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It appears there are regular buses that run between Matsumoto and Takayama, but I'm staying at a hotel called Kazeya that is a bit off the route, supposedly in the Okuhida Hot Spring Villages. I'm traveling alone in mid March.

I'm trying to find a way to perhaps jump off the bus and connect through to the hotel. Is anyone aware of local bus networks in that area, or are there affordable taxi options?

  • It looks like the main buses make a stop at Hirayu Onsen - I need to find local transport to complete the rest of the trip – Savage Mar 7 at 2:31
  • Please provide more information about the hotel, such as a link to a booking site. – fkraiem Mar 7 at 3:47
  • How did you get yourself into such a remote hotel? I think you'd hardly get anywhere around without renting a car... – xuq01 Mar 9 at 4:43
  • Because I chose destinations in Japan that are popular for the group travel companies, and Takayama was one of those. When I looked for a hotel on Booking.com, the majority were in the mountains and at great rates. I assumed there would be transport, and there's plenty from Takayama. It may seem remote, but there are lots of hotels here because of the abundance of natural hot springs it seems, along with the beautiful terrain. I'll confirm my experience afterwards. – Savage Mar 9 at 13:50
  • A quick Google Maps search tells me that the region is quite remote with very little public transport, so I'd recommend a car in any case. (Well, if all you want is to bath in an onsen and gaze the stars, maybe not necessary.) – xuq01 Mar 10 at 0:42
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Kazeya is in Shin-Hotaka, and Nohi Bus appears to have a direct service from Matsumoto to Shin-Hotaka; unfortunately it runs for only a few days around New Year's. The rest of the time, you'll need to change buses at Hirayu (平湯温泉) to Shin-Hotaka Ropeway (新穂高ロープウェイ). (Schedule here: the connecting bus starts from Toyama, on the Japan Sea coast.)

Unfortunately, while it appears this bus runs past your hotel, it does not stop and the nearest stop, Shin-Hotaka Ropeway, is a few km down the road. You might be able to convince the driver to drop you off, but I wouldn't count on it, and flagging the bus on the return trip will be even harder.

The good news is that most Japanese onsen ryokan in remote locales offer a pickup/dropoff service from the nearest bus/train station, either for free or a small fee, so I would advise you to contact them directly.

That said, having visited the area myself, I would advise you to seriously consider renting a car. Public transport in this neck of the woods is very limited, making it tough to actually visit any nearby attractions, and the ¥5,760 return bus ticket will likely pay for a day's rental.

Updated following sage advice from fkraeim, whose Japanese bus schedule parsing skills clearly put mine to shame.

  • Get off at 新穂高温泉口, it's right next to the hotel. ;) – fkraiem Mar 7 at 4:28
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    Looking more carefully, you got that wrong. The text in red says that the buses in red run only from Dec 29 to Jan 3. At other times, a change at Hirayu is needed, the bus from Hirayu to Shin-Hotaka is here. – fkraiem Mar 7 at 5:04
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    .. but that scond bus does not stop at 新穂高温泉口, only at the ropeway, and since that's several kilometers from the hotel... yeah, just rent a car or go somewhere else with better public transport. – fkraiem Mar 7 at 5:20
  • What do you think about this website, which seems to indicate a regular stop at Shin-Hotaka Onsen guchi, close to the hotel? nouhibus.co.jp/route_bus/shinhotaka-line-en – Savage Mar 7 at 13:14
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    Yes, the bus is up to date. It's classified as a local (路線), which is why I missed it (I was only looking at tge highway bus pages). Japanese here. – fkraiem Mar 8 at 9:30
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I queried this with the hotel directly (should have done this earlier), and they responded as follows:

I’ll tell you the way to get here from Matsumoto. It takes 2 hours from Matsumoto Station to here by bus. You get the bus bound for Takayama bus terminal, get off the Hirayu-Onsen bus terminal, transfer to Shinhotaka line, get off the "Shinhotaka Onsenguchi (code H55)" bus stop, go straight up five minutes walk towards the direction of the bus, you can find our hotel on the left side.

The bus departs from Matsumoto bus terminal at 10:00 11:05 13:05 14:05 17:05. The 17:05 bus is the last one for Takayama.

Besides it takes 30 minutes from Hirayu to Shinhotaka-Onsenguchi bus stop. The bus departs from Hirayu Onsen bus terminal at (13:40 14:40 15:40 16:40 17:40 18:40 19:40).

It costs 3050 yen in total per person from Matsumoto to Shinhotaka-Onsenguchi bus stop.

The Alpico schedule from Matsumoto to Hirayu is available here: https://www.alpico.co.jp/en/timetable/matsumoto/r-takayama-matsumoto/

The Nouhi schedule from Hirayu to Kazeya is available here: https://www.nouhibus.co.jp/route_bus/shinhotaka-line-en/

  • I took this journey successfully today. The fares were 2370 yen for the first leg and 680 for the second, departing from the Alpico terminal near the Matsumoto train station. There were numerous stops in the hot spring villages. The journey is really beautiful, including the impressive hydroelectric dam walls. For that reason, I'd also recommend hiring a car for the route, so you have the freedom to stop and take some pictures. – Savage Mar 10 at 10:40

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