Frequent trains on the Hokuriku shinkansen line travel between Tokyo and Kanazawa, via Toyama. The Hokuriku main line runs west from Kanazawa to Fukui and on to Kyoto and Osaka.
From Tsuruga, a busy port and rail junction 60km south of Fukui city, Shin Nihonkai Ferry Company (www.snf.jp) has daily sailings to Tomakomai, Hokkaidō (19½ hours nonstop, 30½ hours with stops, from ¥9970). Several of these stop en route at Niigata (¥5550, 12½ hours) and Akita (¥7190, 20 hours). Buses timed to ferry departures serve Tsuruga-kō port from JR Tsuruga Station (¥350, 20 minutes).