In the next hours, we changed the scenery 180 degrees and exchanged snow-covered mountains for the icy Pacific coast. Back in Fukushima station we changed to the Tohoku Shinkansen and headed north to Hachinohe in Aomori prefecture.

Composition of the Tohoku and Akita shinkansen.

En route, we stopped by Sendai to enjoy the local dish, grilled beef tongue. I can also recommend the free observation platform of the AER building just next to the station.

Hachinohe is a small city near the northern tip of the main island known for its fishery and local crafts. After two days in the mountains, we could not wait to try fresh seafood from the Pacific.

We arrived at dusk and instead of heading to the hotel, we first visited Kabushima Shrine down the JR Hachinohe Line, which was beautifully lit up at the time. Together with the sounds of the waves and the clearly visible stars the atmosphere of this place was serene and made us appreciate the beauty of nature. Fortunately, we could see the stars clearly that night.

The city center of Hachinohe lies 10 minutes by foot from Honhachinohe station, which is another 10 minute ride apart from the Shinkansen station. We stayed at the Dormy Inn hotel, a business hotel going the extra mile, literally, drilling their own natural hot spring well to create an onsen for the guests. I also appreciated the complementary local apple juice.

As mentioned in the beginning, fish was on the menu for today. We found ourselves at a small sushi counter restaurant and sampled all kinds of fresh seafood while chatting with our neighbors and the chef.

The day ended with a soak in the hot bath of the hotel and a good night’s sleep.

Hachinohe is also famous for its morning market, however it was not open on the days we were in town. So, we took our time in the morning and visited the cultural center and some shops before we decided to leave for our next destination: Iwate prefecture.

Onwards to the Pacific Shore in Hachinohe (Tohoku in Winter 3/5)
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