Train Travel to Hakuba Valley
Access via Nagano Station
The most efficient way to incorporate train travel into your transfer to Hakuba, is by taking the bullet train to Nagano Station, which is located along the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line joining Tokyo to Kanazawa. From Nagano Station take the local bus to Hakuba, operated by Alpico Group it runs almost hourly from 8am - 8pm, costing 2,000yen per adult, and 1,000 yen per child. Check the bus schedule here .
Ski Japan Holidays can organise Private Transfers to meet your incoming train, the driver will be waiting with a namecard and drop you at your hotel in the Hakuba Valley. Please fill out the inquiry form on the adjacent "Private Transfer" tab.
From Tokyo: The simplest route is to take the Hokuriku bullet train line from Tokyo to Nagano station. If you are staying in Shinjuku area, and like to get out and about early, there is one rapid train direct from Shinjuku to Hakuba departing at 7:30am daily.
From Osaka or Kyoto: Aim for Nagano Station rather than Hakuba to avoid excess transfers. There are two routes to get you there and they both take approximately the same amount of time. Head North to Kanazawa via Thunderbird train, and trains to the Hokuriku Line bullet train to Nagano. Alternatively head East from Osaka and Kyoto on the bullet train to Tokyo, then switch lines to the Hokuriku bullet train and ride to Nagano.
From Nagoya: You may like to take the Shinano Express train to Nagano Station, then bus or private transfer to Hakuba. There is a train line connecting Nagoya and Hakuba, but you will likely need to change trains twice, so if you have lots of luggage and/or young kids, it's best to avoid this route.
Access via Hakuba Station
Hakuba Train Station is a small station along the JR Oito Line. There is one direct train from Tokyo's Shinjuku JR Station each morning, otherwise you will be required to change trains in Matsumoto and most likely at Shinano Omachi. The Oito line extends north through the valley to Itoigawa, a sleepy fishing town in Nigata-prefecture, which is the closest bullet train connection. This is convenient for those travelling to Kanazawa and Kyoto on the bullet train.
Search Japan's train schedules here: HyperDia
Japan Rail Pass: For travellers visiting cities either side of the ski resort stay, a Japan Rail Pass is a fantastic investment, allowing unlimited train travel on most Japan Rail trains, for periods of 7, 14 or 21 days to suit your travel schedule.