The Gono line which traces the coastline from Higashi Noshiro in Akita to Kuwabe, just north of Hirosaki in Aomori, has been a poster pin up for JR East for the last several years as both a seishun 18 destination as well as being home to the Shirakami Resort Liner train. The Shirakami Resort liner takes its name from the World Heritage Shirakami beech forest on the inland side of the train line. It's a bit ironic since the sales point of the Gono line is the view of the ocean which has people looking in the opposite direction to Shirakami... but nevermind. It's been on my "to do" list for a long time.
I took the opportunity while up there to take a trip on it with Hiro's parents. Local (non resort liner) trains are painfully infrequent along the Gono line. I think there are two that go the length of it each day - one in the early morning and one in the late afternoon. (4 if you count both directions). We took the 6.24am train from Odate to Higashi Noshiro to catch the morning one. We opted to take the first train from Higashi Noshiro which terminated at Noshiro and wait for the through train there.