|Length||229.2 km (142.4 mi)|
| National Route 7|
|South end||Kitakami Junction in Kitakami, Iwate|
|North end||Kosaka Junction in Kosaka, Akita|
|Major cities||Yokote, Daisen, Akita, Noshiro, Ōdate|
|National highways of Japan|
Expressways of Japan
The Akita Expressway (秋田自動車道, Akita Jidōsha-dō) is a national expressway in the Tōhoku region of Japan. The 229.2-kilometer-long (142.4 mi) expressway begins at an interchange with the Tōhoku Expressway in Kitakami, Iwate from where it proceeds northwest towards the capital of Akita Prefecture, Akita. From there, it travels northeast back to another interchange along the Tōhoku Expressway in the town of Kosaka. It is jointly owned and operated by East Nippon Expressway Company and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT). The Akita Expressway is numbered E7 between Kosaka and Kitakami Junctions and E46 between Kitakami and Kawabe Junctions under the MLIT's "2016 Proposal for Realization of Expressway Numbering."
The expressway begins at a junction with the Tōhoku Expressway in Iwate Prefecture and crosses into Akita Prefecture to the west. The route intersects the Yuzawa-Yokote Road in Yokote and the Nihonkai-Tōhoku Expressway in the Akita city area. From this junction, the route follows a northerly course parallel to the Sea of Japan to National Route 7 in Noshiro where the expressway meets a gap in its routing. The expressway resumes its course, heading northeast towards the Tōhoku Expressway near Odate–Noshiro Airport in Kitaakita. The Akita Expressway ends at a junction with the Tōhoku Expressway in the town of Kosaka.
The sections between Hachiryū and Futatsui-Shirakami interchanges and Kanisawa Interchange and Kosaka Junction are toll-free; all other sections assess tolls based on distance traveled in the same manner as most other national expressways.
The expressway was the first highway of its kind to employ a snow-melting system that stores heat in the expressway's embankments during the summer. The system is in place in Daisen outside of the Kyowa Tunnel. The heat is then released during heavy snowfall events to clear snow off the expressway.
The entire route is signed as the Akita Expressway for consistency purposes, however two separate sections of the route are officially designated as the Akita Sotokanjō Expressway and Kotooka Noshiro Road (both bypasses of National Route 7). These sections are not classified as national expressways but rather as national highways for motor vehicles only with national expressway concurrency (高速自動車国道に並行する一般国道自動車専用道路, Kōsoku Jidōsha Kokudō ni Heikōsuru Ippan Kokudō Jidōsha Senyō Dōro).
- Kitakami JCT - Akita-kita IC : Tōhoku Ōdan Expressway Kamaishi Akita Route
- Akita-kita IC - Shōwa-Ogahantō IC : Akita Sotokanjō Expressway
- Shōwa-Ogahantō IC - Kotooka-Moritake IC : Nihonkai Tōhoku Engan Expressway
- Kotooka-Moritake IC - Futatsui-Shirakami IC : Kotooka Noshiro Road
Planning for an expressway between the cities of Kitakami and Akita began in 1982. The first section of this expressway was opened on 25 July 1991 after nine years of planning and construction that cost 1.158 trillion yen (about 1 billion US dollars). It was a 52.1-kilometer-long (32.4 mi) section of highway that linked Akita to Yokote. By 1994 the expressway was linked to the Tōhoku Expressway in Kitakami following the opening of Kitakami Junction. The next major connection to the expressway was its linkage to the Nihonkai-Tōhoku Expressway at Kawabe Junction in Akita on 23 July 1997.
An experiment was conducted by MLIT to determine what the effects of lifting tolls along the expressway north of the city of Akita would be. Immediately following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, the experiment was suspended to raise funds for the repairs of expressways in the Tōhoku region. By August 2011 the expressway had been extended in various stages all the way north from the city of Akita to Futatsui-Shirakami Interchange in Noshiro. In August 2011, following the toll-lifting experiment it was decided by MLIT that much of the aforementioned segment of the expressway, as well as any future segments built along the planned route, would be toll-free. On 30 November 2013, the expressway was linked to its northern terminus in Kosaka along the Tōhoku Expressway following the opening of a 16.1-kilometer (10.0 mi) section of highway. On 13 December 2020, a 5.3-kilometer (3.3 mi) section of the expressway opened in Kitaakita, extending the northern section of the expressway closer to the southern section.
As of December 2020, the entirety of the Akita Expressway is open to traffic except for a section linking the cities of Noshiro and Kitaakita in northern Akita Prefecture. A section of this gap in the route is set to be completed by 2023, however there is no date scheduled for the total completion of the expressway.
List of interchanges and features
|Iwate||Kitakami||0.0||0.0||–||Kitakami||Tōhoku Expressway – to Kamaishi Expressway, Morioka, Aomori, Sendai, Fukushima||Southern terminus of the Akita Expressway; E4 exit 37; E46 continues north along the Tōhoku Expressway|
|8.7||5.4||1||Kitakami-nishi||Iwate Prefecture Route 47 west (Kitakami-nishi Inter Route) – Yokote, Geto|
Iwate Prefecture Route 225 east (Kitakami Waga Route) – Central Kitakami, Ōfunato
|30.3||18.8||2||Yuda||National Route 107 – Central Yuda, Kitakami, Yokote, Akita|
|50.6||31.4||3||Yokote||Yuzawa-Yokote Road – Yuzawa, Yokote|
|57.1||35.5||3-1||Yokote-kita||Akita Prefecture Route 29 – to National Route 13, Central Yokote, Yurihonjō||Smart interchange|
|First Omonogawa Bridge over the Omono River|
|Daisen||71.5||44.4||4||Ōmagari|| National Route 105 – Agriculture Science Museum|
National Route 105 east (Ōmagari-Nishi Road) – to National Route 13, Central Ōmagari, Kakunodate, Yokote
|87.8||54.6||4-1 / SA||Nishisenboku||Unnamed city-maintained roads||Smart interchange is built into the service area|
|Second Omonogawa Bridge over the Omono River|
|95.4||59.3||5||Kyōwa||National Route 341 – Akita Airport, Morioka, Akita, Yokote, Kakunodate|
|Akita||103.8||64.5||5-1||Kawabe||Nihonkai-Tōhoku Expressway south – Yurihonjō, Sakata||Northern terminus of E46; Akita Expressway continues north as E7|
|106.7||66.3||6||Akita-minami||National Route 13 – Central Akita, Kawabe|
|113.7||70.6||7||Akita-chūō||Akita Prefecture Route 62 (Akita Kitanoda Route) – Central Akita, Kawabe, Taihei|
|122.9||76.4||8||Akita-kita||Akita Prefecture Route 72 south (Akita Inter Route) – Akita Station, Akita Port|
|132.4||82.3||9||Shōwa-Ogahantō|| National Route 7 / National Route 101 south – Central Akita, Yurihonjō, Ōdate, Noshiro|
National Route 101 north – Oga Quasi-National Park, Tennō
|Gojōme||143.5||89.2||10||Gojōme-Hachirōgata||Akita Prefecture Route 15 (Akita Hachirōgata Route) – to National Route 7, National Route 285, Ōdate, Kitaakita, Akita, Noshiro|
|153.1||95.1||11 / TB||Kotooka-Moritake||Akita Prefecture Route 37 (Kotooka Kamikoani Route) – to National Route 7, Oga, Kamikoani||The toll gate at Kotooka-Moritake marks the northern end of the tolled section of the Akita Expressway|
|166.1||103.2||12||Hachiryū||National Route 7 – Akita, Noshiro|
|Noshiro||170.2||105.8||13||Noshiro-minami||National Route 7 – Akita, Ōdate, Kitaakita|
|176.7||109.8||14||Noshiro-higashi|| National Route 7 – Yurihonjō, Akita, Ōdate, Kitaakita|
Akita Prefecture Route 64 east (Noshiro Futatsui Route) – Happō
|186.7||116.0||15||Futatsui-Shirakami|| National Route 7 – Akita, Ōdate, Kitaakita, Shirakami-Sanchi|
Akita Prefecture Route 317 east (Nishimeya Futatsui Route) – Futatsui
|At grade junction|
|Gap in the expressway, connection is made by National Route 7 and Akita Prefecture Route 325|
|Kitaakita||198.5||123.3||21||Kanisawa||Akita Prefecture Route 325 east (Ōdate–Noshiro Airport West Route) – Kanisawa|
|200.2||124.4||22||Isedōtai||Akita Prefecture Route 197 (Kidoishi–Takanosu Route) – Kidoishi, Isedōtai Site|
|203.8||126.6||23||Ōdate-Noshiro Airport|| Akita Prefecture Route 324 (Ōdate-Noshiro Airport East Route) – to National Route 285, Kazuno, Hinai|
Akita Prefecture Route 325 (Ōdate-Noshiro Airport West Route) – to National Route 7, Noshiro, Futatsui
|205.5||127.7||24||Takanosu||National Route 105 (Takanosu Bypass) – to National Route 7, Central Takanosu, Ōdate, Akita, Kakunodate|
|Ōdate||217.7||135.3||25||Niida-Manaka||Akita Prefecture Route 52 (Hinai Tashiro Route) – to National Route 7, National Route 285, Ōdate, Hayaguchi, Hinai, Ōdate Industrial Area|
|220.3||136.9||26||Ōdate-minami||National Route 103 (Ōdate-Minami Bypass) – Towada, Kazuno, Ōdate, Noshiro, Kitaakita|
|224.9||139.7||27||Ōdate-kita||National Route 7 – Central Ōdate, Hirosaki, Hirakawa|
|Ōshigenai Daiichi Tunnel|
|Ōshigenai Daini Tunnel|
|Yukisawa Daiichi Tunnel|
|Yukisawa Daini Tunnel|
|Kosaka||240.5||149.4||28 / TB||Kosaka-kita||Unnamed municipal-maintained road – Kosaka||Northern end of free section; Kosaka-bound exit, Ōdate-bound entrance only|
|241.0||149.8||–||Kosaka||Tōhoku Expressway – Aomori, Morioka, Sendai||Northern terminus; E4 exit 49-2|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- Google (20 January 2021). "Akita Expwy (Kitakami to Futatsui Shirakami)" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 20 January 2021.
- Google (20 January 2021). "Akita Expwy (Kanisawa to Kosaka)" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 20 January 2021.
- "E-NEXCO Expressway Data". Archived from the original on 13 December 2007. Retrieved 13 April 2008.
- "Hokuu Shinhō, 12 August 2007". Archived from the original on 29 October 2007. Retrieved 13 April 2008.
- "History of Akita City". Archived from the original on 18 May 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2008.
- http://www.mlit.go.jp/road/sign/numbering/en/list/index.html: "Highway numbering list". Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. Browse 18 June 2019.
- "高速道路会社への事業許可について" [About business license to the highway company] (PDF) (in Japanese). Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. 31 March 2020. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
- "秋田道の一部が12月開通 県北の5.3km 大館能代空港のアクセス向上" [Part of the Akita Expressway opens in December. A 5.3 km section in the north of the prefecture near Odate-Noshiro Airport has improved access]. Traffic News (in Japanese). 4 November 2020. Retrieved 20 January 2021.
- "秋田道・湯沢横手道路・日東道・秋田外環状道路・琴丘能代道路" [Akita Expressway, Yuzawa Yokote Road, Nitto Road, Akita Outer Ring Road, Kotooka Noshiro Road] (PDF) (in Japanese). East Nippon Expressway Company. 1 October 2019. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
- "秋田自動車道開通" [Opening of the Akita Expressway] (in Japanese). Hot Eye Akita. 1 October 1991. Retrieved 20 January 2021.
- Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. "High Standard Trunk Road Map" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 September 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2008.
- "E-NEXCO Drive Plaza Route Search". Archived from the original on 13 April 2008. Retrieved 13 April 2008.
- "岩手県の道路の略年表" [Chronology of roads in Iwate Prefecture] (PDF) (in Japanese). Iwate Prefecture Government. 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2021.
- "1次補正を踏まえた高速道路の料金について" [About expressway tolls based on the primary correction] (PDF) (in Japanese). Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
- "日本海沿岸東北自動車道（二ツ井白神～あきた北空港）計画段階評価について" [Evaluation of the planned sections of the Nihonkai-Tōhoku Expressway (Futatsui Shirakami-Akita Kita Airport)] (PDF) (in Japanese). Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. August 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
- ""日本海沿岸東北自動車道大館北ＩＣ（仮）〜小坂JCT（仮）が１１月中に開通します。 〜日沿道が東北道と繋がる〜"" [Odate-kita IC (provisional) on the Nihonkai-Tōhoku Expressway-Kosaka JCT (provisional) will open in November. The roadside will be connected to the Tōhoku Expressway] (PDF) (in Japanese). Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
- "大館能代空港へのアクセス性が向上！" [Improved accessibility to Ōdate–Noshiro Airport] (PDF) (in Japanese). Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. 29 October 2020. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
- "東北地方整備局の道路事業の開通見通しを公表 〜日本海沿岸東���自動車道が令和8年度までに全線開通〜" [Announcement of the prospect of opening the road business of the Tohoku Regional Development Bureau "The Tohoku Expressway along the Sea of Japan will be fully opened by the eighth year of the Reiwa era"] (PDF) (in Japanese). Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. 6 February 2020. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
- Media related to Category:Akita Expressway at Wikimedia Commons
- (in Japanese) East Nippon Expressway Company