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Asia > East Asia > Japan > Chubu > Niigata (prefecture) > Itoigawa

Itoigawa

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Itoigawa (糸魚川) is a city at the far southwestern corner of Niigata Prefecture, Japan.

Renge Onsen

Understand[edit]

Itoigawa (or more specifically Oyashirazu, in the west of the city) is situated at the northern terminus of the Itoigawa-Shizuoka Tectonic Line, a fault line geologically separating North-Eastern and South-Western Japan.

Itoigawa is home to the Itoigawa Geopark.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

The nearest airport is Toyama, which is a little over an hour away by car. By public transport, take the bus to Toyama Station and change there to the train (see below).

By train[edit]

The main way into Itoigawa is the Hakutaka service on the Hokuriku Shinkansen. Times and prices are as follows:

Trains connect at Kanazawa to Limited Express trains (Thunderbird towards Osaka, Shirasagi towards Maibara and Nagoya):

  • Komatsu: 1 hr 15 min, ¥6030
  • Fukui: 1 hr 45 min, ¥7330
  • Tsuruga: 2 hr 20 min, ¥8730
  • Maibara (Shirasagi): 2 hr 50 min, ¥9550
  • Gifu (Shirasagi): 3 hr 40 min, ¥10,200
  • Nagoya (Shirasagi): 4 hr, ¥10,740
  • Kyoto (Thunderbird): 3 hr 40 min, ¥10,200
  • Osaka (Thunderbird): 4 hr, ¥10,740

From Nagoya, a better route is to take the Shinano Limited Express to Nagano and change there; this takes about 4 hours and costs ¥10,100.

When the Shinkansen opened in 2015, the Hokuriku Main Line through Itoigawa was transferred to the new non-JR Echigo Tokimeki Railway and became its Nihonkai-Hisui Line. While it offers a few direct trains to Toyama and Kanazawa, most services require a change at Tomari. Taking this line, Toyama is 2 hours and ¥1520 away, and Kanazawa is 3 hr 20 min and ¥2830 away.

From Niigata, the best way to Itoigawa is to take one of the five Shirayuki Limited Express trains a day to Jōetsu-Myōkō, where you can change to the Shinkansen; this takes about 2 hr 30 min and ¥6700. Japan Rail Pass users will have to pay ¥450 to travel on the non-JR section between Naoetsu and Jōetsu-Myōkō. Those who do not have a rail pass may wish to change at Naoetsu to the Nihonkai-Hisui Line; this takes 2 hr 40 min and ¥5090.

The JR Ōito Line offers 7 trains a day to Minami-Otari, taking about an hour and costing ¥670. While this may be a useful shortcut to places further down the line such as Hakuba, taking the line all the way from Matsumoto (over 3 hours and ¥1940) takes much longer than taking the Shinano Limited Express to Nagano and changing there to the Shinkansen (1 hr 40 min and ¥6150).

JR services through Itoigawa are covered by the Japan Rail Pass, the Hokuriku Arch Pass, and the Kansai-Hokuriku Area Pass.

By bus[edit]

Kubiki Bus operates two buses in the morning to Niigata, returning in the afternoon, taking 2 hr 45 min and costing ¥2850.

Other than that, Itoigawa is not well served by buses. If coming from Tokyo, take a bus to Naoetsu and change there to the train; from Osaka, Kyoto, or Nagoya, take a bus to Toyama.

Get around[edit]

See[edit]

  • 1 Fossa Magna Museum (フォッサマグナミュージアム), 1313 Ichinomiya (buses run eight times a day from Itoigawa Station Alps Exit, taking 10 minutes and costing ¥100), +81 25-553-1880. 09:00-16:30, closed Mondays from December to February. Minerals and fossils dug up from fossa magna plates are on display at this museum. ¥500.
  • Itoigawa Geopark. A group of sites in the immediate environs of Itoigawa. It is part of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network.

Do[edit]

Buy[edit]

Eat[edit]

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Connect[edit]

  • Itoigawa Tourist Information Center, 1-7-47 Ōmachi (underneath the Shinkansen station, at the Alps Exit), +81 25-553-1785.

Go next[edit]


Routes through Itoigawa
ToyamaKurobe Unazukionsen  W Hokuriku Shinkansen Icon.png E  JōetsumyōkōNagano
KanazawaToyamaKurobe  W JR Hokuriku icon.png E  JoetsuJR Shin-etsu icon.png E
KanazawaToyamaKurobe  W Hokuriku Expwy Route Sign.svg E  JoetsuNiigata



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