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Visit Northern Tohoku with local railway lines!

Visit Northern Tohoku with local railway lines!

Four railway companies in Northern Tohoku (Iwate Prefecture and Aomori Prefecture) have joined forces to promote domestic tourism to the area by creating a new promotional video and website.


The four local railway lines. (Image credit: JR East)


East Japan Railway Company (JR East) (JR東日本), Sanriku Railway (三陸鉄道), Iwate Ginga Railway (IGR) (いわて銀河鉄道) and Aoimori Railway (青い森鉄道) have collaborated to launch a campaign promoting domestic travel to the Northern Tohoku region, through riding on the region’s local railway lines and exploring the charms of the area.


After taking a bullet train to Morioka in Iwate Prefecture or Hachinohe in Aomori Prefecture, travelers are encouraged to transfer to a local railway line to further explore the region. Travelling on local railway lines has many charming points, including:

  • Enjoying passing scenery from the train windows
  • Leisurely relishing the passing of time
  • Feeling the warmth of the local community


Northern Tohoku Local Lines promotional video. (Video credit: JR East)


To showcase the charm and rusticity of the places that the railway lines pass by, a special promotional video was shot, with an upbeat version of “I’ve been working on the railroad”—penned with original Japanese lyrics—playing as the background music. The video is available online, and will also be played around various train stations from 23 September 2020.


Looking for inspiration on places to visit in Northern Tohoku? You can do so from this website, which features videos on various attractions, including interviews with from the local community. These include railway staff, ama divers, hiking guides and more.


JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area)

The new JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area) and usage area. (Image credit: JR East)


Interested in visiting Northern Tohoku? Check out the JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area), an affordable rail pass offering unlimited rail travel on JR East lines (including bullet trains) in the coverage area for 5 conscutive days. Other than JR East lines, pass also offers unlimited rides on Aomori Railway lines and IGR lines. At only ¥20,000, it costs less than a round-trip between Tokyo and Morioka (~¥30,000) or Tokyo and Hachinohe (~¥33,000). You can also make seat reservations online for free, up to 1 month in advance, here. The JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area) can be used for automatic ticket gates, and foreign passport holders living in Japan are also eligible to use this pass.


NOTE: From 1 April 2021, there have been some changes in the validity and pricing of the JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area). For more information, please check here.


Although the Sanriku Railway Rias Line is not covered by the JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area), Sanriku Railway offers a variety of 1-day and 2-day passes for use on weekends and public holidays, which you can check out here.


Although travelling to Japan remains restricted for most countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are looking forward to the day that we can visit Japan again!


Header image credit: JR East


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