Surrounded by the ruggedly beautiful Tanesashi Coast, Hachinohe is a lively city built on a prosperous fishing industry. It serves as a gateway to picturesque beaches and a bird-filled island and is also home to a 14th-century castle.
Things to do in Hachinohe
Get a taste of the local history and culture at the Hacchi Portal Museum, where traditional crafts, miniature food models and a life-sized rowboat are on display. Regional delicacies and souvenirs are sold in the museum shop and there’s a kids’ play area.
In the north of Hachinohe is Kabushima Island, which provides a breeding ground for thousands of black-tailed seagulls. It’s also home to the photogenic red shrine of Kabushima Benzaiten, believed to have been established in 1269 for the spiritual protection of local fishermen.
Follow the scenic trail that leads along the Tanesashi Coast from the beautiful crescent bay at Shirahama to Osuka Beach. Stop to reflect at the monument built in honour of Japanese writer and artist Shinkichi Higashiyama, then continue to the historic Ashigezaki Observatory, which boasts magnificent views along the rugged coastline.
Step inside the beautifully restored grounds of Nejo Castle, which was originally built in 1334 by the military commander Moroyuki Nanbu. In addition to its main building, the complex features two gates, one for the lord and the other for servant workers, as well as workshops and a stable that have been rebuilt to reflect Azuchi-Momoyama-era designs.
Getting around Hachinohe
Hachinohe is around four hours by train from Tokyo and 1.5 hours’ drive from Aomori City. Buses travel throughout Hachinohe and taxis are readily available outside the main train station.