Hachinohe (6)

Hachinohe (6)
Hachinohe is a city in southeastern Aomori Prefecture in the Tohoku region of Japan.

Hachinohe is the largest city in eastern Aomori prefecture, and serves as the regional industrial and commercial center. Commercial fishing still plays a major role in the local economy, with Hachinohe port having one of the largest volumes of landed fish in Japan. However, since its designation as a new industrial city in 1964, Hachinohe has developed a large coastal industrial belt with a diverse range of chemical, steel, cement and fertilizer products. Major industrial parks include the Hachinohe High Tech Park and Hachinohe North-Interchange Industrial Complex. Hachinohe Port is a major international port for northern Japan.

Tourist attractions and festivals

The symbol of Hachinohe is the Yawata-uma, a wooden horse with gold saddle markings and a decorative plume attached to its head. The Hachinohe area has been known since the Kamakura period for its breed of war horses. Also, farming horses have supported the lives of the commoners and have often been used as the theme for dances and folk tales. The art of Yawata-uma figurines is a regional art form and popular souvenir.

Kabushima Shrine is a Shinto shrine which also serves as a habitat for forty thousand Black-tailed Gulls, or Umineko. It is situated on the bayside. There is a festival there on the third Sunday of April each year.

Enburi is a city-wide festival which is also celebrated in nearby towns. The object of the festival is to pray for a bountiful harvest in the coming year. It originated as a dance with an agricultural tool (the eburi; enburi is a local pronunciation), which was used to teach people how to cultivate the land. Nowadays it is a parade of 15-20 people, with 3-5 dancers and a singer accompanied by wooden flutes, drums and bells. The festival takes place February 1720, and marks the official end of the long, harsh winter.

Hachinohe Sansha Taisai is another city-wide festival and is considered to be the main festival of the town. It is also billed as "Japan's Biggest Float Festival". Sansha means "three shrines" and Taisai means "festival": It is held by three Shinto shrines: Ogami Jinja, Shinra Jinja, and Shinmei-gu. Floats proceed through the main streets of the city, accompanied by people with drums, flutes and loud calls. 27 different floats are used, and they are proudly constructed and flourished by the members of various organizations, such as schools and the city hall. The floats are also accompanied by men in samurai costumes on horseback, and Tiger Dancers. On the second and third days of the festival, a traditional game of a sport similar to polo is held at the stables of Shinra Shrine. This sport (Kaga Biryu Kiba Dakyu) is officially an "intangible cultural asset" of Aomori Prefecture. Sansha Taisai takes place from July 31 to August 4 every year.

The ruins of Edo-eraHachinohe Castle and earlier Muromachi period Ne Castle (National Historic Landmark) are located in the city.

The umi-neko are one of the 100 Soundscapes of Japan.