Direct transfer to Kanazawa from Nagoya, Limited Express Shirasagi

Limited Express Shirasagi connects Nagoya, Maibara and Kanazawa.

Shirasagi runs between Nagoya, Maibara and Kanazawa. This train is the fastest transfer from Nagoya and Maibara to Hokuriku region, such as Kanazawa and Fukui. This train is very popular for both a business and a leisure travelers. Because there are several popular locations along the route, such as Awara-Onsen hot springs, Kaga-Onsen hot spring. And Kanazawa is the biggest city in Hokuriku area and it is very popular tourist destination as well.

This train, Shirasagi is fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. And if you use Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass or Hokuriku Arch Pass, only the segment between Kanazawa and Tsuruga are covered. If you use Takayama Hokuriku area pass, the segment between Tsuruga and Gifu is not covered.

I will explain about this train in this post.

Route, schedule and trip time

Shirasagi runs between Nagoya, Maibara and Kanazawa. It runs mostly one trip an hour. Half of trips depart from Nagoya and the rest of trips depart from Maibara. Please see the operation map below:

Limited Express Shirasagi operation route map (Click to view large)

Shirasagi connects Shinkansen Hikari at Maibara in 10 to 15 minutes. You may feel that the connection time for 10 to 15 minutes is too short. But this is on purpose. You can change trains at Maibara.

As I mentioned above, this train is used mostly to access to Hokuriku region from Nagoya and Maibara. If you access to Kanazawa from Kyoto or Osaka, Limited Express Thunderbird is the right choice. You can take Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka to Maibara, and then transfer this train, Shirasagi at Maibara. But this route is slower and more inconvenient than taking Limited Express Thunderbird. Thunderbird takes you Kanazawa directly from Osaka or Kyoto.


Nagoya (名古屋)x
Owari-Ichinomiya (尾張一宮)x
Gifu (岐阜)x
Ogaki (大垣)x
Maibara (米原)x
Nagahama (長浜)*
Tsuruga (敦賀)x
Takefu (武生)x
Sabae (鯖江)x
Fukui (福井)x
Awara-Onsen (芦原温泉)x
Daishoji (大聖寺)*
Kaga-Onsen (加賀温泉)x
Komatsu (小松)x
Matto (松任)*
Kanazawa (金沢)x

x:All trains stop *:some trains stop


Shirasagi is serviced by 683 series. This train is the standard fleet for the express train on Hokuriku line. The other express trains on Hokuriku line, such as Thunderbird and Hakutaka, are operated by same type of fleet.

The seat pitch in Green seat is 1160 mm. 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 bit bigger than the standard. The front row seats have a big table and a power outlet. If you want to use your laptop or charge your batteries, try to secure these seats.

*Sonic Rail Garden has copyright for all images of accommodations below.

Train formation


*G=Green seat R=Reserved seat NR=Non reserved seat
Smoking is not allowed on these trains.


Green seat

Ordinary seat

Sanitary space

81 thoughts on “Direct transfer to Kanazawa from Nagoya, Limited Express Shirasagi”

  1. Hi Takeshi

    I will arrive at Nagoya Airport at 9 am on 5 April 2019 and would like to travel to Kanazawa.

    From what I can see, there is a shirasagi train leaving Nagoya Station at 11.48 am to go to Kanazawa.

    Will I have enough time to get to Nagoya Station by 11.48am from Nagoya Airport? Also, will I be able to buy the Shirasagi train ticket from Nagoya Airport? I am concerned that there may be no more tickets left for the 11.48am train by the time I get to Nagoya Station. The next train is 13.48pm and we would prefer not to have to wait around in Nagoya Station for 2 hours. Thanks.

    1. Hi May Loo,

      You may be able to make it but it will be tight.

      It takes at least one hour to clear custom, immigration and baggage pick up. If the airport is crowded, you may spend 1.5 hour.

      And you will spend at least 40 minutes to get Nagoya station from Chubu airport. You may find some more info about Chubu airport in the link below:

      You will spend at least 15 minutes to change trains at Nagoya station. Nagoya station is huge and complicated.

      You cannot purchase a ticket at the airport. You have to get it at Nagoya station. Shirasagi has non reserved seat. So you can take this train anyway but in the worst case, you have to stand up.

      If you arrive in Nagoya station earlier than your expectation, you can get 11:48 am. Otherwise take 13:48.


      Takeshi /

  2. Hi there,
    Am planning to go to Takayama from Nagoya in the morning of 28 May n back Nagoya from Kanazawa on 30 May.
    Q1: Can I purchase both tickets online in advance?
    Q2: Which link should I do the ticket purchading?
    Q3: How long does it takes for these 2 trip?

    Thanks in advance as this is my first time in Nagoya.

    1. Hi Leo,

      Unfortunately you cannot book a ticket online in advance. You have to book and purchase it at the station after you arrive in Nagoya.
      Trip time is 2.5 hours for Nagoya to Takayama, 2.5 to 3 hours for Kanazawa to Nagoya. But trip time is varied by connection time. Please use hyperdia to find exact trip time.


      Takeshi /

  3. Good evening, I will travelling to Nagoya from Kanazawa on May. As long as I understood, the route will be asf : from Kanazawa by Shirasagi, transfer to Maibara (track #7) followed by Shinkansen Hikari (track # 12) to it right ? Will stop for Nabana no sato at Nagoya before continue to Osaka..From Nagoya to Osaka by JR Tokaido Shinkansen, right ? Pls advise the platform..How long from Nagoya to Osaka ? This is my first trip using this route to Osaka..So, I want to make everything clear before the trip begin..looking forward to your advise..thank you.

  4. Hi Takeshi-san,

    Me and my family will be visiting japan for the 1st time. 5 adults and 1 child. We will be arriving at Nagoya station on the 14th and is planning to go to kanazawa on the 15th. Can you please tell me what JR line we need to ride from nagoya to kanazawa? We have a JR pass. Thanks!

  5. Hi Takeshi-san,

    My family and I will be traveling from Kanazawa to Nagoya in February 2018. I have checked Hyperdia and it showed that I need to do transfer in Maibara Station. However, there is no information about which track we will be arriving and departing. We need to transfer from LTD. EXP SHIRASAGI to SHINKANSEN HIKARI and only have 13 mins. I am a little worried whether we have enough time to move from one track to another because we have 8 people and with baggage.
    Please advice.


  6. Hi Takeshi,
    Is it possible for me to go Kanazawa directly from Nagoya station using Takayama Hokuriku JR pass?
    Can I also take unlimited bus ride using Kaetsuno or Nohi Bus to Shirakawa-go /Gokoyama from Kanazawa?
    Or I still need to pay everytime I hop in the bus?


    1. Hi Jessie,

      Unfortunately you cannot get Kanazawa directly by Takayama Hokuriku area pass. You need to take Nagoya-Takayama-Toyama-Kanazawa route.
      You can take Nohi bus and Kaetsuno bus as many as you want.


      Takeshi /

        1. Hi Ong,

          You have to pay for Gifu to Tsuruga which is outside coverage area. If you take Limited Express Shirasagi for Nagoya to Kanazawa, Takayama Hokuriku area pass covers Nagoya to Gifu and Tsuruga to Kanazawa. You have to pay about 3500 yen which is a base fare and limited express reserved seat fee.


          Takeshi /

  7. Good evening,
    This summer I’m going to Japan. I’m going to land in Nagoya on July 26 and I have to go to Kanazawa station on the morning of July 30th. My questions is:
    – How do I go from Nagoya to Kanazawa without using the JR PASS?
    – Can I take a train or a bus without the JR PASS?
    – Do I have to buy tickets on site or can I book them online?

    1. Hi Mouna,

      – How do I go from Nagoya to Kanazawa without using the JR PASS?
      You can take limited express Shirasagi from Nagoya as you saw the post above.

      – Can I take a train or a bus without the JR PASS?
      Of course you can.

      – Do I have to buy tickets on site or can I book them online?
      You can purchase a ticket at the window in most of JR stations. You cannot purchase it online. Please see the link below:

      You can find the fare and schedule at Hyperdia:


      Takeshi /

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