As of March 2014, there are two return Ayame workings daily: one return working between Tokyo and Kashima-Jingu, and one between Tokyo and Chōshi. The services operate as all-stations "Local" services between Sawara and Kashima-Jingu or Chōshi. The down Ayame 3 service from Tokyo to Choshi operates coupled to the weekdays-only Shiosai 17 service (to Narutō) as far as Sakura, where the trains divide.
The Ayame service was first introduced on 10 March 1975, initially as four return workings daily between Tokyo and Kashima-Jingu.
The late 1980s saw increased competition from long-distance bus services between Tokyo and Kashima, and from the July 1993 timetable revision, the number of Ayame services was reduced to three return workings daily. In December 1994, services were further cut back, with just one up service in the morning and one down service in the evening. From the October 2004 timetable revision, the complementary Suigō limited express (Shinjuku to Chōshi via Narita Line) and Hometown Narita services were discontinued and the number of Ayame services was correspondingly increased to four up and two down services daily. From the start of the revised timetable on 10 December 2005, Ayame services were made entirely no-smoking.