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 is currently called “Nagano Shinkansen”. On March 14. 2015, this Shinkansen lines will be extended to Kanazawa and will be called official name “Hokuriku Shinkansen”. This Shinkansen will offer us much faster transport mode than current train services. So this Shinknansen line is covered by Japan Rail Pass fully and JR East Pass covers between Tokyo and Joetsu-Myoko station.

It does not open yet. But some of you have already started to make an itinerary for next spring. I would like to show you the information about this Shinkansen service with you.

Route, schedule and trip time

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

The fastest train of this Shinkansen service connects Tokyo and Kanazawa for 2 hours and 28 minutes, Tokyo and Toyama for 2 hours 8 minutes. Currently Joetsu Shinkansenlimited express Hakutaka via Echigo-Yuzawa is the fastest trains trip. It takes 3 hours 47 minutes between Tokyo and Kanazawa. So you can save about 1.5 hours for Tokyo-Kanazawa transfer by this Shinkansen train service. This is a great news for the tourist who wants to go to Kanazawa from Tokyo.

Stations and types of trains

There are four types of trains that run on this line.

Kagayaki – the fastest train that connects between Tokyo and Nagano, Toyama and Kanazawa / 10 round trips a day
Hakutaka – run between Tokyo or Nagano and Kanazawa with almost every stations stop / 14 round trips a day and 1 round trip between Nagano and Kanazawa
Asama – run between Tokyo and Nagano that is same operation as current Nagano Shinkansen / 16 round trips a day
Tsurugi – Kanazawa – Toyama shuttle train / 18 round trips a day

StationKagayakiHakutakaAsamaTsurugi
Tokyo (東京)xxx
Ueno (上野)*x*
Omiya (大宮)xxx
Kumagaya (熊谷)||=
Honjo-Waseda (本庄早稲田)||=
Takasaki (高崎)|**
Annaka-Haruna (安中榛名)|*=
Karuizawa (軽井沢)|**
Sakudaira (佐久平)|**
Ueda (上田)|**
Nagano (長野)xxx
Iiyama (飯山)|*x
Joetsu-Myoko (上越妙高)|Xx
Itoigawa (糸魚川)|Xx
Kurobe-Unazuki-Onsen (黒部宇奈月温泉)|Xx
Toyama (富山)xxxx
Shin-Takaoka (新高岡)=Xxx
Kanazawa (金沢)xxxx

x:All train stop *:Most of trains stop =:Some of trains stop |:Skip

Fleets and accommodation

One of the newest Shinkansen fleets E7/W7 series will run on Hokuriku Shinkansen. E7 series has been already introduced on Nagano Shinkansen.

At this point, E2 series that runs as Asama between Tokyo and Nagano will be expected to run after Hokuriku Shinkansen open as some of Asama. Please refer the post, Nagano Shinkansen, direct access to Nagano and Karuizawa from Tokyo to see the detail about E2 series.

In this post, I would like to show you E7/W7 series.

Train formation

Both E7 and W7 series fleets are actually same. The difference is the owner of the fleets. E7 belongs to JR East and W7 belongs to JR West.

123456789101112
NRNRNRNRNRRRRRRGGR

*This train formation is operated as Asama currently. The assignment of non reserved seat and reserved seat may be changed.

R:Ordinary class reserved seat NR:Ordinary class non-reserved seat G:Reserved Green class (Business class seat) GR:Gran class (First class seat)
*This train is all non smoking.

Images

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 Tohoku Shinkansen and Hokuriku Shinkansen trains offer this class. The seat is leather and the seat pitch is 1300 mm with 2+1 seat configuration. The attendant offers high-end hospitality and light meal and beverage are included. (Tsurugi and Hakutaka between Nagano and Kanazawa operation will not offer this service.) Power outlet and many amenities are offered too.

Gran class is covered by Japan Rail Pass and JR East Pass fully. Only base fare is covered. Both limited express surcharge and Gran class fee are extra on top of JR Pass.

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 seat pitch 1160 mm with 2+2 seat layout. The power outlet 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 quipped at all seats.

Other images

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

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

  1. 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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