Buses take over where trains do not run, and they usually depart from and return to JR train stations. From Morioka to Hirosaki, highway buses are more convenient (and twice as fast) for getting to Akita than trains. From Tsuruoka to Yamagata, it's the same story (but it's a private bus line, not JR, and one of the terminals is in a shopping mall). Note: Overhead space is so severely limited that nothing bigger than a briefcase or handbag will fit. Store your bigger bags below.