in the Hachinohe Area

September marks the beginning of fall, and for the Hachinohe Area, it is the start of the harvest season. Throughout the month, the bounty from the hard-worked fields, farms, and seas of the area fill the markets of Hachinohe. Fairs, festivals, and other events crowd the calendar as the weather cools. Below is a list of recommended best things to eat, do, and see in the Hachinohe Area during September!

What to Eat: Saba (Mackerel)


September is in the middle of the best season for Hachinohe’s most famous fish: mackerel. The mackerel caught off the coast of Hachinohe is said to be some of the most delicious in all of Japan. 

Fresh Maeoki mackerel, or saba in Japanese, can be found around town commonly served raw as sashimi. But one of the best ways to enjoy the fish thanks to its high-quality fattiness is to have it grilled. Grilling the fish causes its skin to crisp and the meat to become rich and succulent.  Walking along Hachinohe’s famous drinking alley, the Miroku Yokocho, you can find stall-like restaurants that have pit-style grills called irori that are used to slow grill skewers of mackerel.  Also, Saba-no-Eki  in downtown Hachinohe is a mackerel-specialty restaurant that is a great place to try the fish!   

As the city’s main fish, Mackerel has played an important role in Hachinohe’s history and culture. Because of this, it has made its way into many dishes in the area. From pickled to deep-fried croquettes, there are countless great ways to try this in-season fish.  

What to See: the Sunday Morning Market at Tatehana Wharf

As mentioned above, September is when the harvest season is starting to kick off in the Hachinohe Area, making it the perfect time to check out the Sunday Morning Market at Tatehana Wharf. The market is one of the largest morning markets in Japan, and with over 300 stalls you can find almost anything. Be delighted by the bountiful fresh and dried seafood, freshly-harvested fruits and vegetables, homemade snacks and local dishes, and even miscellaneous household goods. The market is visited by over 10,000 people every week, and as autumn continues, the number of people and the amount of food will also continue to grow. 


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