Northern Japan is notorious for its long, cold, and icy winters, but there is one thing that has many people in Hachinohe eagerly awaiting this seemingly arduous season. It is the seafood that is available during winter! The city of Hachinohe is famous throughout the country for its seafood and during winter, a great chance to try some of the best of the best while also enjoying the innovative creativity of the city’s restaurants is during the Hachinohe Bouillabaisse Festival.
This two-month-long festival began as an event to reinvigorate and promote the local fishing community after the 2011 Tōhoku Earthquake and Tsunami. From March to February, restaurants in the city create unique renditions of the classic French dish bouillabaisse while using at least four different types of seafood from the Port of Hachinohe and as much locally grown vegetables as possible. The chefs of the city take a quintessentially French dish and use their skills and creativity to create food that celebrates Hachinohe and its community.
The season for the Hachinohe Bouillabaisse Festival coincides with one of the best winter festivals in Japan: the Hachinohe Enburi Festival. Enburi is a series of performing-art folk dances with a history of over 800 years specific to the Hachinohe Area. The festival takes place from Feb 17 to Feb 20, giving visitors the perfect chance to first feast their eyes on this gorgeous traditional art and then feast their bellies on Hachinohe’s amazing seafood.