hachinohe city photo

Although it is located in northern Japan, Hachinohe is blessed with a relatively mild climate. There is little snow accumulation in winter, with many sunny days.   Hachinohe sits in a fairly flat plain opening out into the Pacific Ocean, split into three sections by the Mabechi River and the Niida River. The city's seaside districts are dominated by large industrial, commercial, and fishing ports, surrounded by an extensive industrial zone.
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In Hachinohe there are numerous cultural properties which indicate that people of exceptional culture had prehistorically inhabited the area. There are archaeological sites such as the Kazahari Site from the late Jomon period (approximately 3500 to 3000 years ago), from which the national treasure Earthen Figure with Hands Clasped in Prayer was unearthed, and the Korekawa Site from the end of Jomon period (approximately 3000 to 2300 years ago), from which many articles of superb quality and artistry have been unearthed.

When the Kamakura period (1192-1333), which had begun with the establishment of the Kamakura shogunate by Minamoto no Yoritomo, ended and was replaced by a new government by Emperor Godaigo in 1334, Lord Nambu Moroyuki was appointed to rule over the northern Tohoku area; he moved to Hachinohe from present-day Yamanashi prefecture and established Nejo Castle as his base. In 1664, during the Edo period (1600-1867) begun by Tokugawa Ieyasu, the Hachinohe clan was given the authority to rule the area under Lord Nambu Naofusa, and the city flourished as a center of commerce and trade.

In 1889 the area became Hachinohe Town in accordance with the new municipality system; and with the May 1, 1929 merger of three neighboring municipalities, Hachinohe City was officially incorporated.

Hachinohe has continued to develop as one of Japan's top fishing cities with excellent ports as well as distribution and processing facilities, and as one of the top industrial cities in northern Tohoku.


Hachinohe is well on its way into a new phase for the 21st century, with its promotion in April 2001 as a Specially Designated City and the opening of the Morioka-Hachinohe extension of the Tohoku Shinkansen super-express train line in December 2002. In March 2005, the city merged with Nango Village, enriching the maritime city, "which began with the sea and has developed with the sea," with an added appeal of a rural farming village. The 5th Hachinohe City General Plan was started in April 2007, and the city is steadily working towards the realization of its future image "Heartland of the North Where the Sea and the Land Resonate."

Furthermore, the Hachinohe-Shin-Aomori extension of Tohoku Shinkansen opened in December 2010, and the Hachinohe Portal Museum "HACCHI" opened in February 2011 as a new creative and interactive base for the city center. Moreover, construction has begun for the 2015 opening of LNG (liquefied natural gas) import base in the industrial area on Port Island as part of the Hachinohe Port Project. Through such efforts, the city is renovating itself and creatively evolving as the thriving heartland of the North.