Excellent public transportation services between Nagoya and Kanazawa make the journey very easy to do. A train will cover the distance in 3 hours and a bus in just 4 hours. Let’s take a look at your options and compare the fares.
Traveling on the Shirasagi Limited Express
The Limited Express Shirasagi runs 8 round trips between Nagoya and Kanazawa every day. The train takes just 3 hours to cover the distance between these two cities.
This is the fastest and most comfortable way to take this trip, however the fare is 6,810 yen. This train is operated by JR Central and JR West so if you have a Japan Rail Pass then this fare will be covered and you can also reserve your seats for free. For timetables and other details for this service you take a look at our article on the Limited Express Shirasagi.
Traveling by Highway Express Bus
If you don’t have a Japan Rail Pass then you might consider traveling by bus. As long as the traffic is not too busy the time difference should only be about an hour and you will save some money.
There are four bus companies that run buses from Nagoya to Kanazawa: JR Tokai Bus, West JR Bus, Hokutetsu Bus, and Meitetsu Bus. These four companies work in collaboration, so the fare is fixed at 4,180 yen and you can buy tickets for these services from either the JR Bus Terminal or the Meitetsu Bus Center which are both close to Nagoya Station. There are 10 daily services that run from the Meitetsu Bus Center and Nagoya Station’s JR Bus Terminal. Buses depart from the Meitetsu Bus Center first and stop at the Nagoya Station JR Bus Terminal ten minutes later. Departures begin at Meitetsu Bus Center every hour between 7.30 and 15.30 and then between 17.30 and 19.30. The journey to Kanazawa takes around 4 hours depending on traffic.
Unlike other JR Bus services you cannot book these services online. You can either go directly to the ticket offices or call Meitetsu on 052-588-0489. The JR Bus Terminal is located on the west side of JR Nagoya Station outside the shinkansen ticket gates. You can find the Meitetsu Bus Center on the 3rd floor of the Meitetsu Department Store’s Men’s Building which is located to the south of Meitetsu Nagoya Station. Meitetsu also have an excellent English website with more information about these services.
West JR Bus and JR Tokai Bus also have two separate services which run between Nagoya and Kanazawa. These two services are priced differently and can only be booked with the JR companies. West JR Bus run the “Hokuriku-do Hiru Tokkyu” or “Hokuriku Highway Afternoon Express” which leaves the Nagoya Station JR Bus Terminal at 16.20 and arrives at Kanazawa Station at 20.04. The fare is a little higher at 5,050 yen because the seating is more spacious and comfortable with only three seats per row instead of the usual four.
JR Tokai Bus run a night bus service, the “Hokuriku Dream Nagoya #1”, that leaves the Nagoya Station JR Bus Terminal at 23.15 and arrives at Kanazawa Station at 7.02 the following morning. the fare for this service is 4,550 yen. Both of these services can be booked online at Kousokubus.net or directly at the JR Bus Ticket Office at JR Nagoya Station.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.