Although there is no shinkansen connection between Osaka and Kanazawa, traveling from Osaka to Kanazawa is still very easy thanks to excellent train and bus links. The train is much quicker and more comfortable, but the bus is cheaper. Let’s take a look at your options.
Traveling by Train
The Limited Express Thunderbird is a convenient service that connects Osaka to Kanazawa via the stations of Shin-Osaka, Kyoto, and Fukui.
The Thunderbird makes between 24 and 25 departures from Osaka Station every day and the service is very fast. From Osaka Station the train takes 2 hours and 40 minutes to reach Kanazawa Station and costs 7,130 yen. From Shin-Osaka Station the train takes 2 hours and 30 minutes for the same fare. The train has a sleek and streamlined exterior and the interior seats are spacious and comfortable too, so traveling on the Thunderbird is a very enjoyable and exciting part of any trip.
This service is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass. You can also reserve seats for free with a Japan Rail Pass. If you do not have a Japan Rail Pass, there are two other discount passes you might consider buying. With a Kansai-Hokuriku Area Pass, or a Hokuriku Area Pass, you can more fully explore the Hokuriku area around Kanazawa.
Traveling by Bus
There are regular daytime and overnight express buses running between Osaka Station and Kanazawa Station. Fares can vary according to the time, date and service between 3,700 yen and 5,000 yen. Buses depart from Osaka Station’s JR Express Bus Terminal and arrive at Kanazawa Station after an average journey time of 5 hours and 35 minutes.
You can look up journey times and make bookings online at Kousokubus.net or make enquiries and bookings directly at Osaka Station’s Bus Terminal Ticket Office. For more details about how to buy tickets and where to find bus stops check the West JR Bus English website.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.