Via Bullet Train - 4.5 hrs from Narita airport, 2.5/3 hrs from Tokyo station
This involves catching the Narita express from Narita to Tokyo station, then the Asama shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagano, before getting an express bus to Hakuba. There is an option to catch the train all the way to Hakuba, however this involves catching a different train to Matsumoto and is longer and there are less options for connections. A Narita express departs the airport station every half an hour between 7.30am and 7pm, while the Asama shinkansen departs Tokyo station approx every 20 mins from 6.20am to 8.40pm. Be careful though - buses only leave from Nagano to Hakuba from 8.20am to 6.40pm daily, which means this option is ruled out if you cannot catch the 3.15pm Narita express/4.44pm Asama shinkansen from Tokyo. When you arrive at Hakuba bus terminal there is a free phone to call Liquid Snow Tours to arrange your pick up.
Via Coach - 5.5/6hrs
There are now 2 coach options from Narita airport to Hakuba. One is the Alpico bus which departs Narita at 8.25am daily and arrives in Hakuba at 2.20pm. Details on how to book can be found here: http://www.alpico.co.jp/traffic/express/narita_hakuba/en/ . The other is the Nagano Snow Shuttle or Liquid Tours charter coach which departs Narita airport at 8pm daily to meet the Jetstar flights in the evening. On the evenings the Jetstar flights get in later the bus departs later.
Via Shared taxi - 5/5.5hrs
Liquid Tours can book you a shared taxi to meet your flight if it doesn't line up with the train or coach options. This is also the simplest option as there is someone waiting for you at arrivals with your name on a card, and then they drop you at the door of your hotel.
The best way by far to get from central Tokyo to Hakuba is by train (I won't even mention the bus as it takes twice as long for only about a $20 saving). The coach is the cheapest way from Narita ($111pp), while the shared taxi is the easiest and simplest ($147pp). The train is a great experience and it costs about $130pp.
If you want peace of mind whilst getting to and from Hakuba book your holiday with Liquid Tours. We'll book your transfers for you then give you detailed instructions on exactly how to catch them, including contact numbers and an emergency contact number for our office. Call us on 1300 4 LIQUID to book!
Read also: Japan Essentials Guide