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International Railroad Discussion > New home in Kanazawa, Japan


Date: 04/03/24 07:22
New home in Kanazawa, Japan
Author: symph1

My son and family are moving to near Kanazawa. Specifically, they’ll be just south of the Tsurugi station in Hakusan. So no more riding tiny Iiyama Line trains to their old home in Tsunan.
For a railfan – mostly passenger trains – what’s to see around Kanazawa? I know that Kanazawa is the end of the line for Shinkansen service from Tokyo.
TIA.
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/04/24 10:53 by symph1.



Date: 04/03/24 13:50
Re: New home in Kanazawa
Author: boejoe

I have never been to Japan and can't offer any info.  I'm glad Tokyo was mentioned as all the other names were 'foreign' to me.  Hope you get some great responses.
jb



Date: 04/05/24 07:01
Re: New home in Kanazawa, Japan
Author: cchan006

symph1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I know that Kanazawa is the end of the line for
> Shinkansen service from Tokyo.
> TIA.

Congrats on your new home. FYI, Hokuriku Shinkansen now extends to Tsuruga (敦賀), about 80 miles south of Kanazawa. This service just started on March 16 of this year.

Tsurugi (鶴来) is the terminus of the Hokuriku Railroad (nickname "Hoku-Tetsu"), which comes from Kanazawa. I suppose you can railfan that non-JR local railroad, which runs older, secondhand EMUs from Tokyo, specifically from Tokyu and Keio Railways as well as from subway Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line. You'll definitely entertain Hiroshi and me with that.

What you just missed is the Limited Express Corridor, or the famous "Tokkyu Kaido (特急街道)", JR West's high frequency limited express service trains from the Kansai Region (Osaka area). These trains were discontinued in conjunction with the start of the new Hokuriku Shinkansen service to Tsuruga.

Most JR Freight trains that run along the Japan Sea Side should go through Kanazawa, so you can seek train + scenery shots in the area. I haven't scouted the area yet, but have studied maps and there are some potential train + water shots in the area.

I'll post more later (after work), as I did a quick railfan of the area in 2015, although nothing specific in Kanazawa. There are interesting stuff in nearby Toyama (railroad east) and Fukui (railroad west) which I did document here on TO.
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/05/24 07:02 by cchan006.



Date: 04/05/24 11:35
Re: New home in Kanazawa, Japan
Author: symph1

Thanks. It's not my home, incidentally, but my son's and his fam. But I'll visit often.

Do the Limited Express trains now only go as far as the new end of the Shinkansen? Pete's in-laws live near Osaka, and they were looking forward to easier connections there



Date: 04/05/24 19:34
Re: New home in Kanazawa, Japan
Author: cchan006

symph1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Do the Limited Express trains now only go as far
> as the new end of the Shinkansen? Pete's in-laws
> live near Osaka, and they were looking forward to
> easier connections there

Yeah, the Limited Express "Thunderbird" runs have shortened to Tsuruga. Used to be a one seat ride to Kanazawa, taking about 2 hours and 7 minutes from Kyoto on its faster runs with 3 stops in between. (Looking at old but recent October 2023 schedule).

The current Limited Express + Shinkansen runs take about 1 hour 52 minutes, but that includes the transfer time at Tsuruga, about 15 minutes. (Without transfer, the travel time is 1 hour 37 minutes or so) So the time gained isn't much. There's some debate in Japan's railfan community on whether giving up the one seat ride was worth it.

The transfer at Tsuruga requires travelling up/down 2 floors, as the non-HSR platforms are on ground level, while the Shinkansen platforms are on the 3rd floor. I can probably make the transfer in 5-6 minutes, but that's too close for casual travelers, hence the allowance for 15+ minutes.

This is in contrast to the new Nishi Kyushu ("Nagasaki") Shinkansen where non-HSR and HSR share a platform at Takeo Onsen, so the transfer can be done in less than 2 minutes. Rode this in 2022, so I'll try to post a report soon.

This is just my opinion, but the transfer at Tsuruga might have made things less easier, at least in the short term. Hopefully, I have a chance to check it out firsthand on my future visits.



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