible on the day!Explore world heritage sites including Shirakawa-go, Takayama,Gokayama
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Express buses to Shirakawa-go and Takayama

Another option for exploring the enchanting towns of Gokayama, Shirakawa-go, and Takayama is the express bus service jointly operated by Hokutetsu Bus and Nohi Bus. These buses depart from Kanazawa and are the ideal pick if you don't want to be limited by one-day tour schedules, as they allow you to plan your own itinerary and make the most of your trip.

Express buses run every day of the week and require reservations on the Hokutetsu official website or at the Hokuriku Railroad Reservation Center in Kanazawa. 


In addition, the express bus service jointly operated by Hokutetsu Bus and Meitetsu Bus runs daily buses between Kanazawa and Nagoya via Shirakawa-go.


Highway Bus from Kanazawa to Gokayama, Shirakawa-go, and Takayama
Highway Bus from Kanazawa to Gokayama, Shirakawa-go, and Takayama
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Traveling to Shirakawa-go by taxi

Those who prefer a more private transportation option will appreciate the private taxi plans offered by Fuji Taxi. These plans are ideal for those who prefer a more personalized travel experience, as they allow you to explore Shirakawa-go and Gokayama at your own pace, with the added benefit of an English-speaking driver who can act as a guide and provide explanations.

One of the most popular options is the [Chartered Taxi/5 Hours] Shirakawago and Gokayama Tour. This 5-hour tour allows you to experience both destinations in depth and take in all the highlights at your own pace. Prices vary depending on the type of vehicle and the number of people (Standard-size car, up to 4 participants: 30,000 yen; Jumbo-size van, up to 9 participants: 45,000 yen). Reservations are required at least one week in advance.


Shirakawa-go and Takayama are must-visit destinations for anyone interested in Japanese culture and history. With so many transportation options available, you can pick the one that best meets your needs and fits your budget. 

[Chartered Taxi/6 hours]Shirakawa-go and Gokayama Tour
[Chartered Taxi/6 hours]Shirakawa-go and Gokayama Tour
Visit famous UNESCO World Cultural Heritages from Kanazawa
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  • Shirakawa-go and Takayama Platinum route tour
  • Weekend only! World Heritage Shirakawa-go One-Day Bus Tour
  • Shirakawa-go and Gokayama World Heritage Village Tour
  • 【One day bus tour】Kanazawa Sta.~Gokayama / Shirakawago / Takayama
  • [Chartered Taxi/6 hours]Shirakawa-go and Gokayama Tour

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