(Winter limited bus) From Tokyo to Naeba ski resort by Naeba White Snow Shuttle

Have you ever heard of a highway bus called Naeba White Snow Shuttle? It is the only bus service connects you from Tokyo to the white paradise of Niigata where a renowned ski resort, Naeba is. This shuttle bus is particularly recommended to those who do not have a driving license, nor who worry about driving on the icy roads. Last winter, I took the White Snow Shuttle to Naeba Prince Hotel. Let me share with you my bus experience in this article, hope you might take it for reference.

What kind of bus is Naeba White Snow Shuttle?

It is a highway bus service operated by the Seibu Kanko Bus Co. taking you from Ikebukuro Station, Nerima Station etc. directly to Naeba Ski Resort and Naeba Prince Hotel. It is also the only direct transportation running between Tokyo and Naeba Ski Resort. It operates only in the winter season (from 18 December 2021 to 21 March 2022). If you look forward to enjoying the fun of ski, but are worried about driving on the snow, this shuttle bus is perfectly for you.

Below is a summary of the bus stops as well as the corresponding fare. Sometimes, you can get cheaper tickets online than the ticket counter as it offers a discounted web fare.

(Outbound)

Time Bus stop Fare(Left: Normal fare, Right:Discounted web fare)
7:40 am Sunshine Prince Hotel
7:45 am Ikebukuro Station East Exit  
7:55 am Shimo-ochiai Station
8:05 am Nerima Station(In front of Nerima City Hall)
8:35 am Kawagoe Matoba
10:32 am Sekisyoato (Sarugakyo Onsen) ¥3,900/¥3,600
10:55 am Seibu Crystal ¥4,000/¥3,700
10:57 am Asagai ¥4,000/¥3,700
11:02 am Naeba Ski Resort Day Trip Ski Center ¥4,000/¥3,700
11:07 am Naeba Prince Hotel ¥4,000/¥3,700

(Outbound)

Time Bus stop Fare(Left: Normal fare, Right:Discounted web fare)
3:00 pm Naeba Prince Hotel ¥4,000/¥3,700
3:10 pm Naeba Ski Resort Day Trip Ski Center ¥4,000/¥3,700
3:15 pm Asagai ¥4,000/¥3,700
3:18 pm Seibu Crystal ¥4,000/¥3,700
3:40 pm Sekisyoato (Sarugakyo Onsen) ¥3,900/¥3,600
5:40 pm Kawagoe Matoba
6:10 pm Nerima Station(In front of Nerima City Hall)
6:20 pm Shimo-ochiai Station
6:35 pm Ikebukuro Station East Exit
6:40pm Sunshine Prince Hotel

Including a short toilet break on the way, the whole ride took about 3 hours 30 mins. I felt safe and relaxed on the bus as the experienced drivers are all well-trained to drive on snowy, icy and mountain roads.

 

I took the Naeba White Snow Shuttle

You might now have a rough idea of what Naeba White Snow Shuttle is, but are concerned how it goes with travelling by bus. No worries, I took the bus to Naeba earlier, let me share with you some photos here and hope you can feel the fun of riding on a bus.

7:45 Departed from East Exit, Ikebukuro Station

I went to Ikebukuro Station by the Yamanote Line and took the east exit. The bus stop was just 1-min walk from the exit. There were convenience store and McDonald’s near the bus stop that you could drop by to buy some drinks or snacks before boarding.

I found the bus stop of Naeba White Snow Shuttle. The schedule was also written down there so I could confirm the bus departure time again.

Since the bus had a first departure from the nearby Sunshine Prince Hotel, it arrived the station on scheduled time.  Like other Seibu buses, the bus exterior was painted with the logo of Seibu Lions, its baseball team. As a baseball fan, I felt more excited on riding it. The bus departed at 07:45, so I recommend arriving the bus stop earlier.

 

Bus details

The bus is 4-seat in a row. Skis, stocks, and snowboards can be placed in the trunk as long as they are stored in a case. But beware that boarding might be rejected if they are not stored in a case properly.

WIFI is available on board so you can kill time with your device even in longer travel. Charging socket is not equipped though.

Seats are reclining too. It can be tilted backwards to allow for a more comfortable ride.

I am glad that an on-board toilet is equipped, it made me travel without stress.

The bus also stopped at a service area for a short break. The bus exterior is so eye-catching that it is easy to recognize the bus after returning from the break.

11:07 Arrived at Naeba Prince Hotel

The bus arrived at Naeba Prince Hotel as scheduled. It stopped right before the hotel entrance, so you won’t get wet even if it rains or snows.

Stopping by Naeba Ski Resort or Sarugakyu Onsen is also recommended

Naeba Prince Hotel is the final stop of the bus. You may get off the bus in the middle of the way according to your purpose.

If you are going to Sarugakyo Onsen, get off at Sekisyoato. Sarugakyo Onsen is located at Minakami of Gunma Prefecture with plenty of hot spring facilities available for day visits. It is such an incredible experience of soaking in a hot bath with 100% natural flowing water from the source while enjoying the striking scenery of Lake Akaya and Tanigawa mountains range.

For day trippers who go for ski, the most convenient way is to get off at Naeba Ski Resort Day Trip Ski Center, where you can enjoy the finest powder snow in Niigata.

◎Basic information of Naeba Ski Resort

Operating hours 8:00 am〜5:00 pm(Night skiing until 20:30 from 18 Dec 2021 to 27 Mar 2022)
Address Mikuni, Yuzawamachi, Minamiuonuma District, Niigata
Tel 025-789-4117
HP Click here

My best trip ever with Naeba Snow Shuttle

After reading this article, you may have a better idea about this winter limited bus service, Naeba White Snow Shuttle. This shuttle bus service helps you carry large-sized luggage, so that you can enjoy a luggage-free, car-free and carefree winter vacation. While it is worth spending a night at the long-established Naeba Prince Hotel, but a day trip is also possible given that the shuttle runs round-trip a day.

Book your bus tickets

Tickets of the Naeba White Snow Shuttle can be purchased at Japan Bus Online.

Please click here for details.

 

If you want to make a reservation for an expressway bus,
Please go to “Japan Bus Online”.

The information in this article is current at the time of writing.
It may differ from the latest information.

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