My favorite stops along the Komachi takes you from Tokyo to Akita in about four hours! Starting from Tokyo, the stations are as follows: Ueno, Omiya, Sendai, Morioka, Shizukuishi, Tazawako, Kakunodate, Omagari, and the final stop is Akita. I have personally been to 9 of these stations myself. So what's good and when is the best time to ride the Komachi. I say spring, since it's that time of the year where cherry blossoms bloom. Also, there's still snow up around this area through March!
For starters, again, from Tokyo Station get a deluxe super bento box. A nice beer would be great also. Tokyo station has dozens of delicious bento places where you can buy something very unique for your journey. Ueno station offers about the same thing. Omiya station has nothing to offer, except an American pharmacy selling everything from Dove soap to Pepto-bismo. Other then that, there's nothing noteworthy about this station.
Sendai is good. In Sendai you can try beef tongue. After this station you have Morioka, the capital city of Iwate. Just the history alone would warrant a stop here. The history of the Emishi people and culture is fascinating. Next stop is Shizukuishi, which is known for its great snow. Shizukuishi Ski Area is about 15 minutes by car from Shizukuishi station. There're plentiful course variations for enjoyment by beginners to experts.
My next big favorite is Tazawako. I especially love this area because of the great camping and great onsen. I spent about a week up here.
Kiritanpo, smashed rice that’s formed into these cylinder shaped sticks then dipped in this deliciously thick shoyu paste/sauce. Awesome in a stick!
Another favorite stop along this route is Kakunodate, a castle town lined with samurai residences of the Edo period and cherry blossom trees.
Kakunodate is the kind of place many Japanese dream of coming to once in their life; at least before they die. I was impressed with the sites, sounds, and flavors of this part of Japan.
Next station is Omagari, and then the stop after is Akita. Now, here in the city you may not be too impressed. But know this, there’re some excellent little izekaya’s around here. Anywhere you eat here you can have an excellent experience. One notable sake from this region is called Taiheizan! And it’s cold brewed. There are other greats, but this one is a must.