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

hokuriku shinkansen E7Joetsu, Nagano and Hokuriku
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.

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

123456789101112
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
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

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
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 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
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.

Comments

  1. Nuj says:

    Hi Takeshi

    Long time no talk, but you always keep me posted on FB.
    Thanks for that.

    I’m planning a trip to Japan in October.The plan is

    Day 1: Tokyo – Kamikochi
    Day 2: Kamikochi – Matsumoto
    Day 3: Matsumoto – Tokyo
    Day 4&5: Tokyo

    Is there any pass you can recommend?
    I don’t know much about JR Central, but learn from their website
    that they emphasize more on Hida Takayama than Nagano, don’t they?

    Look forward to your advice.

    Thank you
    Nuj

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      Takeshi / JPRail says:

      Hi Nuj,

      How are you?

      I took a look your itinerary. But I cannot find any deals for this trip. Kanto Area Pass does not cover whole trip and meanwhile JR East Pass is too expensive. Single fare is the most affordable choice. If you do one more long trip, like day trip to Nikko, JR East Pass may be considerable.

      Most part of Nagano is JR East’s territory. JR Central covers only southern Nagano, such as Magome, Nakatsugawa. Takayama is the biggest name for tourist in the area.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  2. Dex Tai says:

    Goodday Takeshi-san,

    I bought a JR-East Pass, hoping to travel from Tokyo to Toyama via Hokuriku Shinkansen.

    I was hunting around the train stops for Hokuriku Shinkansen train from JR-East line, it just didn’t indicate there are stops at Toyama (I am heading for the Alpine Route from Tokyo)

    http://www.eki-net.com/pc/jreast-shinkansen-reservation/english/wb/common/timetable/e_hokuriku_d/index.html

    So that got me worried. Was it that
    (i) the website wasn’t updated
    (ii) JR-East Pass doesn’t serve stop at Toyama?

    Cos everywhere else seemed to point that Horkuriku Shinkansen does make a stop at Toyama.
    including your guide.

    Many thanks.
    Tai

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      Takeshi / JPRail says:

      Hi Tai,

      Unfortunately Toyama is outside coverage area of JR East Pass. If you want to get Toyama by JR East Pass, you have to pay full fare for Joetsu-Myoko to Toyama that is around 5000 yen for reserved seat, express supplement and base fare.

      JR East Pass covers only JR East area. Joetsu-Myoko is the border station of JR East and JR West. Therefore you have to pay extra on top of the pass.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  3. Nia says:

    Takeshi-San,

    If I have a JR Pass for standard class, can I pay an additional fee to upgrade to Gran class for a one way between Nagano and Tokyo. Or is this prohibited?

    And is this available on both Asama and Hakutaka routes?

    Kind regards for your assistance
    Nia

  4. giggsyyyy
    Bernard says:

    Hi, is there any luggage locker at kanazawa station?

  5. Dear Takeshi-san,

    I plan to visit tokyo (three nights), toyama (one night) and kanazawa (two nights) from 23 May 2015. My trip will start from tokyo to kanazawa on 24 May , toyama on 26 May and back to tokyo on 28 May. Please advise whether it would allow me to have sufficient time to visit the places around Kanazawa and toyama and also the kind of train should I take by using JR Pass.

    Appreciate your guidance !

    Regards,
    TAI

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      Takeshi / JPRail says:

      Hi Tai,

      You may use JR Pass 7 days. Total fare between Tokyo and Kanazawa by Shinkansen round trip is almost same as 7 days JR pass.
      You can see most places in both cities in this plan. But if you intend to visit outside city, like Alpine route, it’s considerable. It depends on where you want to see.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  6. Michelle says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    I’m planning to travel from Toyama to Shinano Omachi one-way and would like to take the train from Shinano Omachi to Tokyo station end of the trip – should be in the early evening.

    I like to ask regarding the train options from Shinano Omachi to Tokyo station in terms of fare and duration of travel. It looks like the new Hokuriku Shinkansen wouldn’t stop at Shinano Omachi station. Could you also guide me to the time table link?

    Thank you,
    Michelle

  7. Nittida says:

    Dear Takeshi-san,
    I’m planing to visit tateyama alpine and kanazawa during my trip to tokyo in early June. My plan is to take Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo -> kanazawa (stay 1 night and leave for toyama in the morning)-> toyama -> alpine route -> shinao omashi-> nagano -> tokyo via JR hokuriku shinkansen. Do you think I can cover this route in 2 days including traveling time to and from tokyo? And is my route the best route if I want to visit both tateyama alpine and kanazawa. Moreover, do I need to buy shinkansen ticket in advance during this period?

    Thank you very much for your advise
    Best,
    Nittida

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      Takeshi / JPRail says:

      Hi Nittida,

      It’s possible but you have to leave Kanazawa around 7:30.
      It takes 1.5 hour to get Tateyama from Kanazawa by Hokuriku Shinkansen and Toyama Chiho Railway. And then 6 hours is recommended to go through Alpine route. The last bus to Nagano from Ogizawa departs at 16:30.

      If you want to spend more on Alpine route, just leave Kanazawa a bit earlier.

      June is slow period. But you can book and purchase a ticket in advance. You can purchase a ticket at any stations in Tokyo. I recommend to buy it in advance if you have a time.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

      • Nittida says:

        Dear Takeshi-san

        Thank you so much for your prompt reply. If the timing is quite tight. Would you reccommend that I visit the alpine route first on my way from Tokyo and then stay over at Kanazawa. Then explore kanazawa in the morning and leave for tokyo in the evening. When is the last train from kanazawa to tokyo? And may I ask if shinkansen from tokyo to kanazawa cover in JR East pass? or do I need the main JR pass?

        Thank you so much
        Nittida

  8. Rita says:

    Dear Takeshi-san,

    We have plan to visit Japan on May 2015 (next month) and already bought JR Pass (7days).

    On May 14, 2015 we start from Kawaguchi station to Alpine Route (up to Murodo/snow wall only) after that go to Kanazawa (stay on night). The next day heading to Kyoto.

    Would you please advice the best way in catching train or bus.

    Thank you very much for your kind attention.

    Best regards,
    Rita

  9. S.Wong says:

    Hi Takeshi-San,

    I am thinking of going from Tokyo to Kanazawa (including Alpine Route along the way).

    I have checked the 4 Day JR Hokuriku Area Pass – will does pass work or do I need the 7 day one?

    Thanks!

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of JPRail.com
      Takeshi / JPRail says:

      Hi S.Wong san,

      Hokuriku Pass covers only Hokuriku area. If you will move many times in Hokuriku area, it will be a good choice. But this pass does not cover Tokyo-Kanazawa trip. You have to add single ticket to get Kanazawa. If you have only one way trip to Kanazawa, single ticket is better choice.
      If you have round trip between Tokyo and Kanazawa, JR pass will work.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

  10. Janice says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    I am thinking of going to Tokyo->Tateyama Alpine route.->Tokyo as a day trip.

    From the website, it looks like this is what I should be taking
    Tokyo (Shinjuku Station)->Nagano. Take a bus to Ogizawa
    Do a the same route back to Tokyo.

    Is that correct and is single pass the cheapest way?

    I will be spending 6 days in Tokyo so am unsure if I should purchase the 7 days JP Pass and if the above trip can be covered by the JR Pass as well.

    Appreciate your guidance.

    Regards
    Janice

Exit mobile version
Copied title and URL