Bullet trains are the best trains ever made.

All Access Madarao

While the accommodation at Snowball Chalet is a relatively easy 2 hour trip from Tokyo, there are various travel options. Which happens when you have 40 million people in the closest city metropolis and one of the best transport systems in the world. The best thing of all is that the Shinkansen is just 101 minutes from Tokyo to Iiyama the town at the bottom of Mount Madarao.

Here's the lowdown to get you to Snowball Chalet as easily as possible...

Airport Options

N’EX (Narita Express) Airport

¥4,000 adult, ¥2,000 child

Valid: return trip within 14 days

Purchase: only at the airport

Good for: trips of 14 days or less

Trip time: approx. 1 hour


Hokuriku Shinkansen (Bullet Train)

Great news! We can now reserve Bullet Train seats online!

Head to JRWest and select The Hokuriku Shinkansen to Iiyama

This is going to make everything so much easier for people to plan their travel. Everything is in English.

Trains are direct from Tokyo or Ueno to Iiyama. Other trains (not listed) require changes.

Buses meet most trains arriving into Iiyama – see the bus section for details.

The 6.04pm train has a longer bus wait. The 8.12pm train has no connecting bus.

Hire cars at Iiyama: www.nissan-rentacar.com

Taxis are also available at the station, although not guaranteed late at night

This Iiyama hotel is a 10 minute walk from the station: www.hotel-hoteiya.com

The following is a guide only. Confirm details at: www.hyperdia.com

Nagano Shuttle Bus

Transfers between Narita and Haneda airports

Bookings online (best to book in advance)

Operates 26 Dec 2017 – 25 Feb 2018

1. Departs Narita: 9.15am, arrives 2.45pm, ¥11,000

2. Departs Narita: 12.00pm, arrives 5.30pm, ¥11,000

3. Departs Narita): 3.00pm, arrives 8.30pm, ¥11,750

A bus also operates 21 Dec–11 Mar departing 8.30pm, arriving Madarao Kogen Hotel at 1.15am. Unfortunately we are unable to pick up guests from the hotel at 1.15am.

Narita to Madarao: www.naganosnowshuttle.com/Route_Narita

Haneda to Madarao: www.naganosnowshuttle.com/Route_Haneda

Madarao to Narita: www.naganosnowshuttle.com/Route_Myoko

Myoko Shuttle Bus

Transfers between Narita and Haneda airports

Bookings must be made 7 days in advance

Operates 23 Dec 2017 – 11 Mar 2018, ¥12,000

Departs Narita: 10am, arrives Myoko Kogen 3pm

Departs Myoko Kogen 4.15pm, arrives Madarao Kogen Hotel 4.45pm

Website: www.myokoshuttle.com/airport-service

Tokyo - Madarao Bus

Bus from Ikebukuro and Shinjuku that travels irregularly, generally on weekends and public holidays.

Day: www.travex.co.jp/ski-bus/tokyo_morning/madarao ¥9,000 return

Night: www.travex.co.jp/ski-bus/tokyo/madarao ¥10,000 return

Rail Passes

JR Nationwide Pass

Good for: lots of long distance travelValid: 1 to 3 weeks

¥59,350, kids 6-11 50% off – 21 days (¥65,000 in Japan)

¥46,390, kids 6-11 50% off – 14 days (¥52,000 in Japan)

¥29,110, kids 6-11 50% off – 7 days (¥33,000 in Japan)

Purchase: before arrival or in Japan


Hokuriku Arch Pass

Good for: Tokyo>Madarao (Iiyama)>Kanazawa>Tokyo (but 7 days only)

¥24,000, kids 6-11 50% off (¥25,000 in Japan)

Valid: 7 consecutive days

Purchase: before arrival or in Japan

General info: www.japan-guide.com/e/e2361_hokuriku

Hokuriku Arch Pass site: www.hokuriku-arch-pass.com

Purchase in Australia: www.jtbtravel.com.au/japan-rail-pass

JR East Nagano Niigata Area Pass

Good for: Tokyo>Madarao>Fuji>Nikko>Airport

¥17,000, kids 6-11 50% off (¥18,000 in Japan)

Valid: any 5 days within a 14-day period

Purchase: before arrival or in Japan


Tokyo Wide Pass

Good for: Tokyo day trips (eg. Fuji, Nikko, Kamakura)

¥10,000, kids 6-11 50% off

Valid: 3 consecutive days

Purchase: in Japan > airports/major stations


Other Passes

Mt Fuji region, 3 days: www.japan-guide.com/fuji

Takayama Hokuriku, 5days: www.japan-guide.com/hokuriku1

Kansai Hokuriku, 7 days: www.japan-guide.com/hokuriku2

Kansai Hiroshima, 5 days: www.japan-guide.com/hiroshima

Buses - Madarao & Surrounds

Other Transport Resources

Train Planner: www.hyperdia.com

Distance Buses: www.japan-guide.com/highway_buses

Taxis: www.japan-guide.com/taxis

Posted on Wed 29 November 2017

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