Enjoying Hachinohe in the Rain
A rainy day when traveling can dampen the spirits. But have no fear if you get caught in the rain in Hachinohe. There is still plenty to see, do, and, most importantly, eat in the area! Read on for fun indoor activities and attractions to keep you dry and satisfied during your stay.
The best way to enjoy Hachinohe in the rain is by car. If you can, rent a car from Hachinohe Station and let the road be your guide.
Start by spending the morning learning about the reconstruction and revitalization after the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami along the coast at the Tanesashi Information Center. These reconstruction efforts culminated in the christening of Japan’s newest national park, the Fukko National Park, stretching from Hachinohe in the north down to Soma in Fukushima Prefecture.
Then head back north to the trailhead of the Michinoku Coastal Trail at Kabushima, where a new museum introduces the area. In spring, you can see black-tailed gulls nesting among bright-yellow rapeseed flowers, and the shrine offers umbrellas to visitors, which keep you dry in the rain. Plenty of parking makes this an easy pitstop on your way back into town. The Hachinohe City Museum also has plenty of artifacts on display indoors for a crash course in the history and culture of the area.
If you’re feeling peckish, grab a bite to eat at the unassuming yet massive Hasshoku Center, a giant marketplace with over 60 stalls with a great selection of seafood and restaurants where you can try the freshest catch of the day, every day of the week. Take your BBQ inside on a rainy day, cooking fresh, juicy scallops, oysters, and prawns over an indoor charcoal grill.
Once you’ve had your fill, take a short trip 10 minutes back into the city center with a trip to Hachinohe Portal Museum ‘Hacchi’, a cultural hub in downtown Hachinohe. Here you’ll find all kinds of information about the area’s culture and history, including floats from the Sansha Taisai festival, examples of sakiori traditional weaving, and a must-see clock of lion’s heads used in local folk dances. Inside the Kaneiri Museum Shop sells anything and everything Hachinohe.
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The equally impressive Hachinohe Book Center is located just across the street, a unique book store run by the municipal government. Browsers are welcome, so grab a coffee from the kiosk and a book off the shelf before tucking in while you watch the wet world go by outside.
After reading about the area’s history, see the real thing at Hachinohe’s Korekawa Jomon Kan museum. Just a quick 10-minute drive away from the Hachinohe Book Center, this museum provides a glimpse into the area’s prehistoric past, with national treasures from Japan’s Jomon era. These archaeological sites in northern Japan have collectively been registered as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
To round out your afternoon, stretch your legs and seek out a local afternoon snack at one of the many agricultural centers in the towns just outside Hachinohe City.
Twenty-five minutes away is Aguri no Sato in Oirase, Oirase’s agriculture center where visitors can enjoy a variety of hands-on experiences throughout the year. Steer clear of the rain inside the center’s greenhouse, which harnesses hot spring heat to grow tropical fruits like bananas, or eat your fill at the buffet-style restaurant, which uses fresh Oirase produce in every dish. Some of the ingredients are even grown right inside the center! Other fun activities include year-round strawberry picking, a free hot spring footbath, a petting zoo corner, and more.
The Nagawa Cherry Center is also less than a 30-minute drive away, set in an idyllic countryside community in the lovely town of Nanbu, where the rolling foothills of Mt. Nakui meet the slow-flowing Mabechi River. The town’s rustic atmosphere is beautiful in any season, and the Nagawa Cherry Center is conveniently located right off Highway Route 4. It’s hard to miss the giant log house and the two cherries that adorn the billboard outside. Nanbu is famous for its cherries, said to be some of the best in Japan, but the center usually has an assortment of 100 different fruits, vegetables, flowers, and more available, all grown locally. The center also has local food and drink, including apple juices, jams, sweets, pickles, and more to enjoy.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, we highly recommend venturing further afield to the Garlic Center in Takko, where visitors can drink garlic cola or try black garlic ice cream. Garlic ramen, garlic curry, and garlic pizza are just a few more of the garlicky items to be had, but the most popular by far is Takko’s very own Garlic Steak & Rice. But the highlight of any trip to Takko will be the Takko beef, a premium-grade wagyu as good (or dare we say better) than that of Kobe or Matsusaka, for one of the finest meals you’ll ever have.
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Or find 8 more ways to enjoy Hachinohe here.