Hachinohe (八戸市, Hachinohe-shi) is a city located in Aomori Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 July 2020[update], the city had an estimated population of 221,459, and a population density of 725 persons per km2 in 96,092 households,[1] making it Aomori Prefecture’s second largest city by population. The city has a total area of 305.56 square kilometres (117.98 sq mi).

Core city in Tōhoku, Japan


Skyline of Hachinohe



Location of Hachinohe in Aomori Prefecture



Country  Japan
Region Tōhoku
Prefecture Aomori

  Mayor Makoto Kobayashi

  Total 305.56 km2 (117.98 sq mi)

 (April 1, 2020)
  Total 226,541
  Density 740/km2 (1,900/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
City symbols  
– Tree Japanese yew
– Flower Chrysanthemum
– Bird Black-tailed gull
Phone number 0178-43-2111
Address 1-1-1 Uchimaru, Hachinohe-shi, Aomori-ken 031-8686
Website Official website
Hachinohe City Hall
Downtown Hachinohe
Tanesashi Beach

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The area around Hachinohe has been occupied since prehistoric times, and was a major population center for the Emishi people. Numerous Jōmon period remains have been discovered within the borders of Hachinohe. The area was nominally under control of the Northern Fujiwara in the Heian period, and became part of the holdings granted to the Nanbu clan after the defeat of the North Fujiwara by Minamoto no Yoritomo in the Kamakura period. The Nanbu established numerous horse ranches, accompanied by numbered fortified settlements. During the Edo period, it was initially part of Morioka Domain, but in 1664 the Tokugawa shogunate authorized the creation of a separate 20,000 kokuHachinohe Domain for a junior line of the Nanbu clan. The town prospered as a castle town centered on Hachinohe Castle, and served as a small commercial centre and port for the fishing grounds off southeastern Hokkaido. Today, the port still serves the fishing industry and a number of international cargo vessels.

After the Meiji Restoration, Hachinohe Domain was abolished, and replaced by Hachinohe Prefecture, which was subsequently merged into Aomori Prefecture. Initially, there was a debate as to whether the capital of newly formed Aomori Prefecture should be at Hachinohe or Hirosaki; however, due to strong rivalry between the former Nanbu domain and former Tsugaru Domain, the Meiji government decided to build a new town called Aomori in a central location, and to designate it as the capital of the prefecture.

Per the Meiji period establishment of the modern municipalities system on April 1, 1889, the town of Hachinohe was created within Sannohe District. In 1901, it merged with neighboring Chōja, and on May 1, 1929, with neighboring Konakano, Minato and Same villages to form the city of Hachinohe. The city further expanded by annexing the village of Shimonaganawashiro in 1942, Korekawa in 1954, Ichikawa, Kaminaganawashiro, Tachi and Toyosaki in 1955 and Odate in 1958.

On March 31, 2005, the village of Nangō (from Sannohe District) was also merged into Hachinohe.

During the American occupation of Japan following World War II, a United States Army base, Camp Haugen, was located in Hachinohe, and was the home of the Seventh Division. An Armed Forces Radio Service radio station was located on the base; it was known as AFRS Hachinohe. In 1950, after the North Korean invasion of South Korea, troops from Camp Haugen left for Korea. AFRS Hachinohe altered its broadcasts to include coverage of South Korea so Americans could benefit from its news and entertainment programs. With the final withdrawal of American forces from Hachinohe in 1956, the base was turned over to the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force and was officially re-designated JGSDF Camp Hachinohe.[2]

In March 2011, the city was one of those hit by the 2011 Japanese tsunami. The tsunami tossed many huge fishing boats ashore and heavily damaged the port area. About 100 homes were destroyed.[3] Divers from the United States Navy ship Safeguard joined with Japanese workers to help clear the port to facilitate the delivery of relief supplies via the city.[4]

On January 1, 2017, Hachinohe was given core city status,[5] with increased local autonomy.

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