Tours operate daily from Nohi Bus terminal. In addition to sightseeing, these tours include various activities and attractions, but please note that no English-speaking guide is provided. The cost includes entrance fees.
It's an easy way to get around also, not speaking the language can be an asset as you can see things in your own way, rather than being stuck with the group.
Ask at Takayama Information Desk near the Takayama Station. Or at your Hotel.
Take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagoya (100-120 minutes, several trains per hour) and then transfer to the Hida limited express train to Takayama (140 minutes, one train per hour). The one way fare by unreserved seat is 13,540 Yen. By reserved seat it is about 14,200 Yen.
Travelling with a JR Rail Pass will save you so much money!
The above fees and schedules are of course subject to change.
By highway bus:
There are 5-7 direct highway bus round trips per day between Tokyo (Keio Highway Bus Terminal in Shinjuku) and Takayama operated by Keio and Nohi Bus. The one way trip takes 5.5 hours and costs 6,500 Yen. A round trip ticket costs only 11,700 Yen, but the return trip has to be made within seven days of the outward journey.
https://www.highwaybus.com/ Only in Japanese
Getting to Takayama is very easy. If you are traveling from other parts of Japan, the easiest way is to take the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Nagoya. In Nagoya, change trains and take the Wide View Hida line trains. The trains have extra wide windows for people to be able to take in the fabulous views on the way to Takayama. The journey from Nagoya takes a little over 2 hours. The trains leave on an hourly basis.
You should buy a one-day bus ticket. It is available and reasnable when you go around in the city. If you go to and from Shin-Hotaaka where is about 90 minutes far from Takayama, you can buy a two-days bus ticket. If you come from Tokyo area, Takayama - Tokyo (Shinjuku) Line is available.
Shin-Hotaka ropeway is located in Shin-Hotaka Onsen. The tramway give you the station 2156 meters high, where you can go to the mountain guest house over 2300 meters high by foot. And there is a outside spa around the station over 1300 meters high. I am sorry that when I visited there two time February 9th and 11th, I could not take a bath because of heavy rain.
You shouldn't need to use anything other than your legs to get around Takayama as the town itself is quite small. However, for the few tourist attractions that are outside the town limits - try the Takayama City Bus, which you can catch from Takayama Station.
It is about 1.5-2 h from Takayama to Shirakawago by high way bus.
Takayama bus terminal is infront of JR Takayama station.
The bus schedule:
From Takayama to Shirakawago: 8.45; 9.30; 11.10; 14.40; 15.20
From Shirakawago to Takayama: 10.05; 12.15; 14.20; 16.05; 17.15
Runs all year, but schedule a little changes Dec.–Mar.
Reservation is required (by phone, they can speak English).
Nohi Bus: Tel. (0577)32-1688
Fare: ¥2,400 one way, ¥4,300 round trip.
I think most tourists arrive in Takayama via Japan Rail. It is a little over a two hour trip from Nagoya Station and has a delightful view of the mountains, a river and a few small towns. The station itself is very small and is situated very near to most of the places of interest for tourists.
When walking around Takayama look to the ground once in a while. At many corners in the centre of town are special stones in the footpath. They are telling you the way to the tourist locations.
Takayama can be easily reached by train or bus.
The main tourist sites are all in walking distances.
And if you don´t feel like walking you can take a rikshaw.
We used our JR Pass to get to Takayama from Nagoya. The trip took about 2 hours in a special Wideview Train, which has large square windows so you can take in the view.