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Direct access to Akita from Tokyo, Akita Shinkansen (bullet train)


Newer E6 series (red color fleet) at Tokyo station (C) James Chuang

Newer E6 series (red color fleet) at Tokyo station (C) James Chuang

Technically Akita Shinkansen means the line between Morioka and Akita. But most of trains are operated between Tokyo and Akita via Morioka as the train name, “Komachi” (こまち). And in March, 2013, newer fleet E6 was introduced and currently run as “Super Komachi” (スーパーこまち). This newer fleet is faster than original fleet. That is a reason why it is called “Super” Koachi. But once all older fleet will be replaced by newer fleet, all trains will be called Komachi.

*All Akita Shinkansen train runs by newer series E6. Most of E3 series were retired and some were transferred to Yamagata Shinkansen.

Currently Koachi is operated with Tohoku Shikansen “Hayate” which is the second fastest train on Tohoku Shinkansen. And Super Komachi is operated with Hayabusa which is the fastest train on Tohoku Shinkansen between Tokyo and Morioka. So if you go to Akita from Tokyo, simply take Komachi or Super Komachi at Tokyo or Ueno.

*All Komachi are now operated with the fastest Tohoku Shinkansen train, “Hayabusa” between Tokyo and Morioka.

Of course both Akita and Tohoku Shinkansen are fully covered by Japan Rail Pass.


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Akita Shikanse is called Mini Shinkansen. Technically it is not a “Real” Shikansen track between Morioka and Akita. It is smaller and slower because of sharing the truck with the much slower local trains between Morioka and Akita on conventional lines. Komachi runs at maximum speed 270 km/h and Super Komachi runs at 300 km/h between Tokyo and Morioka. But both Komachi and Super Komachi run at maximum speed at 130 km/h between Morioka and Akita.

Now I show you the details about Akita Shinkansen trains.

Akita Shinkansen "Komachi"

Akita Shinkansen Komachi

Route, schedule and travel time

Akita Shinkansen takes you to Akita from Tokyo about 4 hours and 10 minutes. But the fastest Super Komachi runs between Tokyo and Akita in 3 hours and 50 minutes. There are 16 round trips and it departs mostly every hour.


View Akita “Mini” Shinkansen in a larger map

Stations

The stations are same as Tohoku Shinkanse between Tokyo and Morioka. Please refer to Tohoku Shikansen.

Station Komachi
Morioka (盛岡) x
Shizukuishi (雫石) *
Tazawako (田沢湖) *
Kakunodate (角館) *
Ōmagari (大曲) x
Akita (秋田) x

x:All trains stop *:some trains stop

Accommodation

As I mentioned above, there are two types of fleet on Akita Shinkansen.

Original series E3 gives you 2+2 seat configuration for both Green and Ordinary. The seat pitch in Green seat is 1160mm. Complimentary drink and a moist paper hand towel are served by Green car attendant. The seat pitch in Ordinary seat is 910mm or 980mm. Now there is no Non Reserved seat on Komachi. But it used to have it. Non reserved seat had 910mm seat pitch and Reserved seat had 980mm seat pitch. Komachi still had two types of seat pitch for Reserved seats. Usually car#15 and 16 have 910mm seat pitch. When you book your ticket, try to take your seat on car#12, 13 or 14.

*E3 series was retired from Akita Shinkansen in March, 2014.

Newer E6 series gives you same seat configuration 2+2 as E3 series for both Green and ordinary. Seat pitch of Green is 1160mm and ordinary is 980mm.

Train formation

Super Komachi

11 12 13 14 15 16 17
G R R R R R R

*G=Green seat R=Reserved seat

Car numbers are starting from 11 because Komachi and Super Komachi are operated with 10 cars formation, Hayate or Hayabusa between Morioka and Tokyo.

Images

E3 series (Komachi)

*This fleet was retired in March, 2014. But I just want to leave these images just in case.

*Sonic Rail Garden has copyright for all images below.

Green seat (Seat pitch 1160mm/Seat configuration 2+2)
Akita Shinkansen E3 series Green seat Akita Shinkansen E3 series Green seat Akita Shinkansen E3 series Green seat Akita Shinkansen E3 series Green seat Akita Shinkansen E3 series Green seat Akita Shinkansen E3 series Green seat Akita Shinkansen E3 series Green seat

Ordinary seat (Seat pitch 980mm/Seat configuration 2+2.)
Akita Shinkansen E3 series Ordinary seat Akita Shinkansen E3 series Ordinary seat Akita Shinkansen E3 series Ordinary seat Akita Shinkansen E3 series Ordinary seat Akita Shinkansen E3 series Ordinary seat Akita Shinkansen E3 series Ordinary seat Akita Shinkansen E3 series Ordinary seat

Sanitary space
Akita Shinkansen E3 series sanitary space Akita Shinkansen E3 series sanitary space Akita Shinkansen E3 series sanitary space Akita Shinkansen E3 series sanitary space Akita Shinkansen E3 series sanitary space

Other facilities
step between train and platform, public phone, vending machine and luggage space.
Akita Shinkansen E3 series other facilites Akita Shinkansen E3 series other facilites Akita Shinkansen E3 series other facilites Akita Shinkansen E3 series other facilites

E6 series (Super Komachi)

Only this fleet is used for Komachi now.

Green and Ordinay
68500_10151630803484924_130755489_n 563248_10151630802254924_1619263299_n

All Green seats have power outlet. In ordinary car, the front row, the last row and window side seats have power outlet.


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7 Comments to “Direct access to Akita from Tokyo, Akita Shinkansen (bullet train)”

  1. Ime says:

    Hi. My husband and I will visit Japan for the first time last week of april. From the Philippines we will arrive in Tokyo (Narita Airport) around 8pm. We will go to Akita. From the airport, what is the safest and most convenient way to take the bullet train to Akita?

    Thanks!

  2. Simon says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    After some reading, my understanding is from Tokyo to Akita,
    the Hayate train (10 coaches) & Komachi (6 coaches) will join together and run on the
    Tokyo to Morioka – Tohoku Line.Then will split up in Morioka and the 6 coaches Komachi will run to Akita and the 10 coaches Hayate will run to Shin-Aomori. Am I right?

    Thanks

    • JPRail says:

      That’s right, Simon.
      If you go to Akita, you can take Komachi from Tokyo. You don’t need to change the train at Morioka.
      Cheers,
      Takeshi / JP Rail

  3. Simon says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    Looking at the Hyperdia and reading your article, a bit confused, do we need to change train in Morioka if we ride the Komachi train from Tokyo to Akita?

    Thanks

  4. Richard says:

    This is one of the most scenic shinkansen routes since the line winds through the mountains and there are not endless long tunnels like some of the shinkansen lines through the mountains.
    The green class cabin is a bit cramped though since the train is narrower than a normal shinkansen.
    One tip if travelling all the way from Tokyo-Morioka-Akita is to buy two tickets. Travel Tokyo-Morioka in the Hayate part of the train and then switch from Hayate – Komachi at Morioka. Then you will have normal wide green class seats for the Tokyo-Morioka part of the trip. You have to be quite quick to change coaches though (although the green class in Komachi is at the end coupled to the Hayate train). Northbound there is a minute or so to change coaches, southbound perhaps 30 seconds!
    The ticket reservations staff might need some convincing of this plan though, they will want to make your trip “easier” with one ticket that doesn’t need a change of seat. After a while I said that Hayate is a “nicer” train and they smiled knowingly.

    • JPRail says:

      Hi Richard,
      Thank you for leaving several comments on Shikansen’s posts. You seem to have a lot of experience in travelling Japan. I always welcome to share your experience with other readers here!
      Takeshi / JP Rail

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