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).

All Komachi trains are coupled with the fastest Tohoku Shinkansen train, “Hayabusa” between Tokyo and Morioka. Those trains are uncoupled at Morioka. Of course both Akita and Tohoku Shinkansen are fully covered by Japan Rail Pass and JR East Pass.

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 300 km/h between Tokyo and Morioka. But Komachi run at maximum speed 130 km/h between Morioka and Akita.

Now I show you the details about Akita Shinkansen trains.

Route, schedule and travel time

>Komachi runs between Tokyo and Akita in 3 hours and 50 minutes. There are mostly 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.

StationKomachi
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

All Akita Shinkansen trains, “Komachi” are operated by new fleet E6 series. It gives you 2+2 seat layout in both Green and ordinary. Seat pitch of Green is 1160mm and ordinary is 980mm.

Train formation

Komachi

11121314151617
GRRRRRR

*G=Green seat R=Reserved seat

Car numbers are starting from 11 because Komachi is coupled with 10 cars formation, Hayabusa between Morioka and Tokyo.

Images

E6 series (Komachi)

*Sonic Rail Garden has copyright for all images below.

Green seat (Seat pitch 1160 mm/Seat configuration 2+2)
E6-green-001 E6-green-012 E6-green-009 E6-green-008 E6-green-007 E6-green-006 E6-green-005 E6-green-003 E6-green-002

Ordinary seat (Seat pitch 980mm/Seat configuration 2+2.)
E6-economy-001 E6-economy-002 E6-economy-004 E6-economy-005 E6-economy-006 E6-economy-007 E6-economy-008 E6-economy-010

Sanitary space
E6-deck-008 E6-deck-018 E6-deck-017 E6-deck-015 E6-deck-013 E6-deck-012 E6-deck-011 E6-deck-010 E6-deck-009

Other facilities
E6-deck-004 E6-deck-020

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

43 thoughts on “Direct access to Akita from Tokyo, Akita Shinkansen (bullet train)”

  1. Hi,Takeshi
    I will stay in the Tohoku region by JR-East Tohoku Rail-Pass.
    I would like to know that.
    1) Does the Reserve-Ordinary Seats of Komachi wider compare to Hayabusa (I will ride between Ueno-Sendai)?
    2) Can I adjust the seats facing to opposite direction,it looks that the train change direction at Ōmagari?
    Thank you very much

    Regards,
    Niko

    1. Hi Gie,

      Take Akita Shinkansen in the post above. You can find the timetable in the link below:
      http://www.eki-net.com/pc/jreast-shinkansen-reservation/english/wb/common/timetable/index.html

      If you need a ticket, please purchase JR East Pass Tohoku. It’s cheaper than regular fare:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/jr-east-pass-tohoku-flex-5-days-pass-in-14-days-period-to-cover-tokyo-surrounding-area-of-tokyo-and-tohoku-region.html

      If you have JR pass, you can use it.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hello, my wife and I are traveling to Tokyo on October 30th. We will stay in shinjuku for four days before heading to Akita.

    From what I understand, a JR East tokohu pass will be our best choice since we also plan to visit Nikko from Tokyo.

    Can you advise me how and which line to take from Shinjuku? Do we transfer at Morioka and take the Akita Shinkansen to Akita?

    Thanks

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        Thank you for your prompt response. It is good to know that there is a direct line from Tokyo to Akita. We will stay close to Shinjuku West exits, is there a direct line travel from Shinjuku to Akita? or we have to take a train from Shinjuku to Tokyo station and transfer to the Akita Shinkansen? My concern is we will be hauling a couple of luggage and how do we minimize the transfer?

        Thank you

        William

  3. Dear Takeshi,

    Can I get your kind advice for my next trip to Japan in September please.

    I’ve purchased the JR Nationwide pass and will arrive in Tokyo at about 3.30pm,8th Sept. My plan is to visit Akita, Aomori and Hakodate. In terms of travelling conveniences via shinkansen, should I head directly to Hakodate first then move down towards Aomori, Akita and back to Tokyo or Tokyo- Akita- Aomori-Hakodate-Tokyo?

    Appreciate your expertise and advice.

    Cheers,
    Hui

    1. Hi Hui,

      Actually it’s not much different between these two trip plan. You can take either way.
      If you move on arrival day and must choose the place, Aomori may be the first destination. Because the trip time is the shortest. If I must choose, I do Aomori-Hakodate-Akita.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Dear Takeshi,

        Thanks a lot for the suggestion! I Truly appreciate it.

        From Hakodate, is there a direct train to Akita or do I have to change at Morioka?

        And at Tokyo, do I take the shinkansen to Aomori from Tokyo Station or Ueno Station via my JR Pass?

        Many thanks,
        Hui

  4. Hi Takashi,

    Thanks a lot for your help.I did not think to CLICK on the ‘*’ symbol!

    Clicking the ‘*’ symbol pops up a calendar showing train schedules. All is good now. (The calendar only shows schedules up to June. Guess will have to wait to plan for September).

    Regards,
    Yee Soon

  5. Hi Takeshi,

    This forum has been of great help in my first trip to Japan in 2016. I am planning a second trip in late September focusing on the Tohoku region.

    I am confused about the Tokyo to Akita timetables. Do the Komachi trains run every hour or so? (You mentioned above that Komachi departs from Tokyo mostly every hour).

    According to Hyperdia there are only 3 Komachi trains on 19th September. The JR East timetables also show that only 3 Komachi trains run all the time. The rest only at peak travel season.

    Need your help to clarify… if it really is correct that hourly departures are only at peak travel seasons, then that’s going to make our travel schedules longer.

    Regards,
    Yee Soon

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        I did check the timetables before posting, which is why I am confused.

        For Tokyo to Akita, under the header ‘Operation Date’ there is the symbol ‘*’ which according to the notes reads… * – Operated only in peak travel seasons or an specified days…

        For example, Tokyo to Akita, Komachi 3, there is no symbol which means this train service operates every day. For Komachi 49, there is the ‘*’ symbol, which I guess means this train service does not run all the time.

        Checking Hyperdia, this seems to be correlate. Only Komachi 3, 7 and 39 are listed in the Tokyo – Akita station timetable.

        However, if using the Japan Transit Planner (world.jorudan.co.jp) then it follows what you say, there are Komachi departures every hour from Tokyo to Akita.

        This is confusing 🙂

        Help,
        Yee Soon

        1. Hi Yee Soon,

          Hyperdia does not show the correct timetable sometimes. Especially in this period, JR just made annual timetable revisement. The database of hyperdia may not have this updated timetable. If you search in April or May, you will get more info.

          In JR timetable, as you mentioned, the train with * do not run everyday. But some trains run almost everyday. You can find the calendar to click this ‘*’. For example, Komachi 1 seems to be seasonal operation but it runs everyday. If you look page 2 to 8, most of trains have ‘*’, but most of these run everyday.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

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