By JR trains
Take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo or Osaka to Nagoya (several trains per hour) and transfer to the JR Hida limited express train to Takayama( one train per hour). The one way fare by unreserved seat is 13,540 Yen. By reserved seat it is about 14,200 Yen.
Japan Rail Pass
This pass is the probably the most well known discount ticket for travellers from abroad. This is available in 7,14, and 21 day validities.It allows you to ride any JR train throughout the country as well as the shinkansen. The pass is not valid for "NOZOMI" trains on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines. The pass can only be bought overseas.
By highway bus
There are 5-7 direct highway bus round trips per day between Tokyo (Keio Highway Bus Terminal in Shinjuku) and Takayama operated by Keio and Nohi Bus. The one way trip takes 5.5 hours and costs 6,500 Yen. A round trip ticket costs only 11,700 Yen, but the return trip has to be made within seven days of the outward journey. Osaka to Takayama: One way 5,500 Yen / Round trip 9,900
Kanazawa to takayama: One way 3,300 / Round trip 5,900 Yen (via Shirakawa-go)
Matsumoto to Takayama: One way 3,100 Yen / Round trip 5,500 Yen
Above fees and schedules are subject to change. Some buses require a reservation by phone. For the current yen exchange rate, click Convert your country's currency to Japanese yen!