I've just returned from a seishun 18 trip to Akita and back. Photos below.The way up was a way I have travelled many times; it is particularly beautiful in the winter. It's also the quickest route of the many that are available.
Seishun 18 tickets only allow travel on local trains, with a very few exceptions. Searching for the route requires unchecking options such as express trains, shinkansen, planes, sleeper trains, buses and walking! It's a long long trip - on the way up 14 hours - but it works out at only 2,500 yen (less than 30$) for the 700+ km trip in conrast with about 17,000Y for a ticket that includes shinkansen.
|The Shinkansen line and the mountains from the Tohoku main line.|
|Heading north west from Fukushima station|
|A woman selling food along the tracks|
|The line to Yonezawa|
|The end of the winter|