With the new Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train), Kanazawa is an easy 2.5-hour direct train ride from Tokyo. And with the Thunderbird Express, it’s an easy 2-hour direct train ride from Kyoto. Read on for all the details.
E7 Series Shinkansen high-speed bullet train: kirati apivattakakul / Shutterstock.com
- The train is best way between the main cities of Honshu (Japan’s main island) and Kanazawa. Here are the most important facts.
- Tokyo > Kanazawa: 2.5 hours, Y14,120, Hokuriku Shinkansen train
- Kyoto > Kanazawa: 2 hours 10 minutes, Y6,380, Thunderbird Express train
- Osaka > Kanazawa: 2 hours 38 minutes, Y7,130, Thunderbird Express train
- The Japan Rail Pass covers all these routes. You can also buy individual tickets online for Tokyo to Kanazawa, Kyoto to Kanazawa and Osaka to Kanazawa with official JR Rail partner Voyagin.
- It’s also possible to fly from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport to Komatsu Airport (near Kanazawa) but the whole trip actually takes longer than going by train.
Kanazawa is about 300km/180mi northwest of Tokyo and about 190km/118mi northeast of Kyoto. The best way to Kanazawa from Tokyo, Kyoto, Nagoya, Osaka and most other cities on Honshu (Japan’s main island) is by train. With the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen in 2015, it’s now become very easy to travel direct from Tokyo to Kanazawa and then head south from Kanazawa to Kyoto, making a great three-city loop of Japan. Here are the details.
Tokyo to Kanazawa by Train
The best way between Tokyo and Kanazawa is by train. The Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) started service in 2015. It connects Tokyo Station and Kanazawa Station. The fastest trains, called Kagayuki, do the trip in 2.5 hours. The fare between Tokyo and Kanazawa is Y14,120. In Tokyo, you can board the Hokuriku Shinkansen at Tokyo Station (recommended if you have an unreserved ticket so you can get a seat) or Ueno Station. In Kanazawa, the trains start and stop at JR Kanazawa Station. You can buy an individual ticket from Tokyo to Kanazawa or use the Japan Rail Pass on this line. (See our detailed guide to buying and making the most of a Japan Rail Pass if you’re undecided about getting one).
Kyoto to Kanazawa by Train
Trains are the best way to travel between Kyoto and Kanazawa. Limited express (tokkyu) trains called Thunderbird travel between Kyoto and Kanazawa in about 2 hours and 10 minutes (some trains take slightly longer). The fare is Y6,380. In Osaka, these operate from JR Kyoto Station. In Kanazawa, these trains operate from JR Kanazawa Station. You can use the Japan Rail pass on these trains or buy an individual Kyoto to Kanazawa ticket.
Osaka to Kanazawa by Train
Trains are the best way to travel between Osaka and Kanazawa. Limited express (tokkyu) trains called Thunderbird travel between Osaka and Kanazawa in about 2 hours and 38 minutes (some trains take slightly longer). In Osaka, you can board these trains at JR Osaka Station or JR Shin-Osaka Station. In Kanazawa, these trains operate from JR Kanazawa Station. You can use the Japan Rail pass on these trains or buy an individual Osaka to Kanazawa ticket.
Tokyo to Kanazawa by Plane
It’s possible to fly between Tokyo and Kanazawa by plane, but it actually takes longer and costs more. JAL and ANA have about 10 flights a day between Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and Komatsu Airport, which is close to Kanazawa. There are airport shuttle buses between Kanazawa Airport and Kanazawa city that take about 40 minutes and cost Y1,130. The flight itself costs around Y24,890 and takes about an hour. But the whole trip, including airport transfers takes almost 3 hours and costs around Y26,670. Thus, the train is a much better choice. You can check flight times and prices from Tokyo to Kanazawa on 12Go.
Bargain Buses Between Tokyo and Kanazawa
The cheapest way to travel between Tokyo and Kanazawa is by bus. Willer Express offers buses between Tokyo and Kanazawa. They cost between Y5,100 and Y9,300 and take between 7.5 and 8.5 hours. You can also book buses at 12Go.
Kanazawa Travel Guide:
- Kanazawa Travel Guide Overview
- Things To Do In Kanazawa
- Kanazawa Walking Tour
- Places To Eat In Kanazawa
- Kanazawa Itineraries
- Kanazawa Cherry Blossoms
- Kanazawa Fall Foliage
- Kanazawa Districts
- Kanazawa Ryokan
- Kanazawa Hotels
- – Best Luxury Hotels in Kanazawa
- – Best Mid Range Hotels in Kanazawa
- – Best Budget Hotels in Kanazawa
- How To Get To Kanazawa
- Getting Around Kanazawa
- Best Time To Go To Kanazawa