My trip to Kanazawa by the Hokuriku bullet train

Posted on 01/07/2015

I went to Kanazawa at the weekend with my mum. On the new Hokuriku bullet train, of course! When I was a kid, I used to live in Fukui and Toyama, both of which are neighboring cities to Kanazawa and weren’t very accessible from other cities at that time. I visited Toyama a few years ago for the first time since I moved back to Tokyo. I had to take a bullet train to Echigo-yuzawa and then change to an express train to Toyama. At that time it took almost 5 hours in total but now that the new Hokuriku bullet train takes you directly to Kanazawa it only takes 2 hours, 30 mins. How good is that? The shiny new bullet train was amazingly comfortable, though we travelled in standard class. Each seat has a plug so you are able to charge your phone or laptop. When we started to eat the ekiben (railway boxed meal) we had bought at Tokyo station, a group of middle-aged women sitting close to us started having a party. I just wanted to chill out on a quiet train but they started drinking beer and talking and laughing really loud. Oh my god… they had a suitcase full of beer…yes, you are allowed to drink on the bullet train. Anyway, the 2 hours and 30 mins passed really quickly thankfully!

 

We went out of the East gate at Kanazawa station and there they were – Motenashi Dome (Welcome Dome), made all of glass, and the massive wooden gate in front of the station called “Tsuzumi-mon” (Drum Gate) and resembling a traditional Japanese drum. The station, with its mixture of the modern and traditional, looked very impressive against a clear, blue sky. Just looking at the station made me think that Kanazawa was the main city among the three prefectures of Hokuriku.

 

Before going to see the town, we went to our hotel to check in. We stayed at Kanazawa Manten Hotel, only 5 minutes’ walk from the station. The building itself was a bit old but the room was very clean and reasonably priced. All the rooms have free Wi-Fi access. We loved the big public bath and enjoyed breakfast!

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