Travel to Kanazawa

By plane

The nearest airport serving Kanazawa is in the city of Komatsu (IATA: KMQ). JAL offers flights into Komatsu Airport from Tokyo Haneda Airport, and from Okinawa. ANA flies into Komatsu from Tokyo Haneda and Narita Airports, as well as Sapporo Chitose, Sendai and Fukuoka. Internationally, Komatsu serves Seoul (four times a week) and Shanghai (three times a week).

From Komatsu airport, buses run directly to Kanazawa (50 minutes, �1100). Or you could take a bus to Komatsu Station and a JR train from there, which is somewhat cheaper and, depending on your luck with connections, not much longer. Taxis are frequent though not cheap, and there are several rental car places in the area.

By train

Kanazawa's train station, a futuristic marvel that integrates a traditional wooden temple gate with glass and steel, is on the West Japan Railway's Hokuriku Line.

From Tokyo Station, there are two routes that can be used to reach Kanazawa. One way is to take the hourly Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari train and transfer at Maibara to the Shirasagi limited express for the run to Kanazawa. This takes approximately 4 1/4 hours, and a regular ticket for this run costs around �15000. The journey is fully covered under the Japan Rail Pass. In addition, this route allows the lucky traveller a glimpse of Mount Fuji when the clouds are kind enough not to obstruct the view.

The other route is to take a Joetsu Shinkansen train (Toki, Max Toki, Tanigawa or Max Tanigawa) to Echigo-Yuzawa (and change to the Hakutaka to get to Kanazawa. This northerly route takes four hours and a regular ticket is much cheaper at around �13000. A portion of this journey is on the non-JR Hokuetsu Railway between Echigo-Yuzawa and Naoetsu; Japan Rail Pass holders will have to pay a �1450 surcharge each way. The JR East Rail Pass will cover both the Shinkansen and the Hakutaka as far as Naoetsu; beyond that it costs �5500 to continue the journey on the