The International Airport (where you want to fly to) in Tokyo is Narita (NRT). Most people have worked out there own program for getting plane tickets, but here are a few tips. The earlier you can lock in the dates you want to fly, the more flexibility you will have for scoring cheaper fares. Kayak and Expedia are good for figuring out what flight prices will be like. Airfare Watchdog is a good one for monitoring when flights are cheapest. When you see a flight at the price you like, book it through that airline's website (opposed to one of the search sites listed above). Don't forget to collect your miles, flying to Tokyo will be worth quite a few. Traveling Japan: How to get to Hakuba | Unofficial Networks

Traveling Japan: How to get to Hakuba

Skyline Tokyo.

Traveling Japan: How to get to Hakuba

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Traveling Japan: How to get to Hakuba

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Traveling Japan: How to Get to Hakuba

Skyline Tokyo.

Tokyo skyline at night.

Flying to Tokyo

The International Airport (where you want to fly to) in Tokyo is Narita (NRT).

Most people have worked out there own program for getting plane tickets, but here are a few tips.

The earlier you can lock in the dates you want to fly, the more flexibility you will have for scoring cheaper fares. Kayak and Expedia are good for figuring out what flight prices will be like. Airfare Watchdog is a good one for monitoring when flights are cheapest.

When you see a flight at the price you like, book it through that airline’s website (opposed to one of the search sites listed above). Don’t forget to collect your miles, flying to Tokyo will be worth quite a few.

If you are coming from the United States, remember that the Great Circle Distance to Tokyo takes you north as much as it does west, so it doesn’t matter too much where in the country you start. If you’re on the east coast, you’ll probably be routed through New York, west coast through Los Angeles, and middle of the country through Chicago.

 

Airport Narita.

Plane landing at Narita Airport.

Getting from Tokyo to Hakuba

There are a number of options for getting from Tokyo to Hakuba, this will outline the pros and cons of each.

Shared taxi

Although a shared taxi is a bit more expensive, for most people carrying ski bags, the convenience they offer is worthwhile. These taxis will take you straight from the airport to your hotel in Hakuba, with minimal effort spent dragging bags around.

There are two options for shared taxis: Nagano Snow Shuttle and Chuo Taxi.

Nagano Snow Shuttle is a bit cheaper at 9900 yen ($125 USD). It departs for Hakuba once a day at 8pm or 9pm (so you may have to wait). It runs from December 17 to February 29.

Chuo Taxi is a bit pricier at 12000 yen ($155 USD), but their times are flexible, and more likely to match your flight times. They are available all year.

Station Shinjuku busy.

Busy Shinjuku Station.

Highway Bus

The cheapest way to get to Hakuba is to take the Airport Limousine Bus from Narita to Shinjuku Bus Terminal, and then the Alpico Highway Bus to Happo Information Center. It is not as easy or convenient as a shared taxi, but it saves a few yen.

The Airport Limousine Bus can be found by following the orange signs (in either terminal of Narita) that say “Friendly Airport Limousine Bus.” Tickets cost 3,000 yen ($40 USD) and do not need to be purchased ahead of time, as the bus goes about every 20 minutes. The bus will take about an hour to get to Shinjuku, depending on traffic. Tickets need to be paid for in cash, so make sure you hit the ATM, or change money first.

When you get to Shinjuku, you need to find the Alpico Highway Bus to Hakuba. Here is how to find the Shinjuku Highway Bus Terminal. Timetables for the Highway Bus from Shinjuku to Hakuba can be found at the following link. Tickets cost 4,700 yen ($60 USD), do not need to be booked in advance, and need to be paid for in cash. The bus will take about 4.5 hours to get to Hakuba.

Bullet train shinkansen.

A Shinkansen (bullet train).

Shinkansen Bullet Train

The Shinkansen is neither the cheapest nor the most convenient way to get to Hakuba. However, if you are looking for the experience of a Japanese bullet train, it may be worth while.

When you arrive in Narita, go downstairs to the train area, and buy a ticket for the Narita Express to Tokyo Central Station. The ticket will be 3,300 yen ($43 USD), and needs to paid in cash. Trains leave regularly, and take about one hour.

From Tokyo Central Station, look for signs for the Nagano Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to Nagano. Trains leave every 20 minutes, and tickets cost 7,500 yen ($100 USD). The train takes about 90 minutes to get to Nagano.

From Nagano, take the Alpico Highway Bus to Hakuba. The bus departs every hour until 8:20 PM, and leaves from the East Exit of Nagano Station from Bus Stop #6. To find it, go towards the top level of the station, and take a left. Tickets cost 1,500 yen ($20 USD), and take about one hour.

Scenery Hakuba.

When you see this, you're in Hakuba.

Hakuba to Your Lodging

If you are taking a shared taxi or bus, they will drop you off wherever you are staying. If not, get in touch with your hotel ahead of time, as they will probably pick you up within reasonable hours. The other option is to take a taxi, which will be lined up outside both Hakuba Station and Information Center, and will cost 1,500 to 2,500 yen ($20 to $30 USD).

Luggage service Black Cat.

Black Cat (Kuro Neko) Luggage Service.

Black Cat Luggage Service

If you are planning on doing some sightseeing before heading to Hakuba, consider using the Black Cat (Kuro Neko) Luggage Service. For about $20 USD per bag (depending on size), they will ship your luggage to your hotel in Hakuba, so you don’t have to deal with it. Yes, its an amazing idea; no, I don’t know why it doesn’t exist in the US. The Black Cat desk is located on the far skier’s right as you leave your gate, in both terminals in Narita. Make sure you have the name and address of your lodging in Hakuba. Bags take about 48 hours to arrive.

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