hokuriku shinkansen E7

The Hokuriku Shinkansen, direct access to Kanazawa, Nagano and Toyama from Tokyo.

E7 series is one of the newest Shinkansen fleets for Hokuriku Shinkansen (C) Rsa (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
E7 series is one of the newest Shinkansen fleets for Hokuriku Shinkansen (C) Rsa (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

This Shinkansen lines was called “The Nagano Shinkansen”. On March 14. 2015, this Shinkansen lines was extended to Kanazawa and it is called “The Hokuriku Shinkansen”. This Shinkansen line connects Tokyo, Omiya, Takasaki, Nagano, Toyama and Kanazawa. This Shinkansen line is covered by JR Pass and Hokuriku Arch Pass fully. JR East Pass Nagano Niigata covers between Tokyo and Joetsu-Myoko station.

I would like to show you the information about this Shinkansen service with you in this post.

Route, schedule and trip time

The Hokuriku Shinkansen runs from Tokyo to Kanazawa via Omiya, Takasaki, Karuizawa, Nagano, Itoigawa and Toyama.

Hokuriku Joetsu Shinkansen operation route map
Operation route map (click to view large)

The fastest train of this Shinkansen service connects Tokyo and Kanazawa in 2.5 hours, Tokyo and Toyama in 2 hours 10 minutes.

Types of trains

There are four types of trains on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line.

Kagayaki (Tokyo – Kanazawa)

Kagayaki is the name of the fastest train that connects between Tokyo and Kanazawa. All Kagayaki stops at Omiya, Nagano and Toyama. One of all Kagayaki service skips Ueno but the rest of the trips stop at Ueno. Some seasonal operation of Kagayaki stops at Shin-Takaoka.

Approximate travel time between the major stations by Kagayaki

Tokyo
30 minutes
Omiya
1 hour
Nagano
45 minutes
Toyama
20 minutes
Kanazawa

Kagayaki train formation

123456789101112
RRRRRRRRRRGGR

R:Reserved Ordinary class G:Reserved Green class GC:Reserved Gran class

Kagayaki has only reserved seat. You cannot get on this train without a seat reservation. JR Pass, JR East Pass and Hokuriku Arch Pass covers a reserved seat fee. But you have to receive a reserved seat ticket before boarding. If you use one of these passes, all you have to do is showing your pass and received a reserved seat ticket.

Hakutaka (Tokyo – Kanazawa)

Hakutaka is the name of the second fastest train that connects between Tokyo and Kanazawa. All Hakutaka stops at Ueno, Omiya, Nagano, Joetsu-Myoko, Itoigawa, Kurobe-Unazukionsen, Toyama and Shin-Takaoka. Most of Hakutaka stops at Takasaki and Iiyama. Some of the trips stop at Karuizawa, Sakudaira and Ueda.

Approximate travel time between the major stations by Hakutaka

Tokyo
30 minutes
Omiya
25 minutes
Takasaki
40 minutes
Nagano
30 minutes
Itoigawa
30 minutes
Toyama
9 minutes
Shin-Takaoka
13 minutes
Kanazawa

Hakutaka train formation

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NRNRNRNRRRRRRRGGR

NR: Non Reserved Ordinary class R:Reserved Ordinary class G:Reserved Green class GC:Reserved Gran class

Asama (Tokyo – Nagano)

Asama is the name of the train that connects between Tokyo and Nagano. All Asama stops at Ueno, Omiya, Takasaki and Karuizawa. Most of Asama stops at Kumagaya, Sakudaira and Ueda. Some of the trips stop at Honjowaseda and Annaka-Haruna.

Approximate travel time between the major stations by Asama

Tokyo
30 minutes
Omiya
30 minutes
Takasaki
20 minutes
Karuizawa
30 minutes
Nagano

Asama train formation

123456789101112
NRNRNRNRRRRRRRGGR

NR: Non Reserved Ordinary class R:Reserved Ordinary class G:Reserved Green class GC:Reserved Gran class
*No meal service available on Gran class of Asama. Only the higher class seat service and Gran class seat fee is cheaper than Kagayaki and Hakutaka.

Tsurugi (Kanazawa – Toyama)

Tsurugi is the name of the train that connects between Kanazawa and Toyama. All Asama stops at Shin-Takaoka.

Approximate travel time between the major stations by Tsurugi

Toyama
9 minutes
Shin-Takaoka
13 minutes
Kanazawa

Tsurugi train formation

123456789101112
NRNRNRNRRRR(R)G

NR: Non Reserved Ordinary class R:Reserved Ordinary class G:Reserved Green class

Car #9, #10 and #12 are not used on Tsurugi. Car #8 is available on the train which runs in the busy period.

Timetable

You may find the timetable at JR East official site timetable:

JR East official site – the timetable

Photo gallery

Only E7/W7 series run on the Hokuriku Shinkansen.

E7 and W7 are same train fleet. The Hokuriku Shinkansen is operated by JR East and JR West. E7 belongs to JR East and W7 belongs to JR West.

Gran class

Interior of Gran class seats (C) 黄金のひばりたち (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Interior of Gran class seats (C) 黄金のひばりたち (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The seat of Gran class (C) Asacyan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The seat of Gran class (C) Asacyan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Entrance deck of Gran class (C) Meitetu1380 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Entrance deck of Gran class (C) Meitetu1380 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Gran class seat is the highest category in all JR trains. Only the Tohoku, the Hokkaido and the Hokuriku Shinkansen trains offer this class. The seat is leather and theleg space is 1,300 mm with 2+1 seat layout. The attendant offers high-end hospitality. The light meal and the beverage are included. But Asama and Hakutaka between Nagano and Kanazawa operation will not offer an attendant, a light meal and beverage. Only the high class seat is offered. A power outlet and many amenities are offered too.

Green class

Interior of Green class (C) 黄金のひばりたち (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Interior of Green class (C) 黄金のひばりたち (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Green class seat (C) Jonathan Ayre
Green class seat (C) Jonathan Ayre

Green class is the highest class in most of express trains. The leg space is 1,160 mm with 2+2 seat layout. A power outlet at each seat is equipped.

Ordinary class

Ordinary class interior (C) 黄金のひばりたち (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Ordinary class interior (C) 黄金のひばりたち (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Ordinary class seat (C) Jonathan Ayre
Ordinary class seat (C) Jonathan Ayre
Ordinary class seat (C) Jonathan Ayre
Ordinary class seat (C) Jonathan Ayre

It is very typical Shinkansen ordinary class layout. It gives you 1040 mm seat pitch with 2+3 seat configuration. All seats have the power outlet. Actually this is the first Shinkansen train that the power outlet is equipped at all seats in the ordinary seat car.

Other facilities

Entrance deck(C) Jonathan Ayre
Entrance deck(C) Jonathan Ayre
Entrance deck(C) Jonathan Ayre
Entrance deck(C) Jonathan Ayre
Lavatory (C) Jonathan Ayre
Lavatory (C) Jonathan Ayre
Lavatory (C) Jonathan Ayre
Lavatory (C) Jonathan Ayre
Lavatory (C) Jonathan Ayre
Lavatory (C) Jonathan Ayre

The coverage by the travel passes

There are many rail passes available. You may be confused which Shinkansen train and class are covered by the pass. The following table shows you the coverage on the Hokuriku Shinkansen lines only. The table below does not show the coverage on the other Shinkansen lines, such as the Tokaido Shinkansen, the Tohoku-the Hokkaido Shinkansen.

Type of the passCoverage
JR Pass GreenAll trains and seats except Gran class
JR Pass Ordinary
Hokuriku Arch Pass
Both reserved and non reserved ordinary seats on all trains on the Hokuriku Shinkansen lines
JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass,
JR East Pass Tohoku, Tokyo Wide Pass
Both reserved and non reserved ordinary seats on all trains on the Hokuriku Shinkansen between Tokyo and Sakudaira
JR East Pass Nagano NiigataBoth reserved and non reserved ordinary seats on all trains on the Hokuriku Shinkansen between Tokyo and Joetsu-Myoko
Kansai Hokuriku Area PassNon reserved ordinary seats on Hakutaka and Tsurugi between Kanazawa and Joetsu-Myoko
Hokuriku Area PassNon reserved ordinary seats on Hakutaka and Tsurugi between Kanazawa and Kurobe-Unazukionsen
Takayama Hokuriku Area Tourist passNon reserved ordinary seats on Hakutaka and Tsurugi between Kanazawa and Toyama

Additional charge to take Gran class seat

As I mentioned above, the highest seat, “Gran class” is not covered by any rail pass. If you want to take a seat in Gran class, you have to pay a full fare of Gran class seat. For example, the fares for Tokyo to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto are the following:

Base fare7,480 yen
Gran class seat fee20,000 yen
Green class seat fee11,620 yen
Reserved ordinary class seat fee6,900 yen

Even if you use JR Pass Green, you have to pay 20,000 yen to get a seat on Gran class. The additional fee is NOT the difference (8,380 yen = 20,000 – 11,620) between Gran class seat fee and Green class seat fee. If you use JR Pass Ordinary or other rail pass, such as Hokuriku Arch Pass, the additional fee is same. In this case, only base fare 7,480 yen is covered by any type of the rail passes.

Summary

On the Hokuriku Shinkansen, there is no restirictions to use the pass. On Tokaido Shinkansen between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka, the fastest train, “Nozomi” is not covered. But on the Hokuriku Shinkansen, even the fastest train “Kagayaki” is covered. This Shinkansen line makes your trip to Nagano, Toyama and/or Kanazawa be easy.

294 thoughts on “The Hokuriku Shinkansen, direct access to Kanazawa, Nagano and Toyama from Tokyo.”

  1. Hi,
    I am planning to visit Kanazawa from Tokyo in March 2020.

    May I know if there is shinkanshen from Tokyo to Kanazawa in the afternoon? I am planning to take the ride around 3 pm if there is the schedule.

    thank you.

  2. Hi,

    My plan will be –

    30 oct: Tokyo – Osaka
    01 nov: Osaka – Kyoto
    03 nov – Kyoto – Tokyo.

    Thinking to get the 7 days hokuriku arch pass. Can I know if it’s worth it?

    Also, may I check if you know how long it takes from Osaka to Kyoto if i take the thunderbird? 🙂

    1. Hi Joyce,

      You may use Hokuriku Arch Pass. But I recommend you to use JR pass 7-day.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/japan-rail-pass-user-guide-how-to-use-jr-pass-to-its-maximum.html

      Because if you use Hokuriku Arch Pass, you have to take Tokyo-Kanazawa-Osaka route. You cannot get Osaka from Tokyo directly. The trip times is about 5.5 hours and must change the trains at Kanazawa. If you use JR pass, the price is 29,100 yen which is higher than Hokuriku Arch Pass. But you can get Osaka from Tokyo directly by the Tokaido Shinkansen. The trip time is 3 hours.

      It takes about 30 minutes by Thunderbird from Osaka to Kyoto. If you take the ordinary train, special rapid service, the trip time is same.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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