The Kagayaki Shinkansen train is the fastest train service between Tokyo and Kanazawa, learn about its schedule, tickets and the JR Pass.
Introduction to the Kagayaki Shinkansen
The Kagayaki (かがやき) is the fastest train service on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line, running all the way from Tokyo to Kanazawa. Important stops along the way include Omiya, Nagano, and Toyama stations. The top speed of the Kagayaki is 260 km/h (160 mph) and travels the full route between both termini in 2 hrs 28 mins, it is the fastest service on the route due to the minimum number of stops along the way. Train services with more stops along the line include the Hakutaka, Asama and Tsurugi Shinkansen.
The Kagayaki Shinkansen train was first introduced in 2015, with the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen line and is one of the newest and most modern trains in Japan. Services are operated by the E7 series and W7 series Shinkansen, E and W referring to the operating company, either JR East or JR West.
The name Kagayaki translates to brilliance or radiance in English and comes from the Japanese verb Kagayaku (かがやく), meaning to shine, glitter, or sparkle. Quite a fabulous name, even if we say so ourselves.
The Kagayaki Shinkansen is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass, including complementary seat reservations. The service is jointly operated by JR East and JR West, meaning that some regional JR passes cover (part of) the route, namely the JR Hokuriku Arch Pass can be used entirely from Tokyo to Kanazawa.
Schedule and timetable
Train services on the Hokuriku Shinkansen are frequent, with up to 20 Kagayaki services in each direction on a daily basis and other train services departing every 30 minutes. Timing and stops depend on the day and season, we recommend learning to plan with Hyperdia to find the best timings. Alternatively, you could just go to any station with your JR Pass, tell the staff when and where you wish to travel, and they’ll book the best tickets for you.
Tickets and fares
All seats on the Kagayaki Shinkansen are reserved seats, meaning a prior reservation is required before boarding the train, and unlike other trains, it is not possible to just hop-on and hop-off. Seat reservations with the JR Pass can be made at any ticket window nationwide.
Fares for the main routes are:
Tokyo ⇿ Omiya ¥3,180
Tokyo ⇿ Nagano ¥8,340
Tokyo ⇿ Toyama ¥12,960
Tokyo ⇿ Kanazawa ¥14,380
Kanazawa ⇿ Toyama ¥3,390
Kanazawa ⇿ Nagano ¥9,120
Kanazawa ⇿ Omiya ¥13,840
Gran and Green Class on the Kagayaki
The Kagayaki Shinkansen operates both 1 car in Gran Class configuration and 1 car in Green Class. Gran class operating a 1×2 seating layout and the train car is equipped with full active suspension, making the train ride feel more like the rider is gliding through the air than riding on rails.
Green Class on the Kagayaki Shinkansen operates a 2×2 seating layout, with extra comfortable business style seating. For those wishing to travel in green class, a Green Class JR Pass is recommended.
- The Kagayaki Shinkansen comes equipped with power sockets (110v) and free Wi-Fi in each train class.
- There are onboard sales for snacks, drinks and eki-bento lunch boxes.
- The train is equipped with extra large luggage racks, to accommodate for the growing number of travellers and popular winter sport resorts in the Hokuriku region.