As a convenient stop on the Limited Express Thunderbird running from/to Kanazawa, Kyoto and Osaka, Fukui Station is readily accessible. On this page you will find the following information:
While Fukui continues to fly under the radar for international visitors, 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 – and another of the most rewarding destinations in Central japan.
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 / SERVICES TO FUKUI STATION
Fukui is a relatively small but modern station serviced by several train lines including:
— LIMITED EXPRESS THUNDERBIRD operating on the HOKURIKU MAIN LINE
— ETSUMI-HOKU LINE
— MIKUNI AWARA LINE
For international visitors, the Limited Express Thunderbird – bound for Kanazawa, Kyoto and Osaka – and Echizen Railway / Katsuyma Eiheiji Line – providing access to the dinosaur museum and Eihei-ji Temple – will be of most interest. 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.
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.
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 Eihei-ji 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.
RAIL PASSES COVERING TRAVEL TO 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 & ACTIVATING 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.
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.
GETTING TO & FROM KOMATSU AIRPORT
Passengers flying in or out of Komatsu Airport have a range of transport options. JR Komatsu Station is the nearest train station, from where regular buses run to and from the airport – taking only 12 minutes. Komatsu Station can be reached from Fukui Station using the Limited Express Shirasagi services – 30 minutes / JPY1620. Airport shuttle from Fukui Station, taking 60 minutes / JPY1400 to reach the airport. For further information, please refer to the bus timetable from/to Fukui (Japanese only).
BUS SERVICES TO & FROM FUKUI STATION
Operating from outside the station’s East Exit, hour bus services run to Eiheiji Temple – 30 minutes / JPY720 one-way.
FUKUI TOURIST INFORMATION CENTER
The Fukui City Tourist Information Center is located on the west-side of the station station and provides general information about the attraction in and around the city, some ticketing services, baggage forwarding and rental e-bikes. Open everyday from 09:30 to 19:00.
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.
10 THINGS TO DO IN FUKUI & WHERE TO STAY
Fukui Prefecture hugs the north coast of Japan, far from the sprawling metropolises of Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka. This is a tranquil corner of Japan where you can enjoy open spaces, small towns, great seafood and a couple of the country’s best destinations. Largely undiscovered by international visitors, the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum is one of the best museums in Japan while the sprawling temple complex Daihonzan Eihei-ji is as beautiful and inspiring as it is historically important. Throw-in a couple of other intriguing attractions and some of the best crab in Japan, Fukui is quietly confident in its ability to impress! For suggestions of what do when there, see our ’10 Things To Do In Fukui & Where To Stay’ page.
HOW TO GET TO FUKUI
Fukui Station is a stop on Limited Express Thunderbird services running from Osaka to Kanazawa via Kyoto making it easy and fast to reach from any of those cities. It takes time to reach Fukui from Tokyo but the journey is simple, requiring only one transfer at Kanazawa. For information on how to get there, see our ‘How To Get To Fukui’ page.
PLAN YOUR VISIT TO JAPAN
Fukui Station is just one part of Japan’s fantastic rail network. Unfathomable in its size and efficiency, moving around the country by train is easy and comfortable opening-up all regions of Japan for exploration. Our ‘Plan Your Visit’ page has everything you need to know about visiting Japan – from tips on the best time to travel, times to avoid, entering and exiting the country, money matters, staying connected, accommodation, staying safe and healthy and plenty more to ensure that you get the most out of your time here.
BOOK WITH US! NAGANO’S NO.1 TOUR & CHARTER OPERATOR
Central Japan offers many, many reasons to visit. Operating all year round, we are Nagano’s No.1 tour and charter operator, offering a range of services including group tours, private tours and charters. We can arrange transport including a private vehicle and driver, along with an English-speaking guide, to transport to, from and between any of these destinations and more!
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 schedule. All vehicles are fitted with a protective screen – separating the driver from passenger and luggage area – and our drivers wear protective masks, allowing you to move between your destinations in comfort and safety.
We can arrange both private tours with an English-speaking guide or a private charter, including a private vehicle and driver but without a guide. We’d love to be part of your adventure in Central Japan and help you discover even more!
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Awarded a 2022 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 and Central Japan.
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