How to go from Akita to Niigata?
With a Japan Rail Pass
The route from Akita to Niigata offers great views with a Japan Rail Pass : as the train enters Yamagata Prefecture, mountains give way to the coast.
Facing Sado Island, Niigata is often called the ‘City of Water’ because of the two rivers owing through it, its position next to the Japan Sea, its many wetlands, and the canals that used to run through the old town. Skirting the coast, the route from Niigata to Akita with the Limited Express Inaho has the same theme.
Travel along the coast
0 KM - Akita Station
68 KM - 0H54 - Kisakata Station
From Kisakata and for 40 km, you will have beautiful views to the left of the mountains in Chokai National Park. One of them is Mt. Chokai (2,236 m), a semi-dormant volcano known as the Mt. Fuji of Akita. As the train enters Yamagata Prefecture, mountains give way to the coast, with views out to sea on the right.
105 KM - 1H26 - Sakata Station
A large port town located at the mouth of the Mogami-gawa River.
117 KM - 1H37 - Amarume Station
Amarume Station is a stop on the Uetsu Line and also the terminus for the Riku Saisen Line running east to Shinjo. If you want to go back to Tokyo, change here for a local train to Shinjo (50 min), from where you can pick up the Shinkansen which runs via Yamagata south to the capital.
132 KM - 1H47 - Tsuruoka Station
The nearest station to the Dewa-Sanzan mountain chain (Three Mountains of Dewa), of which the most famous peak is Mt. Haguro (414 m), considered to be home to the kami, the spirits honored in the Japanese indigenous religion, Shinto. If you wish to undertake a spiritual cleansing, follow the crowd of pilgrims and hop on one of the buses that take 45 minutes from Tsuruoka station to Mt. Haguro.
162 KM - 2H07 - Atsumi-Onsen Station
In between mountains and the coast, Atsumi served as a border checkpoint for travelers more than 1,000 years ago. Nowadays, the town is a hot spring resort.
212 KM - 2H48 - Murakami Station
The railway line runs along the coast as far as Murakami. Unfortunately, the many tunnels prevent passengers from enjoying the landscape.
273 KM - 3hH35 - Niigata Station
What to see?
The Kanto Matsuri
The city is best known for hosting the Kanto Matsuri, a large festival in early August (3-6). The highlight of the festival is an impressive display of skill in which performers balance the kanto (long bamboo sticks) with rows of paper lanterns. The main events of the festival, the Night Parades, take place every evening along the Chuo-dori in the centre of the city. The various groups, carrying around 250 kanto poles, line up in the street, and when a signal is given, the poles are all raised at the same time. Chuo-dori is about a 15-minute walk west of Akita Station.
Where to stay?
Hotel Metropolitan Akita
One minute walk from Akita Station. The closest hotel to the station. Special discount for Japan Rail Pass holders.
7-2-1 Naka-dori, Akita, 010-8530
Richmond Hotel Akita-Eki Mae 前
Only a 5-minute walk from Akita Station, the hotel is convenient, well-equipped and clean with high quality service.
2-2-26 Naka-dori, Akita, 010-0001
Hotel Yuze 湯瀬 ホテル
A unique spa destination in the beautiful Yuze Valley, not far from the best sights in the area. Guests can relax in the hot springs and enjoy traditional Japanese cuisine at the restaurant. The rooms are well appointed and the staff are friendly and helpful.
43 Yuze Yutan Hachimantai, Kazuno, Akita, 018-5141
Where to eat?
Akita's famous inaniwa udon near the station. From the west exit of Akita Station, head west on the main road, Akita Chuo Road. It is located on the left in the basement of the Akita View Hotel.
Open daily from 11am to 9pm
Akita Nagaya Sakaba
Local cuisine served in an elegant and traditional setting. From the west exit of the station, turn left and follow the road as it bends to the right. At the traffic lights, turn left, then 1st right. The restaurant is on the next corner on the right.
Open every day from 5pm to midnight.