Getting there & away
On the JR Tōhoku shinkansen line, the fastest trains from Tokyo (Ueno) reach Morioka in 2½ hours (¥13, 640). From Morioka, the Akita shinkansen line runs west to Akita (¥4300, 1½ hours) via Tazawa-ko and Kakunodate, which can also be reached by infrequent local trains on the JR Tazawa-ko line. From Morioka you can continue north to Aomori on the JR Tōhoku Main line (tokkyū, ¥5960, 1¾ hours).
The bus station at Morioka station is well organised. It has abundant English signs and a directory matching buses to their relevant stops, as well as journey times and fares. Popular destinations include Iwate-san, Towada-ko and Tazawa-ko.
Long-distance buses leave the station for Aomori (¥3160, three hours), Hirosaki (¥2930, 2½ hours) and Sendai (¥2850, 2½ hours). There are two night buses to Tokyo leaving at 10.15pm and 10.55pm (¥7850, 7½ hours) and one to Yokohama (¥8950, eight hours) leaving at 10.10pm.