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New Hokuriku Shinkansen Extension Between Kanazawa and Tsuruga Opens

A new Hokuriku Shinkansen extension has shortened travel time between Tokyo and Fukui Prefecture to under three hours. Many hope it will boost local tourism.



The first Kagayaki 502 train of the Hokuriku Shinkansen bound for Tokyo departs Tsuruga Station at 6:11 am, March 16 in Tsuruga City, Fukui Prefecture. (©Sankei by Kan Emori)

On March 16, the Hokuriku Shinkansen line extension connecting Kanazawa and Tsuruga opened for service. The first train from Kanazawa to Tsuruga departed Kanazawa Station around 6:00 am.

From Tokyo to Fukui Faster

More than 50 years after the government's 1973 Shinkansen Railway Development Act, services now extend across Fukui Prefecture. With this extension, travel time between Tokyo and Fukui now takes as little as 2 hours and 51 minutes. This is a 33-minute reduction compared to the previous route. Prior to this, passengers had to transfer between the Tokaido Shinkansen and conventional trains. 

To mark the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen extension, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force's Blue Impulse aerobatic team presented an air show along the route on March 16. (©Sankei by Kan Emori)

Many expect this improved access to and from the Tokyo metropolitan area to increase tourism to areas along the line. There are also expectations that the new section will contribute to regional recovery following the Noto Peninsula earthquake.

Spring Tidings of Hope

The West Japan Railway Company (JR West) President Kazuaki Hasegawa attended the opening ceremony at Tsuruga Station. Speaking before the departure of the first Tokyo-bound Kagayaki 502 train, Hasegawa said, "It took 51 long years. We hope that more people than ever will now use the shinkansen." 

Crowds gather at Tsuruga Station to catch a glimpse of the Hokuriku Shinkansen's first train at 5:56 am, March 16. (©Sankei by Kan Emori)

At Kanazawa Station, Hiroshi Hase, Governor of Ishikawa Prefecture, delivered a haiku expressing hope for Noto's reconstruction. The three-line poem he had composed read, "With spring comes a shinkansen for our hometowns and the Noto Peninsula." Hase then boarded the first Tsurugi 1 train bound for Tsuruga.

In September 2022, JR West launched the Nishi Kyushu line, connecting Takeo Onsen (Takeo, Saga Prefecture) and Nagasaki. The Kanazawa-Tsuruga of the Hokuriku Shinkansen marks the first new shinkansen extension since the Kyushu route. 


(Read the article in Japanese.)

Author: The Sankei Shimbun


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