The name Aoba (written as "青葉") was first used from 20 November 1945 on an express (急行,kyūkō?) service between Ueno in Tokyo and Sendai on the Tōhoku Main Line. This continued until the train was renamed Kitakami(きたかみ?) on 1 October 1965.
From the start of services on the newly opened Tōhoku Shinkansen on 23 June 1982, Aoba was the name used for the all-stations shinkansen services operating initially between Ōmiya and Sendai, later between Ueno and Sendai, and eventually between Tokyo and Sendai. Services initially used 200 series 12-car "E" sets with a Green (first class) car as car 7, and a buffet counter in car 9. Services later used 8-car 200 series "G" sets with a Green (first class) car as car 5, and a buffet counter in car 7.
The number of Aoba services was reduced from 1 December 1995, following the introduction of the Nasuno all-stations service, and the name was finally discontinued from 1 October 1997 when the remaining trains were integrated with Yamabiko services.