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Access to Kanazawa from Osaka and Kyoto. Limited Express Thuderbird


Limited Express "Thunderbird"

Limited Express Thunderbird

Thunderbird is operated between Osaka (大阪) and Wakura-Onsen (和倉温泉), Kanazawa (金沢), Toyama (富山) and Uozu (魚津). This train is the fastest transfer from Osaka/Kyoto to Hokuriku region, such as Kanazawa and Toyama. This train is very popular for both business and leisure travellers. Because there are several popular location along this trains’s route, like Awara-Onsen (芦原温泉) hot springs, Kaga-Onsen (加賀温泉) hot spring, Kanazawa and Wakura-Onsen hot spring. If you go to Kanazawa from Osaka, simply take this express train.

This train is fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. Let’s see the details.

Rakuten
Rakuten

Route, schedule and time required

Thunderbird runs 22 round trips a day. It takes 2 hours and 40 minutes to Kanazawa, 3 hours 20 minutes to Toyama from Osaka. Some of Thunderbird are extended to operate to Wakura-Onsen. It takes about 4 hours from Osaka to Wakura-Onsen.

*You can find it at the bottom of JR West website.


View Limited Express Thunderbird in a larger map

Stations

Station to Kanazawa/
Toyama/Uozu
to
Wakura-Onsen
Remarks
Osaka (大阪) x x
Shin-Osaka (新大阪) x x Connect to Shinkansen
Kyoto (京都) x x Connect to Shinkansen
Katada (堅田) * * Some of Thunderbird stop
Oumi-Imazu (近江今津) * * Some of Thunderbird stop
Tsuruga (敦賀) * * Most of Thunderbird stop
Takefu (武生) * * Most of Thunderbird stop
Sabae (鯖江) * * Most of Thunderbird stop
Fukui (福井) x x
Awara-Onsen (芦原温泉) * * Most of Thunderbird stop
Kaga-Onsen (加賀温泉) * * Most of Thunderbird stop
Komatsu (小松) * * Most of Thunderbird stop
Matto (松任) * * Some of Thunderbird to Kanazawa/Wakura-Onsen stop
Kanazawa (金沢) x x
Isurugi (石動) * - Some of Thunderbird stop
Takaoka (高岡) x -
Kosugi (小杉) * - Some of Thunderbird stop
Toyama (富山) x -
Uotsu (魚津) x -
Tsubata (津幡) - * Some of Thunderbird to Osaka stop
Unoke (宇野気) - *
Takamatsu (高松) - *
Hakui (羽咋) - x
Yoshikawa (良川) - *
Nanao (七尾) - x
Wakura-Onsen (和倉温泉) - x

x:All trains stop *:some trains stop

Accommodation

Thunderbird is serviced by 681 or 683 series. 681 is older than 683. But basically it is no difference.

The seat pitch in Green seat is 1160mm. It is the standard of most JR trains. The seat configuration is 2+1. It has spacious and nice holding. It is quite good seat. The seat pitch in Ordinary seat is 970mm. It is a little bigger than the standard. Car#3 is only for women. Some of JR train give this kind of service for women travellers.

*Sonic Rail Garden has copyright for all images of accommodations below.

Train formation

Thunderbird train formation

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
G R WR R NR NR NR R R

*G=Green seat R=Reserved seat WR=Reserved seat for women only NR=Non reserved seat
Smoking is not allowed on these trains.

Images – 681/683 series

Green seat
681/683 series - Limited Express Thunderbird 681/683 series - Limited Express Thunderbird 681/683 series - Limited Express Thunderbird 681/683 series - Limited Express Thunderbird 681/683 series - Limited Express Thunderbird 681/683 series - Limited Express Thunderbird

Ordinary seat
681/683 series - Limited Express Thunderbird 681/683 series - Limited Express Thunderbird 681/683 series - Limited Express Thunderbird 681/683 series - Limited Express Thunderbird 681/683 series - Limited Express Thunderbird

Sanitary space
681/683 series - Limited Express Thunderbird 681/683 series - Limited Express Thunderbird 681/683 series - Limited Express Thunderbird 681/683 series - Limited Express Thunderbird 681/683 series - Limited Express Thunderbird 681/683 series - Limited Express Thunderbird 681/683 series - Limited Express Thunderbird


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79 Comments to “Access to Kanazawa from Osaka and Kyoto. Limited Express Thuderbird”

  1. Alan says:

    Hi,

    For Shin-Osaka to Kanazawa.

    If I have an ordinary JR pass can i pay extra to upgrade to green just for this trip?

    Also do I need to reserve seat?

    Thanks

    • Hi Alan,

      You have to be careful it’s not difference between Green and ordinary reserved seat. If you take Green car by ordinary pass, you have to pay not only Green fee but also Limited Express surcharge.
      If you are okay with it, you can go for it.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  2. Hosan says:

    If I want to go to Awara-Onsen (芦原温泉) from Kyoto, and I have the Kansai Wide Pass.

    Do I have to pay extra? If so, where and when should I buy the extra ticket?

    Thanks!

  3. Aizhan says:

    Hi,

    I wanted to know if Thunderbird trip from Kyoto to Kanazawa is covered by JR Kansai pass?

    I read somewhere that it’s not, but lost the page where I read it.

    I’m travelling on 13th November, wanted to reserve a Kansai pass if it does cover it.

    Thanks,
    Aizhan

  4. Simin says:

    Hi,

    I’m travelling from Tokyo to Kyoto to Kanazawa. I understand that Hikari (from Tokyo to Kyoto) is operated by JR Central while Thunderbird (from Kyoto to Kanazawa) seems to be under JR West. Can I know if the JR pass covers both trains? Thanks for the help in advance!

    • Hi Simin,

      Yes. Those trains are covered fully by JR Pass. JR Pass covers most of trains by any JR companies.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

    • Simin says:

      Hi,

      Thanks for the reply. Actually I was confused by the different passes and their respective operating companies – JR Central and JR West. Is there a general JR pass that allows coverage of both areas or do I have to buy different JR passes? Because there seemed to be a JR West pass as well. Thanks.

      • Hi Simin,

        JR Pass covers all six JR companies, JR Hokkaido, JR East, JR Central, JR West, JR Shikoku and JR Kyushu. And also each JR companies have own pass that covers their territory only.

        Cheers,

        Takeshi / JP Rail

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