Hokuriku Shinkansen Line Set To Open

13 March 2015

The latest piece of Japan's extensive Shinkansen rail network is in place, with the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line scheduled to open on March 14.

The new line is an extension of the Nagano Shinkansen Line, which will now link Tokyo with the major western cities of Toyama and Kanazawa.

 The new Shinkansen line will connect Tokyo with the Hokuriku region. (Getty)

Public excitement for the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line saw tickets for the bullet train's maiden run sell out in less than 30 seconds, with the line cutting travel time from Tokyo to Kanazawa by 90 minutes.

The shortened journey, which cuts the trip from Tokyo to Kanazawa from four hours to around two-and-a-half, is expected to appeal to business travellers who might otherwise fly from the national capital.

Around 23,000 passengers a day are projected to use the Hokuriku Shinkansen in its first three years of service, with the line providing a long-sought connection between Tokyo and the Hokuriku region.

Construction has already commenced on continuing the line as far south as Fukui, with the ultimate goal to connect the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line with the Tokaido Shinkansen Line somewhere on the densely populated Kansai plain.

Mike Tuckerman

From Europe to Asia and many places in between, there's rarely a town or city I've not enjoyed exploring. When I'm not wandering the streets and discovering new destinations, you can usually find me hanging out with the locals at major sporting events.