So first just catch a flight to:
Then choose from a range of transport options (bullet train, regular train, coach) for various routes to Omachi, as outlined below.
* We recommend planning to land at Haneda Airport rather than Narita Airport, as the former is already within Tokyo with immediate access to it's train network whereas the latter is 60-90 minutes outside Tokyo, requiring an additional initial train leg, in which case, from Narita Airport to Tokyo there are 2 options:
In either case;
The Chuo line train can be boarded at both Tokyo Station and Shinjuku. Tokyo is closest when coming from the Keisei lines.
[Note, the Keisei Access Express is not the best route if you are proceeding directly to Nagano but it may be useful if you are staying the first night or two in some areas of Tokyo.]
Once in Tokyo, there are 3 options for travel to Omachi;
1. Shinkansen (ie. bullet train) from Tokyo Station or Ueno Station (either, as same line) to Nagano City [about 90 minutes, 10,000yen], then connecting coach to Omachi [70 minutes, 2200 yen]. [Total cost about 12200 yen, total time about 2.5 hours but that doesn't include transfer time from train to coach at Nagano Station - see these timetables - Bullet Train and ALPICO bus timetable to co-ordinate the two legs and determine the additional connecting time.]
A variation on this option (though requiring an itinerary change) is rather than transferring at Nagano City to a connecting bus to Omachi, instead continue on the
bullet train to Toyama (or nearby Kanazawa) and then next day traverse The Alpine Route to Omachi, where we will then pick you up - either at Omachi Station or at Ogizawa (the west-end base
station) depending on your preference (mostly dictated by your luggage forwarding circumstances). [Note The Alpine Route is open April 16-November 31 each year, so
this option doesn't apply during the winter months, Dec 1- April 15.]
The Hokuriku Shinkansen is a shinkansen line that connects Tokyo with Toyama- Kanazawa, via Nagano City.
The Kagayaki is the fastest train category along the Hokuriku Shinkansen, departing Tokyo and Kanazawa in the mornings and evenings. On its 2.5 hour journey between Tokyo and Kanazawa, it stops only at Ueno, Omiya, Nagano and Toyama. The Kagayaki features twelve cars, one of which is Gran Class, the first class service by JR. The Kagayaki is one of the few shinkansen trains without non-reserved seating. A seat reservation is mandatory. When all seats are booked out, standing tickets can be purchased.
2. Regular train - JR Limited Express all the way To Omachi, via Matsumoto. Shinjuku to Matsumoto is the Chuo line (3 hours), Matsumoto to Omachi is the Oito line (59 minutes). Sometimes the Super Azusa continues on from the Chuo line to The Oito line in which case you stay onboard, but usually a platform change and transfer to the Oito local carriage is required at Matsumoto Station. (Total cost about 7500 yen, total time 4 hours.)
Chuo line; Tokyo (Shinjuku) to Matsumoto. Azusa and Super Azusa trains.
Train from Matsumoto Station to Omachi Station (59 minutes). Simple local carriage.
[Be careful not to alight too early at the penultimate station Minami-Omachi, before the ultimate stop Shinano-Omachi - they sound similar when announced on-board. Fortunately, you want the 2nd one, so the first sounds as a 3-minute warning.]
There may be occasions where guests want to mix options 2 and 3, by transferring from train to coach or vice versa at Matsumoto, which is easy to do as the train and coach stations are less than a minute away walking, as shown below.
From Osaka (via Kyoto & Nagoya)
There are 2 options;
Be sure to read this page in conjunction with more transport information at our Travel In Japan section. We repeat here that we highly recommend the handy and reliable Hyperdia route and schedule planner for planning any rail journey in Japan.