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 Shinkansen – limited 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
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.
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.
*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.
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 is the highest class in most of express trains. The seat pitch 1160 mm with 2+2 seat layout. The power outlet is equipped.
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.