World Heritage Site and Japanese Scenery on the Chubu/Hokuriku Route
Matsumoto Castle located in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture is a popular destination for tourists from overseas. The historic streets of Takayama and a World Heritage Site, Shirakawa-go, both located in Gifu Prefecture, and Kanazawa City located in Ishikawa Prefecture, a city full of history and culture are also places that are hightly recommended from foreign tour guides.
Highway buses are a convenient way to travel as oversized luggage can be stored in the trunk. Some highway buses also have toilets, which makes long-distance travel more comfortable. The fares are also more economical than when using the train.
“Three-Star Route Shinjuku Ticket” takes you from Shinjuku to Kanazawa city
The “Three-Star Route Shinjuku Ticket” is a reasonably-priced one-way ticket for travelling by bus between Kanazawa and Shinjuku, Tokyo, with changes at Matsumoto and Takayama. This ticket is valid for seven days from the start of the journey, and the bus stops at Hirayu Onsen and Shirakawa-go in Gifu prefecture, so you can freely arrange your travel plans to include your preferred destinations. Enjoy a three-day journey from Shinjuku to Matsumoto with stops at Matsumoto and Takayama.
The adult fare from Shinjuku to Matsumoto is 8200 yen, which is 30% less than taking individual buses (general fares). When planning your trip, the Three-Star Route Shinjuku Ticket (valid for seven days) can be purchased from one month before travel to the very day of travel (if there are vacancies) at the “Central Honshu Information Plaza in Keio Shinjuku” tourist information center in the underground Keio Mall in the west entrance of Shinjuku Station.
The actual bus journey using the Three-Star Route Shinjuku Ticket is described below.
Purchase a reasonably-priced Highway Bus ticket here
The Central Honshu Information Plaza in Keio Shinjuku is a tourist information center that provides information and materials regarding the Chubu region.
It opened in the summer of 2016, and is located in the underground Keio Mall at the west entrance of Shinjuku Station.
Please drop by if you are planning a trip to Matsumoto, Takayama or Shirakawa-go and so on. In addition to purchasing Three-Star Line Shinjuku Ticket, you can also purchase Highway Bus tickets for Mt. Fuji Subaru Line 5th and Lake Kawaguchiko, which are popular destinations for visitors to Japan.
Central Honshu Information Plaza in Keio Shinjuku
Address: South Exit Underground Mall 1, Nishi-Shinjuku 1-chome, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
(inside Keio Mall)
Open: 10 am to 7 pm (open all year except for specific days)
Visit the Chubu region with the Three-Star Route Shinjuku Ticket.
The journey starts at the Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal in Shinjuku, Tokyo. It is one of Japan’s leading bus terminals, with up to 1600 departures a day. Get out of the hustle and bustle of the city to enjoy the historical atmoshpere of Matsumoto in Nagano prefecture.
Matsumoto in Nagano prefecture is a historic castle town centered on a National Treasure, Matsumoto Castle. Matsumoto Castle was constructed roughly about 400 years ago, and the five-layer six-story castle tower (a key military installation inside the castle built to observe the area) retains the appearance of the Sengoku period (1467-1591). It is one of the most important castle towers still remaining in Japan today.
Walk through Takayama’s ancient streets
The bus continues on from Matsumoto to Takayama. The journey takes about two and a half hours. Takayama in Gifu (commonly called Hida Takayama) is popular with tourists for its historic streets.
Takayama is the birthplace of tourist rickshaws. Enjoy the views around the city while listening to the rickshaw driver.
Takayama Matsuri, held in spring and autumn, is a festival famous for the wonderfully decorated festival stalls that are paraded throughout the town. Festival stalls are stalls that are pulled through the streets during Japanese religious festivals, and ones in Takayama Matsuri feature wonderful ornamentation, such as flowers and dolls. This festival is a must-see if your schedule permits.
From the World Heritage Site of Shirakawa-go to Kanazawa
The World Heritage Site of Shirakawa-go is located between Takayama and Kanazawa. We urge you to get off the bus here and see this area.
Shirakawa-go is famous for the architectural style of Japanese housing known as gasshou-zukuri (slanted roof houses), which features a characteristic sloping thatched roof that prevents snow from building up. The scenery is admired so much that Shirakawa-go was registered as a UNECSO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1995. Today, countless tourists visit this area from all over the world. Come and enjoy the magical sight of winter illuminations against the heavy snowfall between mid-January and mid-February.
The final destination for the journey is Kanazawa in Ishikawa. The extensive history of the city of Kanazawa includes the major development of this castle town from the middle of the 16th century. The beauty of Kenrokuen Garden, which is one of Japan’s most famous gardens, demonstrates the richness of Kanazawa culture.
Enjoying the start point of the journey, Shinjuku
Shinjuku is the start point for the journey to Chubu/Hokuriku. Keio Department Store is a popular place for buying Japanese souvenirs. It is known for being very welcoming, including duty free shopping and customer service in English and Chinese. Before your bus journey, pick up a “bento” (Japanese lunch box) from the underground area of the Keio Department Store which will make the journey more exciting.
We recommend staying at the Keio Plaza Hotel while in Shinjuku, particularly in the “Premier Grand” rooms on the Club Floor top level, which will open in December. Take in the grand panorama of Tokyo from the Club Lounge on the 45th floor at a height of 1600m. Guests can arrange their ideal stay in Tokyo by consulting the permanent concierge about local sights, Japanese cultural experiences and other various services.
After enjoying shopping and dining in Shinjuku, Tokyo, these new journeys by highway bus offer an efficient, economic and comfortable way to get the most out of the history, culture and natural beauty of Japan. No doubt this will be an attractive choice in your Japanese sightseeing plans.