How to Get to Fukui
Tucked-away in the northwest corner of Central Japan, Fukui remains a somewhat unknown destination for many international visitors. Readily accessible using the Limited Express Thunderbird service that connects Osaka and Kyoto to Kanazawa, Fukui is a great option for travelers wanting to experience a beautiful and tranquil region of Japan, blessed with a bountiful coastline and dramatic mountains. On this page you will find the following information:
Most international visitors move to and from the region via Fukui Station. As a stop on Limited Express Thunderbird services running from Osaka to Kanazawa via Kyoto, Fukui is easy to reach as you travel between those cities. Often overlooked by international visitors, Fukui is emerging from the shadow of its more famous neighbours as travelers discover its beautiful landscapes and coastline, unique destinations and some of Japan’s best seafood.
For visitors wanting to explore Central Japan in the comfort and convenience of their own vehicle, we can arrange private charters to any regional destination – a great option for families and groups wanting to avoid the hassle of public transport. For further information, see ‘Book With Us! Nagano’s No.1 Tour & Charter Operator’ below. We hope that the following information is of assistance when planning your visit to Central Japan.
WHERE IS FUKUI?
Nestled between Ishikawa Prefecture and Kyoto Prefecture on the north coast of Japan, Fukui is often overlooked by international visitors as they pass from the more famous cities of Kanazawa and Kyoto. A stop on the Limited Express Thunderbird services running between those two cities (and onto Osaka), Fukui is slowly emerging from the shadow of its more famous neighbours as visitors discover a quiet corner of Japan with a couple of truly fantastic desinations. For any visitor headed to Kanazawa or Kyoto, it’s worth considering a stop in Fukui to enjoy all that has to offer (while also escaping the crowds of those more famous cities).
HOW TO GET TO FUKUI
In this section you will find information on how to reach Fukui from the following starting points:
KANAZAWA – KOMATSU AIRPORT – KYOTO & OSAKA – NAGANO CITY – JIGOKUDANI MONKEY PARK – TOYAMA – TATEYAMA-KUROBE ALPINE ROUTE – TAKAYAMA – KAMIKOCHI – MATSUMOTO – NAGOYA – TOKYO – NARITA & HANEDA AIRPORTS
We endeavour to keep this information as up-to-date as possible and in recognition that most international visitors will be using the train network to move around Japan, most directions are for using the trains. If there is alternative option i.e. express or local bus, that is notably faster or economical, we also include that information.
Within easy reach of Fukui, Kanazawa is one of Japan’s most historic and enjoyable cities and most conveniently, is the terminus of the Hokuriku Shinkansen line running to Tokyo. Reaching Fukui from Kanazawa Station is very straightforward. Simply take the Limited Express Thunderbird to Fukui Station – 45 minutes / JPY2540.
FROM KOMATSU AIRPORT
Komatsu is the nearest airport to Fukui, with a small number of international flights servicing destinations in Asia. From the airport, take the shuttle bus to nearby Komastu Station – less than 15 minutes – and transfer to the Limited Express Thunderbird or Limited Express Shirasagi service bound for Fukui Station – 30 minutes / JPY1620.
FROM KYOTO & OSAKA
Kyoto and Osaka are connected to Kanazawa by the Limited Express Thunderbird. Frequent services run between the cities and involve the following travel times and costs: 100 to 110 minutes / JPY5610 from Shin-Osaka Station and 80 to 90 minutes / JPY4500 from Kyoto Station.
FROM NAGANO CITY
Nagano City is a major transport hub and gateway to Central Japan. To reach Fukui from Nagano Station is easy but requires a transfer at Kanazawa Station. To reach Kanazawa, take either the Kagayaki or Hakutaka service on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line. Using the Kagayaki, the journey from Nagano to Kanazawa takes 65 minutes / JPY8920 or 85 to 90 minutes / JPY8590 using the Hakutaka. Once at Kanazawa Station, follow the directions above onto Fukui.
FROM THE JIGOKUDANI MONKEY PARK
To reach Fukui from the Jigokudani Monkey Park takes time but is relatively straight-forward when done via Nagano Station followed by Kanazawa Station. From the park, you have the option of: 1. a direct express bus from the park to Nagano Station or 2. a local bus to Yudanaka Station followed by an express train to Nagano Station.
Starting from the park, the express bus costs JPY1500 each way and takes 55 minutes to reach Nagano Station. In comparison, taking the local bus from the park to Yudanaka Station followed by the train, takes 15 minutes and costs JPY310 before the limited express train to Nagano takes 45 minutes and costs JPY1290 – a total journey of around 60 to 70 minutes and costing JPY1600. Once at Nagano Station, follow the directions above to reach Fukui.
Another city and region that tends to be overlooked by international visitors, Toyama is a modern city with a big reputation for some of Japan’s best seafood and western gateway to the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route. To reach Fukui from Toyama Station, take any service on the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Kanazawa Station – 20 to 25 minutes / JPY2860 – and once there, transfer to the Limited Express Thunderbird to Fukui (links for both train lines are above).
FROM THE TATEYAMA-KUROBE ALPINE ROUTE
The Toyama Chiho Railway connects Tateyama Station – gateway to the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route – with Dentetsu-Toyama Station, a brief walk from Toyama Station. The train takes around 60 minutes. Once in Toyama, walk to Toyama Station and follow the directions above to reach Fukui.
One of Central Japan’s most historic and popular cities, Takayama is famous for its old town and thriving food scene. The easiest way to reach Fukui from Takayama Station is through Kanazawa. Regular highway bus services connect Kanazawa Station to Takayama via Shirakawa-go. Departing every 2 to 3 hours and taking around 2 hours to make the journey, a one-way trip costs around JPY3600 while a return ticket will cost around JPY6400. Once in Kanazawa, follow the directions above to reach Fukui.
To reach Fukui from Kamikochi you must first head to Takayama. From the Kamikochi Bus Terminal, take the bus to the Hirayu Onsen Bus Terminal – 25 to 30 minutes – and then switch to the bus headed to Takayama – another 60 minutes. See the following page for information including timetables and fares to and from Takayama. Once in Takayama, follow the directions above.
Most famous for its castle, Matsumoto is another city travelers tend to fall in love with due to its historic streets, fantastic dining and shopping, and thriving arts scene. From Matsumoto Station, take the Limited Express Shinano to Nagano Station. There are many services every day including the Limited Express Wide View Shinano – taking around 50 minutes. Once in Nagano, follow the directions above to reach Fukui.
Nagoya is the largest city in Central Japan and a major transport hub, making it easy to reach Fukui. From Nagoya Station, take the Tokaido Shinkansen to Maibara Station and transfer to the Limited Express Shirasagi bound for Fukui Station – a total journey time of around 100 minutes / JPY5440. Alternatively, some Limited Express Shirasagi services run all the way from Nagoya to Fukui – 130 minutes / JPY5280 – however those services are intermittent and take around 30 minutes longer than making the journey via Maibara.
For many if not most international visitors, Tokyo will be the start or end point of their visit to Japan. While located quite far from Fukui, the efficiency of the train network makes the journey between the two relatively quick and always comfortable. From Tokyo Station, take the Tokaido Shinkansen to Maibara Station and transfer to the Limited Express Shirasagi bound for Fukui Station – a total journey time of around 210 minutes / JPY14,130. Alternatively, take the Kagayakai service on the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kanazawa Station – 150 minutes / JPY14,580 – and once there, follow the directions above onto Fukui.
FROM NARITA AIRPORT & HANEDA AIRPORT
To reach Fukui directly from either airport, it will be best to use the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo Station (as above) or Ueno Station. For information regarding how to reach either station, from Narita Airport and Haneda Airport, please refer to the relevant airport 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.
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-rated 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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get planning together!