How to get to Katashina-mura:
- Car (Kuruma): if you come by car from Tokyo just follow Route 120 to Niigata. Nevertheless, I have heard that it is very difficult to get one’s foreign/international driving license accepted here in Japan.
- Bus (Basu): This is maybe the best option – money & time wise!
Take the Kanetsu Line bus from Shinjuku or Kawagoe Station. These stop in Numata city and at numerous spots in Katashina: Hanasaku (many guesthouses and hotels are here), Kamata (right in front of my office), Tokura (is where you can take a small bus that takes you to Oze National Park) and Oze Oshimizu (a different entrance to the Oze national Park). The price differs depending on the stations you get on and off the bus. However, a round journey from Shinjuku to Hanasaku Station, for example, may cost around 7,000 yen.
More information: http://kan-etsu.net/
- Train (Ressha): If you have a Japan Rail Pass this may be the most convenient for you, as you can take a 3-hour train ride on the JR Takasaki Line from Ueno (1 way trip: 1940 yen) or on the JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line from Shinjuku (1 way trip: 1940 yen). In Takasaki change onto the Joetsu Line to take you to Numata (760 yen). In Numata take a bus to Kamata (1 way: 1,550 yen)
Shinkansen: You can also catch the super-fast Joetsu Shinkansen heading to Niigata from Tokyo, Omiya or Ueno Station. A round trip may cost you around 10,000 yen. Get out at Jomokogen Station and then take a bus to Katashina-mura (e.g. Kamata Station), the bus will cost an extra 4,000 yen (round-trip).