Getting there & away
From Tokyo or Kansai, Takayama is most efficiently reached via Nagoya on the JR Takayama line (Hida tokkyū, ¥6070, 2¼ hours); the mountainous train ride is gorge-ous. The train line connecting Takayama with Toyama, where a trestle bridge was washed out by floods in 2005, should be back up and running by the time you read this; in the meantime, several local train/bus connections per day will get you there (¥1620, 3¼ hours).
Keiō Highway buses (32-1688) connect Takayama and Tokyo’s Shinjuku (¥6500, 5½ hours, several daily, reservations are required). Takayama’s bus station is adjacent to the train station. Many roads in this region close during winter, so bus schedules vary seasonally and don’t run at all in winter on some of the routes. Check with the tourist offices for details.
By car, you’ll find Eki Rent-a-Car System (33-3522) at the train station,Mazda Rent-a-Car (36-1515) across the street and about 100m south, and Nippon Rent-a-Car (34-5121) southwest of the train station, near Sōsuke minshuku.