Due to Hokuriku Shinkansen will open on March 14, 2015, all Thuderbird train services between Kanazawa and Uozu/Toyama will be discontinued. All Thuderbird will run between Osaka and Kanazawa only. If you need an access to Toyama from Osaka after March 14, 2015, you have to transfer to Hokuriku Shinkansen at Kanazawa. Please find more info about Hokurikus Shinkansen at the post, Hokuriku Shinkansen, direct access to Kanazawa, Nagano and Toyama from Tokyo.
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.
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
|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|
|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|
|Isurugi (石動)||*||–||Some of Thunderbird stop|
|Kosugi (小杉)||*||–||Some of Thunderbird stop|
|Tsubata (津幡)||–||*||Some of Thunderbird to Osaka stop|
x:All trains stop *:some trains stop
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.
Thunderbird train formation
*G=Green seat R=Reserved seat NR=Non reserved seat
Smoking is not allowed on these trains.
Images – 681/683 series
Tokyo Disney Resort
Sapporo Hakodate Furano, Biei Kushiro Abashiri, Shiretoko
Sendai Hakone Yokohama Kusatsu Kawaguchiko (Fuji) Karuizawa Nagano Nagoya Kanazawa Takayama Shirakawago
Kyoto (Kyoto station Gion, Higashiyama Arashiyama )
Osaka (JR Osaka, Umeda Shin-Osaka Namba, Shinsaibashi USJ Kansai airport )
Kobe, Arima Kinosaki Hiroshima Miyajima
Hakata Nagasaki Beppu Yufuin
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