New Hokuriku Shinkansen Extension Brings Bullet Train Services to Fukui Prefecture

New Hokuriku Shinkansen Extension Brings Bullet Train Services to Fukui Prefecture

Key Points:

  • Inauguration of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line extension connects Kanazawa and Tsuruga, bringing bullet train services to Fukui Prefecture.
  • Launch of travel discount program supports the Hokuriku region’s recovery efforts post-earthquake.
  • The extension is expected to boost tourism in Ishikawa and Fukui prefectures, aiding post-earthquake reconstruction.
  • The Hokuriku Shinkansen Line offers faster travel time from Tokyo to Tsuruga. Thunderbird and Shirasagi limited express lines have ceased operations.

Central Japan celebrated a significant milestone on March 16 with the inauguration of an extension to the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line, connecting Kanazawa and Tsuruga. This expansion marks the debut of bullet train services in Fukui Prefecture, offering newfound accessibility and potential for a tourism boom in the region.

The extension bridges Fukui Prefecture with Tokyo, approximately 300 kilometers away, via a high-speed rail link, transforming travel dynamics in the area. The commencement of this service coincided with the launch of a travel discount program aimed at supporting the Hokuriku region, which is still recovering from the aftermath of the magnitude 7.6 New Year’s Day earthquake that displaced hundreds of residents.

A ceremonial event at Tsuruga Station marked the inaugural Shinkansen departure bound for Tokyo on March 16. Among the dignitaries present were Kazuaki Hasegawa, president of West Japan Railway Co. (JR West), the operator of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line, and Fukui Governor Tatsuji Sugimoto. The first Shinkansen run, Kagayaki No. 502, departed at 6:11 AM (JST), with reserved seats selling out within minutes of ticket sales opening on February 16.

Speaking after the ceremony, Hasegawa expressed optimism about the new phase of the Hokuriku Shinkansen, emphasizing its potential to contribute to regional rebuilding following natural disasters and invigorate the Hokuriku region. Governor Sugimoto echoed this sentiment, highlighting the importance of energizing Fukui and Tsuruga to catalyze reconstruction efforts, hoping to extend this vitality to the Noto Peninsula.

The extension is expected to boost tourism, particularly in hot spring resort areas of Ishikawa and Fukui prefectures, which suffered cancellations after the Noto Peninsula earthquake in January. The first passengers arriving in Kanazawa expressed their willingness to support the region’s rebuilding efforts through their spending.

The Hokuriku Shinkansen Line, which commenced service in 1997 between Tokyo and Nagano before extending to Kanazawa in 2015, now offers expedited travel from Tokyo to Tsuruga in three and eight minutes, 50 minutes faster than before.

However, with the introduction of the new service, old ones must end. The Thunderbird and Shirasagi limited express lines, which have served the Hokuriku region for 60 years by linking it with Nagoya and Osaka, made their final departures from Kanazawa on March 15. These lines will now connect Tsuruga with Osaka and Nagoya.

TechGolly editorial team led by Al Mahmud Al Mamun. He worked as an Editor-in-Chief at a world-leading professional research Magazine. Rasel Hossain and Enamul Kabir are supporting as Managing Editor. Our team is intercorporate with technologists, researchers, and technology writers. We have substantial knowledge and background in Information Technology (IT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Embedded Technology.

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