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.
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.
(Instituted August 1931)
City flower: Chrysanthemum
Hachinohe uses two kinds of chrysanthemum as the city flower—the edible “Abokyu”, and the decorative “Oshugiku”. The aromatic taste of the Abokyu and the magnificent Oshugiku are both well-known to the people of Hachinohe.
(Established October 1972)
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.
(Established May 1979)
City tree: 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”.
(Established May 1979)
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.