The city of Hachinohe lies on the southeastern part of Aomori prefecture, facing the Pacific Ocean. It is only a couple of stations away from Shin-Aomori station by Shinkansen (bullet train).
The Mutsu Minato Ekimae morning market is a great place to experience the tastes and atmosphere of “real Japan.” Along with the fresh seafood available throughout the market (which you can have prepared in the market itself), it is also famous for its many “kacha” – a local word referring to the kindly older women who run many of the shops.
How to get there: Mutsu Minato station is about 15 minutes by JR Hachinohe Line from Hachinohe station. The morning market is along the main street just in front of the Mustu Minato Station.
The Hachinohe Shuzo sake brewery dates back to 1775 and uses locally-sourced Aomori organic rice and yeast in their brewing process. The Taisho era buildings and storehouses here are designated as National Tangible Cultural Properties.
How to get there: It is only 5 minutes walk from Mustsu Minato train station. The brewery is open between 10:00 - 16:00 from Monday to Friday (Saturdays also during winter only) 500 yen per person including sake trial
A visit to Japan would not be complete without a stop at an izakaya (a kind of Japanese pub), and the Yatai Village in Hachinohe is a great spot to do just that. The Yatai Village offers many different izakayas to choose from, each with its own unique atmosphere and menu. There’s something for everyone to try!
Hirosaki Castle is a small three-storey fortress, originally built in 1611 by the Tsugaru Clan. This Edo period icon is considered an icon of Hirosaki. The castle is located in Hirosaki Park, a spacious public park of about 0.6 square kilometers.
The castle’s original five-storey keep burnt down in 1627 after being struck by lightning. Rebuilt in 1810, the present three-storey keep is the only one in the Tohoku Region that was not rebuilt in the modern era.
How to get there: It is about 45 minutes by JR O-u Line from Aomori station to Hirosaki station. Then it is 10 minutes by taxi from Hirasaki station to Hirosaki Castle Park or you can walk to the park looking around the Hirosaki-city, which would take about 30 minutes.
3. Goshogawara Stove Train
During winter, you can take a ride on the old “Stove train” which has been keeping passengers warm for decades.
The combination of the inner retro atmosphere and outer winter scenery brings a sense of nostalgia that creates a heart warming experience.
The track is a 20.7-km line and about a 45-minute train ride between Tsugaru-Goshogawara Station and Tsugaru-Nakasato Station.
How to get there: It is about 70 minutes from JR Aomori station to JR Goshogawara station by trains. Then the Tsugaru-Goshogawara station is only 3 minutes walk from JR Goshogawara station.