The City of Hachinohe
Hachinohe is located in the southeastern part of Aomori prefecture, facing the Pacific Ocean. For centuries, the city has prospered as the center of the Nanbu region, which includes the northern part of Iwate prefecture. Hachinohe continues to grow as one of Japan’s main sources of freshly-caught seafood as well as one of Tohoku’s main centers of industry, while the beautiful natural scenery of the Tanesashi Coast is not far from the city center. A major attraction of Hachinohe is this combination of fisheries, industry, and nature within a small area.
Hachinohe’s climate is characterized by cool summers and mild winters. The “Yamase” northeasterly winds of early summer bring days of rain, fog, and chilly temperatures. While the Yamase used to cause serious damage to agriculture in the area, they also led to the development of Hachinohe’s unique food culture, such as Nanbu senbei crackers.
Winters in Hachinohe tend to come with little snowfall and many sunny days. Although there is little snow, temperatures are low and roads become icy and slippery. Care must be taken when walking or driving. The cold associated with the northern part of the country is offset by low precipitation and long hours of sunshine, giving Hachinohe a climate many people find relatively pleasant.。
Hachinohe and the 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster
As a city nurtured by the bounty of the Pacific Ocean, Hachinohe has been threatened by tsunamis many times. The city’s port facilities, including fishery companies, quays, and landing facilities, were greatly damaged by the giant tsunami caused by the Tohoku earthquake of March 11, 2011.
Among the affected areas, Hachinohe’s ongoing restoration is the fastest. However, the lessons learned from the earthquake have been etched deeply into the hearts and minds of the people. Reconstruction initiatives are progressing so Hachinohe can show the world that vitality is returning to the Tohoku and Sanriku areas damaged by the disaster.
Symbols of Hachinohe
The City’s Seal
Hachinohe’s city emblem was designed by blending the shapes of the Chinese characters in the city’s name with the “mukaitsuru” (two cranes facing each other) crest of the old Nanbu Domain.
(Officially Adopted August 1931)
Hachionhe’s Flower: The Chrysanthemum
Hachionhe’s Bird: The Black-Tailed Gull
Black-tailed gulls have made Kabu-shima Island their breeding ground since ancient times. It is unusual anywhere in the world to be able to observe the nests up close in a location such as Kabushima, which is near an urban area, so the island has been designated a national natural monument.
(Officially Adopted May 1979)
Hachionhe’s Tree: The Japanese Yew
The Japanese yew grows wild mainly in Tohoku and Hokkaido. It has long been used in the Hachinohe area as a hedge and a garden tree as well as for alcove posts. The local people know it well by its nickname, “onko”.
(Officially Adopted May 1979)
Hachinohe’s Mascots: Ikazukins
Hachinohe’s mascots were “born” in 2009 to promote the 80th anniversary of the official formation of the city both domestically and overseas. In 2013, children took the stage at the commemorative designation of the Tanesashi Coast as part of Sanriku Reconstruction National Park. As the “Ikazukins Family”, they became the official mascots of Hachinohe. The Ikazukins travel across the country promoting Hachinohe.
The Hachinohe Field Museum
Scattered around all of Hachinohe is a plethora of nature, culture, and culinary-related sites to experience. So the city decided to group these areas and facilities to make a ‘field museum’, a museum made not up of brick and mortar but of the city itself. Below are ‘spot’ museums and ‘zone’ museum, each divided into four groups of their own to break down and make all of the interesting things to see, hear, taste, and learn about in the city more accessible to everyone.
Ａ Central Museum
Base Facility: Hachinohe Portal Museum ‘Hacchi’
Places to See: Yokocho, The Choja Matsuringu Hiroba (Choja Festival Square), Hachinohe Portal Museum ‘Hacchi
Ｂ Matsuri (festival) Museum
Ｃ Culinary Museum
Ｄ Products Museum
Base Facility: The YouTree Building（VISIT HACHINOHE）
Things to Look Out for: Yawata-Uma, Nanbu Sakiori, Nanbu hishizashi, Nanbu senbei
１ Museums of the Coast
２ Museums of the Field
３ Museums of Culture and History
４ Museums of Industry
Base Facility: Coastal Industrial Facility & Factories, Hachinohe Canyon
Places to See: the Hachinohe Fish Market