Akita Shinkansen Train

Akita Shinkansen Train

The Akita Shinkansen is a line of Japanese high-speed trains, commonly-known as bullet trains, run by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East). Opened in 1997, the line connects the capital city of Tokyo with Akita, the capital of Akita Prefecture (though the section between Tokyo and Morioka is handled by the Tohoku Shinkansen service). The Akita is often called "mini-shinkansen" because unlike most Shinkansen trains, it operates on conventional railway tracks.

The average travel time for the 670 km-long Tokyo to Akita route is 3 hours and 50 minutes. City stops along the way include Sendai, Morioka, Semboku and Daisen.

The E6 Series is the only Akita Shinkansen train currently serving the Tokyo to Akita route, with a maximum travel speed of 130 km/h. Each car is equipped with an active suspension system that allows for up to a 1.5 degree tilt. Two different seating classes are offered on most trains: “Ordinary Car” (essentially Standard Class) and “Green Car” (comparable to First or Business Class).

Travel by Akita Shinkansen train by purchasing a JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area) e-ticket. This pass provides unlimited travel between Tokyo and the northeast region of the main island, and includes travel aboard the Tohoku, Joetsu, Hokuriku and Yamagata Shinkansen trains. Passes are valid for 5 flexible travel days within a 14-day period.

The JR EAST PASS represents great value and flexibility for your travels throughout Japan’s Tohoku area!

Why choose travel on Akita Shinkansen trains?

  • Akita Shinkansen trains are efficient and powerful, providing a reliable and comfortable high-speed commute from city to city along the Tokyo to Akita route.
  • An established record of reliable railway travel at speeds of up to 130 km/h.
  • Frequent and punctual daily departures.
  • Your JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area) can save you money while offering travel flexibility not only on the Akita, but 4 other Shinkansen Super Express Line trains as well.

Types of Akita Shinkansen trains

  • E6 Series
    • first introduced: 2013
    • maximum operating speed: 130km/h
    • layout: 7-car trains
    • seating capacity: 338 total

Train services and amenities

  • Spacious, comfortable seats capable of swiveling 180 degrees
  • 3x2 row seat layout in Ordinary Class; 2x2 row seat layout in Green Car Class
  • Signs and announcements in multiple languages
  • Catering services onboard including food carts with snacks, drinks and meals plus vending machines
  • Multiple-toilet washroom facilities
  • Most trains are non-smoking

Route itinerary

From: Tokyo to Akita
Train stations: Tokyo and Akita
Popular stops: Sendai, Morioka, Semboku, Daisen
Estimated travel time: 3h50
Travel included with a: JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area)

Luggage

Passengers are allowed two pieces of luggage, up to a maximum weight of 60 kg and having total dimensions measuring no more than 250 cm (based on height, length and width). Delivery services are available.

Bicycles

Bicycles are permitted at no extra cost but must be folded or disassembled and packed inside carrying cases.

Animals

Small pets including dogs, cats and birds are allowed onboard. However, they must travel in a cage or similar container no bigger than 90 cm (based on height and length) and must weigh less than 10 kg.

Accessibility

Passengers in wheelchairs have access to special seating on the train but must make a request at the station they are boarding from 2 days in advance. Wheelchairs must conform to maximum size requirements and those with steering wheels are generally not allowed. Elevators and escalators at stations are wheelchair-friendly. Strollers can be carried onboard at no extra charge, as long as they are folded and placed either in front of the seat or in the designated luggage compartment.

Rail passes for travel on Akita Shinkansen trains in Japan

JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area)

Some top attractions along the Akita Shinkansen train route

Tokyo Disneyland (Tokyo)
Occupying 115 acres of land, Tokyo Disneyland is a popular city theme park modeled after the famous Disneyland and Magic Kingdom parks in the United States. Opened in 1983, the site boasts a number of attractions, including such family favorites as Adventureland, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Toontown and Tomorrowland.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (Tokyo)
A cherished city landmark, Shinjuku Gyoen is actually a 144-acre park adorned by a striking display of cherry blossom trees. Come escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and take a long, peaceful stroll around the vast green lawns within the park.

Akita Omoriyama Zoo (Akita)
Visitors to Akita will love a tour of the open-air Omoriyama Zoo. Open since 1967, the zoo is spread over 37 acres and is home to 114 different animal species, including elephants, giraffes, pink flamingos and penguins just to name a few. It’s a fun way to spend the day for children and adults alike.

Port Tower Selion (Akita)
Japanese tourists are consistently flocking to this notable landmark because of its stunning 360-degree panoramic view of the sunset. Standing more than 100m above ground level, the Port Tower Selion offers free admission to all of its guests.

Aoba Castle (Sendai)
The Aoba Castle was built in 1601 and served as both home and headquarters for the powerful lord Date Masamune of Sendai Domain. In 2003, the castle was registered as a national historic monument. An on-site museum honoring its history is open to visitors.

Rock-Breaking Cherry Tree (Morioka)
As the name suggests, the Rock-Breaking Cherry Tree is a cherry tree nearly 4 centuries old that has grown out of the crack of a large granite boulder in front of the Morioka Courthouse. This rare natural display is a national Japanese treasure and tourist favorite!

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