Where is Ichinoseki?
Ichinoseki neighbors world-heritage site Hiraizumi, and is an inland hub for destinations on the east coast.
Ichinoseki is located in southern Iwate and borders Miyagi and Akita Prefecture. Situated at the heart of Tohoku (North-Eastern Japan), it connects larger cities of Tohoku such as Sendai and Morioka which can be traveled to in less than 30 minutes by bullet train, and is also only two hours north of Tokyo.
Access (Public Transport to Larger Cities)
Distance to major cities
Tokyo to Ichinoseki: 380kms (closer than Osaka to Tokyo)
Sendai to Ichinoseki: 77kms
Morioka to Ichinoseki: 85kms
Hakodate to Ichinoseki: 371kms
Shinkansen train times ↓
*For those not travelling with a JR Pass, the shinkansen can be a little pricey. Those who want to do a round trip from Ichinoseki to Sendai or Ichinoseki to Morioka there are discounted tickets called 'Shinkansen W (double)' 新幹線Ｗ（ダブル） - you can catch any shinkansen to Sendai/Morioka ↔ Ichinoseki and sit in the green car section (when the shinkansen are RESERVED ONLY, you are allowed to sit anywhere on the train if there is an open seat - you must move if the person who reserved the seat boards). Tickets cost 6,180 (Sendai) 6,380円 (Morioka).
Local train access
A cheaper option is the local train. The best way to check for these times again is a travel app like HyperDia
Local train lines that go to and from Ichinoseki are the JR Tohoku Main Line which can take you to Hiraizumi, Morioka to the North, and Sendai in the South, and the Ofunato Line can get you to major tourist destination Geibikei through to Kesennuma - if you are lucky, you might be able to catch the Pokemon train!
*TIP: Some stations on the Ofunato like are unmanned. Getting off the train can be a little tricky too. If the button to open the train door doesn't open, go to the front carriage.
ICHINOSEKI to ~ Train line Approx. Travel time
SENDAI JR Tohoku Main Line (Honsen) 1hr 38 ~ 1hr 47mins
MORIOKA JR Tohoku Main Line (Honsen) 1hr 28mins ~ 1hr 33mins
The bus is also a convenient option from Ichinoseki to Sendai and the cheapest option to get to Tokyo. Sadly, there is limited information about buses in English. If you need information, head over to the Tourist Information Center in front of the West Exit of Ichinoseki Station.
*TIP: If you are looking for Ichinoseki in Kanji - there are two ways to write it. The main one is 一関 but when referring to Ichinoseki Station, it's written 一ノ関.
ICHINOSEKI （一ノ関 ） to ～
SENDAI (仙台）: One way 1500yen, round trip 2700yen. Travel time: 1hr 30mins
Buses run every 30mins-1hr interval from 6:30am to 7pm
HigashiNippon bus times: http://www.higashinippon.co.jp/highway/ichinoseki.html
TOKYO（東京）：Prices range from 3000yen to 10000yen depending on specials, bus company or type and demand. It is about a 6-7hr bus ride.