(or, technically speaking, Sandâbâdo
) is a JR limited express
train that connects the Kansai
region to the Hokuriku
region. Its southern terminus is Osaka Station
, and its northern terminus is either Toyama
, or Wakura Onsen
, depending on which train you take. Trains stop at Shin-Osaka
, and Kanazawa
along the way, following the Kyoto Line
, Kosei Line
, and Hokuriku Line
The trip from Osaka to Toyama takes just over 3 hours, and costs ¥7,980 for free seating, ¥8,490 for reserved seating, or ¥11,980 in the Green Car. Trains depart hourly from either end of the line, between roughly 7 AM and 6 PM.
The train is named after its 1960's-vintage predecessor, Raicho, whose name literally translates to "thunder bird." Raicho still runs between Osaka and Kanazawa, stopping at more stations than Thunderbird.
Thunderbird began service in 1993. The train used is a Kumoha 581 set, which resembles a scaled-down Shinkansen. It is electric, and has a top speed of 160 kph.