The Nagano Shinkansen Line extended, and the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line opened
In 1998, the Winter Olympics was hosted by Nagano prefecture in Japan, and it was when the Nagano Shinkansen Line started bullet train services between Tokyo and Nagano Station. Now the train line has extended to Kanazawa Station in Ishikawa prefecture as a new route “the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line”, made its debut in March 2015, allows direct travel from Tokyo to the Hokuriku region.
The Hokuriku is a region that includes Ishikawa, Toyama, and Fukui prefectures (sometimes Niigata is included), noted as the home of some high-tech manufacturing companies in Japan. In fact, the cities in the Hokuriku region, especially the historic city of Kanazawa, a famous tourist spot as popular as Kyoto, were developed since the ruling family encouraged industrial arts and technologies more than several hundred years ago, the spirit has been handed down to this day.
Advantages for tourists and hikers
The biggest advantage of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line is the shortening of travel time between Tokyo and Kanazawa, the famous travel destination in Japan. However, it is also notable that the train line allows easy approach from the Hokuriku region side to the tourist spots in the North Alps, including Tateyama Kurobe and Hakuba, known for stunning mountain views.
Viewing Tateyama Mountain Range from Toyama Prefecture
For hikers who want to enjoy panoramic views of the North Alps at a distance, Mt. Myokosan, the 2454m-high mountain in Myoko-Togakushi Renzan National Park will be a great choice. The Mt. Myokosan area is easily reachable by bus from Joetsu-myoko station on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line. (A 2-hour travel from JR Tokyo sta. to Joetsu-myoko sta. by bullet train)
Taking a train/bus and travel around Noto peninsula will be great for tourists who want to visit places off the beaten track. Don't miss the idyllic landscape and local-caught seafood there.
Hakuba, known for the marvelous ski resort.
Mitsukejima island (Noto Peninsula)
A view from Noto railway (Noto Peninsula)