Hokuriku Shinkansen (The North-central Bullet Trains ) grand opened its full service (Tokyo-Kanazawa)on this Mar.14th. (http://hokuriku-w7.com/about/)
Hokuriku Bullet Trains started its operation partially just between Takasaki and Nagano in 1997 and Tokyo-Takasaki (Tohoku Shinkansen) and Takasaki-Nagano(Nagano Shinkansen) became a part of Hokuriku so that the line Toky0-Nagano began as “Nagano Shinkansen”, which is a part of the planned total line of Hokuriku line. However, this time Takasaki-Joetsumyoukou-Kanazawa line opened on the 14th and the “full line”(Takasaki-Kanazawa 117 km plus the existant Tokyo-Takasaki line). Another bullet train line between Kanazawa and Atsuga is also planned to be opened in 2023 to be a part of the Hokuriku line.
Now due to the launch of the new line, it has come to take only 2 hours and half ,while it used to take about 4 hours including transferrings. Since this new convenience of shortening time, Kanazawa, which is the capital of Ishikawa Pref, and is a traditional city of traditional cultures and history, now is even more popular among tourists. To tell the truth, I used this new Hokuriku Bullet Train line from Tokyo to Kanazawa just one week after its grand opening. The new Shinkansen “Kagayaki”(/ a Shine) was quite comfortable and other passengers seemed so happy and enjoying the trip as well. Though I had been to Kanazawa many times, this time visiting the city by Hokuriku Shinkansen was a fresh and exciting experience. Kanazawa is full of attractions with historical sites and tangible and intangible cultural things, such as Kenrokuen garden, The 21 Century Museum, gold leaves, Wajima-nuri, Kutani-yaki porceline ,and others and seemed quite lively and full of energy with the new attentions by the sightseers or visitors. I hope the attractions there will be recognized even more and more popular.