Intercity transfer between Niigata and Akita, Limited Express Inaho

E653 series was transferred from Joban line's limited express Hitachi. And it was fully renovated and it looks a brand new fleet. (C) James Chuang
E653 series was transferred from Joban line’s limited express Hitachi. And it was fully renovated and it looks a brand new fleet. (C) James Chuang

Inaho is an inter-city train that connects Niigata with several cities in Shonai area (庄内地方) where is located between Niigata and Akita, such as Murakami (村上) and Tsuruoka (鶴岡) and Akita (秋田). You can transfer from Joetsu Shinkansen at Niigata and Akita Shinkansen at Akita. If you go to Akita from Tokyo, take Tohoku and Akita Shinkansen. This route is way faster than Joetsu Shinansen and Inaho. If you go to several cities in Shonai area (庄内地方) where is located between Niigata and Akita, such as Murakami (村上) and Tsuruoka (鶴岡) , Joetsu Shinkansen and Inaho route is faster than Tohoku, Akita Shinaknsen and Inaho from Akita route. Of course Japan Rail Pass cover both Akita route and Niigata route. There is no restriction with using Japan Rail Pass.

Route and Schedule

Inaho is operated 4 round trips between Niigata (新潟) and Sakata (酒田), 3 round trips between Niigata and Akita. In peak season, usually a few more trips are operated. This limited express train connects Niigata with Sakata in 2 hours and 15 minutes, Niigata with Akita in 3 hours and 40 minutes.


View Limited Express Inaho in a larger map

Stations
Niigata (新潟) x
Toyosaka (豊栄) x
Shibata (新発田) x
Nakajo (中条) x
Sakamachi (坂町) x
Murakami (村上) x
Fuya (府屋) x
Atsumi-Onsen(あつみ温泉) x
Tsuruoka (鶴岡) x
Amarume (余目) x
Sakata (酒田) x
Yuza (遊佐) x
Sakikata (象潟) x
Nikaho (仁賀保) x
Ugo-Honjo (羽後本荘) x
Akita (秋田) x

x=all trains stop

Limited Express Inaho operated by redecoreted 485 series
Limited Express Inaho operated by redecoreted 485 series

Accommodation

Inaho is operated by JR East refurbished E653 series and 485 series. But all scheduled services will be operated by E653 on July 12. 485 series will be used for seasonal operation only.

E653 is newer and it was fully renovated before it was introduced to Inaho. Especially Green car has 2+1 seat layout and very spacious. The seat pitch is 1820mm. This seat gives you the biggest leg space in all limited express trains of JR. But Ordinary class is nothing special. The seat pitch is 910mm and seat configuration is 2+2.

485 series is one of the oldest fleets in JR trains. The seat configuration in Green seat is 2+2. The seat pitch is 1160mm. Ordinary seat has same seat configuration. The seat pitch is 910mm.

Train formation of E653 series

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
G R R R NR NR NR

G=Green seat R=Reserved ordinary seat NR=Non-Reserved ordinary seat

E653 series images

Green seat E653 fully renovated Green seat Green car has small lounge space

Ordinary seat 1024px-JREaste-SeriesE653Gripplusseat -  L,t,d,express 1280px-JR_East_E653_inside -  TC411-507 Seat_of_JR_E653 - Lover of Romance

Photo credit
Green seat – James Chuang (JPRail.com reader)
Ordinary seat – JR East E653 inside / TC411-507, Seat of JR E653 / Lover of Romance, JREaste-SeriesE653Gripplusseat / L,t,d,express

Train formation of 485 series

1 2 3 4 5 6
G/R R R NR NR NR

G=Green seat R=Reserved ordinary seat NR=Non-Reserved ordinary seat

485 series images

Green seat
Ltd Exp Inaho Ltd Exp Inaho Ltd Exp Inaho Ltd Exp Inaho

Ordinary seat (no difference between reserved and non-reserved)
Ltd Exp Inaho Ltd Exp Inaho Ltd Exp Inaho Ltd Exp Inaho

Sanitary space
Ltd Exp Inaho Ltd Exp Inaho Ltd Exp Inaho Ltd Exp Inaho

Reservation

You cannot reserve the seat online. So you need to go to the ticket reservation window (=Midori-no-madoguchi=みどりの窓口).

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