How to travel between Kanazawa and Tokyo
Tokyo and Kanazawa are directly connected with each other by the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen. The one way ride takes 2.5 to 3 hours, costs around 14,000 yen and is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass and Hokuriku Arch Pass. Note that the latter will pay off for a round trip between Tokyo and Kanazawa.
The one way trip between Tokyo and Kanazawa by highway bus takes about 7-8 hours and costs around 6000 to 8000 yen depending on the bus and date of travel. There are daytime and overnight buses. Discount bus operators, such as Willer Express, offer one way fares from around 4500 yen. If used effectively, the Japan Bus Pass can reduce the cost for the bus trip to around 3000 yen. Online reservations can be made through Willer and Japan Bus Online.
Kanazawa's airport is located in the city of Komatsu, a 40 minute bus ride (1130 yen) from central Kanazawa. JAL and ANA operate several flights per day between Tokyo's Haneda Airport and Komatsu Airport. Flight time is one hour. The regular one way fare from Tokyo to Kanazawa is about 25,000 yen, however, discount tickets for around 10,000 to 13,500 yen are usually available.
Above fees and schedules are subject to change. For the current yen exchange rate, click here.
Kanazawa's city center is defined by Kanazawa Castle Park. All of the city's main attractions are located within a two kilometer radius of the castle park, making it possible for good walkers to explore most of the city on foot. Buses and taxis are also readily available.
Kanazawa Station is not located centrally, about two kilometers or a ten minute bus ride northwest of the city center. A dense network of buses, operated by the local Hokutetsu train and bus company, connects the station with the city center and all of Kanazawa's main tourist attractions. Regular city buses cost a flat fare of 200 yen per ride in central Kanazawa.
A useful bus line for tourists is the Kanazawa Loop Bus, which connects Kanazawa Station with most sights of interests. Buses travel the loop every 15 minutes in both directions and cost 200 yen per ride. Another useful tourist-oriented bus line is the Kenrokuen Shuttle Bus, which departs Kanazawa Station every 20 minutes bound for Kenrokuen. The shuttle bus costs 100 yen per ride on weekends and national holidays or 200 yen per ride on weekdays.
A 1-day bus pass for 500 yen allows for unlimited use of the above mentioned tourist buses as well as regular Hokutetsu buses in central Kanazawa. In addition, the day pass also provides discounted admission to several designated local tourist attractions.
Last but not least there is also a JR bus line that connects Kanazawa Station via Korinbo with Kenrokuen and is covered by the Japan Rail Pass, JR Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass and JR Hokuriku Area Pass. There are 1-3 connections per hour, and the one way ride takes about 12 minutes and costs 200 yen without the rail pass. The JR bus is not covered by the above mentioned 1-day bus pass.