The Shirasagi is a limited express service between Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture and Kanazawa in Ishikawa Prefecture. Shirasagi means “white heron” in Japanese, and the train was given this name both for its sleek, white appearance and because the bird is well-known in Ishikawa Prefecture.
This service is jointly run by JR Central and JR West and is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass. There are 8 round-trip services which take around three hours to run between Nagoya and Kanazawa every day. At Nagoya Station the Shirasagi departs from Platform 4.
In addition to the 8 round-trip services that run between Nagoya and Kanazawa, there are also 8 round-trip services that run only between Maibara in Shiga Prefecture and Kanazawa. To find out more about services to and from Maibara please visit our sister site KanazawaStation.com. In this article we will look only at services to or from Nagoya Station.
The Shirasagi makes limited stops at the stations listed below. Stations in brackets are not served by all trains.
Nagoya – Owari-Ichinomiya – Gifu – Ogaki – Maibara – [Nagahama] – Tsuruga – Takefu – Sabae – Fukui – Awara Onsen – Kaga Onsen – Komatsu – [Matto] – Kanazawa
Below are the key destinations on this route with example train fares and times given from Nagoya Station.
Gifu is the capital city of Gifu Prefecture. The city’s attractions include Gifu castle, the Great Buddha Statue of Shohoji Temple, summertime cormorant fishing in the Nagara River, and many museums.
Train fare: 1,220 yen
Train time: 19 minutes
Ogaki City in Gifu Prefecture holds a Basho Festival every November to celebrate the poems of the haiku poet Matsuo Basho. The city has a small Basho museum and a reconstructed castle which was first built in 1500.
Train fare: 1,510 yen
Train time: 30 minutes
Tsuruga is a port city in Fukui Prefecture. Its attractions include Kehi Shrine, the garden of Saifukuji Temple, the Meiji era red brick warehouses near Tsuruga Museum, and the pine trees of Kehi no Matsubara beach.
Train fare: 4,100 yen
Train time: 1 hour and 35 minutes
This station serves the city of Echizen in Fukui Prefecture. Exit here for the Echizen Togei Mura pottery village, the Echizen Washi no Sato papermaking village, and the Echizen Soba Village where you can enjoy the region’s famous noodles.
Train fare: 5,180 yen
Train time: 1 hour and 56 minutes
Fukui is the capital city of Fukui Prefecture. Exit here for the Zen temple complex of Eiheiji Temple, Fukui Fine Arts Museum, and the partially reconstructed 15th century castle town of Ichijodani.
Train fare: 5,180 yen
Train time: 2 hours and 10 minutes
Awara Onsen Station
Awara is a popular hot spring resort town in Fukui Prefecture. For a list of recommended hot spring facilities visit the official Awara City website. The spectacular rocky coastline of Tojinbo is also a 40 minute bus ride from Awara Onsen Station.
Train fare: 5,510 yen
Train time: 2 hours and 21 minutes
Kaga Onsen Station
Kaga is a large city with many hot spring resort town within its bounds. The Kaga & Hakusan website has recommendations for hot spring facilities. Natadera Temple is a short bus ride from Kaga Onsen Station. This temple is worth visiting for its beautiful gardens and splendid views of Mount Hakusan.
Train fare: 6,050 yen
Train time: 2 hours and 32 minutes
Train fare: 6,380 yen
Train time: 2 hours and 41 minutes
Kanazawa is the capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture and a very popular sightseeing location. Its major tourist attractions are Kanazawa Castle, the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Myoryuji – the “Ninja Temple”, the Higashi Chaya-gai geisha district, and Kenrokuen garden which is said to be one of Japan’s three greatest gardens. Transfers can be made here to the Tsurugi shinkansen shuttle service for Toyama, and to the Limited Express Noto Kagaribi for Wakura Onsen.
Train fare: 6,810 yen
Train time: 2 hours and 58 minutes
Below are the train times for services between Nagoya and Kanazawa. To quickly look up train times, connections, and fares for this route use the JR West Timetable and Route Finder.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.