How to travel between Hachimantai and Tokyo
Tokyo and Tazawako Station are connected by hourly Komachi trains along the JR Akita Shinkansen. The one way trip takes just under three hours, costs about 16,000 yen and is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass, JR East Tohoku Area Pass and JR East South Hokkaido Pass. Seat reservations are mandatory for the Akita Shinkansen.
Ugo Kotsu operates one overnight bus per day between Tokyo (Hamamatsucho) and Tazawako Station. The one way journey takes about 10.5 hours and costs 9,110 yen one way or 16,340 round trip. Passengers can also board or disembark the bus at Yokohama or Kakunodate.
The discount bus operator Willer Express operates an overnight bus between Tokyo and Morioka. Discount one way fares start around 5000 yen. And if used effectively, the Japan Bus Pass can reduce the cost for the bus trip to around 3000 yen. Online reservations can be made through Willer.
Above fees and schedules are subject to change. For the current yen exchange rate, click here.
Tazawako Station on the Akita Shinkansen in the south, Morioka Station on the Tohoku Shinkansen in the east and Kazuno-Hanawa Station on the JR Hanawa Line in the north are the main entry points into the Hachimantai area. A bus network, operated by Ugo Kotsu, Shuhoku Bus and Iwate Kenpoku, connects these three stations with the various sights in the area.
Because bus service is infrequent on some of the routes, a rental car is the most convenient way to travel around Hachimantai. Rental car outlets can be found at Morioka and Tazawako Stations and many other major railway stations, cities and airports in the northern Tohoku Region.
Note that traveling in the area during winter differs greatly from traveling during the rest of the year. From late November to mid April some of the roads in the mountainous interior are closed to traffic, making some sites impossible to access or only accessible from a certain direction (see map above).