As a convenient stop on the Limited Express Thunderbird running from/to Kanazawa, Kyoto and Osaka, Fukui Station is readily accessible. The region is well-worth visiting and boasts two of Central Japan’s most enjoyable destinations – the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum and Eihei-ji Temple.
The Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum is recognised as one of the world’s best dinosaur museums – equally engaging for children and adults. Over four floors the museum exhibits more than 40 dinosaur skeletons, interactive displays and equally compelling displays tracing the history of life on the planet.
Founded in 1244, Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple is a sprawling and stunning Zen Buddhist temple complex set amongst a beautiful forest – consisting of over seventy buildings connected by covered walkways.
The following page provides information to assist with moving to and from Kanazawa Station as you travel to Nagano and through Central Japan. It is not intended to provide complete information about the station or its many facilities, but instead, provide some helpful information for travellers enroute to other destinations.
TRAIN LINES RUNNING TO & FROM FUKUI STATION
Fukui is a relatively small but modern station serviced by several train lines including:
— Hokuriku Main Line
— Echizen Railway/Katsuyama Eiheiji Line
— Etsumi-Hoku Line
— Mikuni Awara Line
It is important to note that Fukui Station does not have a shinkansen line. The nearest shinkansen station to Fukui is Kanazawa Station, directly accessible using the Limited Express Thunderbird – see below.
1 / LIMITED EXPRESS THUNDERBIRD
For many international visitors, the Limited Express Thunderbird will be their chosen mode of transport to/from Osaka and Kyoto and Central Japan. Running to Kanazawa Station, the Thunderbird is a rapid service stopping at Fukui Station and stops including:
*Please note, stations marked in bold / red on the map are stops on all Thunderbird Services. Those not in bold are only covered by certain services.
** Most Thunderbird services use Kanazawa as their northern terminus however there is also one service each day which begins or ends a little further north at Wakura Onsen
From Fukui, the following stations can be reached using the Thunderbird:
— to Kanazawa: 50 minutes / non-reserved JPY2540 & reserved JPY3070
— to Kyoto: 90 minutes / non-reserved JPY4500 & reserved JPY5030
— to Shin-Osaka: 115 minutes / non-reserved JPY5610 & reserved JPY6140
This is a popular rapid service for both domestic travelers and international visitors. When traveling in the morning, evening or on weekends, booking reserved seats is a good idea for families and larger groups to ensure you can sit together. For train times, please refer to our ‘Limited Express Thunderbird Timetable’ page.
2 / ECHIZEN RAILWAY / KATSUYAMA EIHEIJI LINE
The Katsuyama Eiheiji Line is a local train line often used to travelling to and from Eiheiji-guchi Station – the nearest train station to Fukui’s famous Eiheiji Temple. Two services each hour from to and from the station and take around 25 minutes / JPY460 to reach Eiheiji-guchi Station. Regular buses run from the station to the temple.
Riding the Echizen Railway to Katsuyama Station – the final stop on the line – visitors can access the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum. The journey takes 55 minutes / JPY770. Once at Katsuyama Station, regular buses run to and from the museum.
JAPAN RAIL (JR) PASSES COVERING TRAVEL TO & FROM FUKUI
There is no escaping the fact that travel using the shinkansen and other rapid services is expensive. Given the speed and distances covered by these trains, travelers should think of them much like taking a flight, with tickets accordingly priced. International visitors to Japan have the option of purchasing one of several passes which allow for unlimited use of the Hokuriku along with other services:
JAPAN RAIL (JR) PASS
Covering all 9 shinkansen lines in Japan and many other train services, the JR Pass is a great option for visitors planning to use the shinkansen more than a handful of times and/or travel large distances. Travelers have the option of 7, 14 and 21-day passes covering either Ordinary or Ordinary and Green Cars. The JR Pass allows for use of any service on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line at no additional cost but noting that should holders wish to have a reserved seat, they are still required to book a seat at the ticket office (at no additional cost). This pass covers the Thunderbird.
HOKURIKU ARCH PASS
Valid for 7 consecutive days from date of activation, the Hokuriku Arch Pass covers train services from Tokyo – including trains from both Narita and Haneda Airports – to Nagano and Kanazawa and then onto Kyoto, Osaka and Kansai Airport. For many international visitors, this pass covers the majority of their intended destinations as the they follow the most popular tourist route from Tokyo to Kanazawa and onto Kyoto and Osaka. Notably cheaper than the full JR Pass, the Hokuriku Arch Pass offers fantastic convenience and savings. This pass covers the Thunderbird.
PURCHASING A JR PASS
Passes can be purchased via the official website or via a JR-affiliated sales office. Once you completed payment, you will receive an exchange order. This is a proof of payment and looks almost like a flight ticket with your personal details, type of Pass, and validity (three months from the date of issue). It is important to note that the exchange order is not your actual pass and will need to be exchanged for your pass once in Japan. Whatever you do, do not lose the exchange order and prioritise exchanging it for your pass when you arrive.
ACTIVATING A JR PASS
Prior to using your pass, you must actually get your hands on it by exchanging the order/proof of purchase you received online. While passes cannot be exchanged/activated at Fukui Station, numerous JR Pass Exchange Offices can be found at major train stations and airports including: Narita Airport / Haneda Airport / Chubu Centrair International Airport / Kansai International Airport. Passes can be activated/exchanged at major stations on the Limited Express Thunderbird including: Kanazawa Station / Kyoto Station / Shin-Osaka Station.
To exchange/activate your pass you will need your exchange order and passport.
Make sure you allow adequate time to exchange and activate your pass if you are intending to use it on the same day or do so a day or two before you plan to start using it (you can always nominate a later activation date).
Once you have your activated pass you are free to ride however you can’t insert your pass into the ticket gates. Simply walk through the side booth (permanently attended by station staff) and show your pass. You will be waved through and you can make your way to the platform.
BUS SERVICES RUNNING TO & FROM FUKUI STATION
Operating from outside the station’s East Exit, hour bus services run to Eiheiji Temple – 30 minutes / JPY720 one-way.
ACCOMMODATION NEARBY FUKUI STATION
The area around Fukui Station has a decent number of accommodation options, mostly large Western-style hotels. Local buses and trains running from the station connect it with the region’s most popular attractions including the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum and Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Fukui Station Area’ hotel page.
PRIVATE CHARTERS & TOURS IN CENTRAL JAPAN
Snow Monkey Resorts is Nagano’s No.1-rated tour and charter operator. Operating all year round, we can provide charters to any destination including Nagoya, with customised itineraries to suit your travel needs and interests. We have the expertise and experience to help you get the most out of your time in the region, including transport to and from any regional destination.
Our drivers and vehicles are fully certified, allowing us to transport you to and from your preferred destinations in combination with any activity that suits your interests and schedule.
Why choose us?
Awarded a 2019 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour – recognised as one of the Top 10 Experiences in Japan – we have the local knowledge and experience to help you get the most out of your time in Nagano.
Got a question about visiting Central Japan? Contact us at email@example.com and let’s get planning together!