The East Japan Railway Company presents the Akita Shinkansen, a state-of-the-art Japanese high-speed train commonly referred to as a bullet train. The JR East-operated line was first introduced in 1997, and provides a link between the national capital of Tokyo and Akita, capital of Japan’s Akita Prefecture (the only exception is between Tokyo and Morioka, which is served by the Tohoku Shinkansen). The Akita differs from most other Shinkansens in that runs on standard railway tracks. As such, the train is often nicknamed the “mini-shinkansen”.
Presently, the only Akita Shinkansen operating along the Tokyo to Akita passage is the E6 Series train, which can reach a top speed of 130kms per hour. The chassis of each car features an active suspension mechanism, allowing the car to tilt up to 1.5 degrees for higher travel efficiency. Most Akita trains offer two passenger seating classes: the “Ordinary Car” (basically a standard class coach) and the “Green Car” (similar to first or business class).
The distance from Tokyo to Akita is about 670 kilometres and the average travel time by Akita, 3 hours and 50 minutes. En route, the train makes a brief stop in such cities as Daisen, Morioka and Sendai.
Purchase a JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area) e-ticket to travel aboard an Akita Shinkansen train. With this convenient, all-encompassing pass, you can enjoy limitless travel possibilities between Tokyo and the northeastern part of Japan’s main island. The JR EAST PASS also includes travel by Joetsu, Hokuriku, Tohoku and Yamagata Shinkansen. Passes can be used for 5 flexible travel days over a 14-day period.
Get your pass to exceptional value and flexibility as your plan your journey through Japan’s fascinating Tohoku region!
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 are permitted at no extra cost but must be folded or disassembled and packed inside carrying cases.
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.
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.
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!