Hokuriku Shinkansen - Gran Class is fabulous even for Japanese!
What is "Gran Class"?
Gran Class is only on Tohoku Shinkansen and Hokuriku Shinkansen. Each train has only 18 seats of Gran Class.
Let me put it this way.
Normal Reserved Seat - Coach Class
Green Car - Business Class
Gran Class - First Class
As mentioned, there are only limited number of seats of this class on each train, it is very tough and mostly depends on your luck to get the ticket (true!).
I did on internet and luckily was able take three seats (mother, sister, and me) for both ways, but it was pure luck.
You may be able to find useful information here.
Not much to add here. Just take a few photos above. There are lots more detailed photo, but can't post due to the limited space :-)
Kanazawa - the capitol of urushi, maki-e, and called "small Kyoto".
First you arrive at the station and you will be surprised at the "gate" in front of the station. I thought it was made at the time of the Hokuriku Shinkansen opening (March 14, this year), but it was actually made a few years ago. Very impressive.
And the urushi dishes, plates, with maki-e are everywhere. Not cheap, but I would really love to collect those for our daily use dishes (no dishwasher, mind you).
There are lots of places to see, and foods to eat in Kanazawa. Highly recommended, whether you can get Gran Class tickets or not!