Tatehana Wharf Morning Market
Morning markets are all about making connections with local people, trying out a variety of fresh food, and having the pleasure of finding a bargain or rare item not found outside the local area. In Aomori, and especially in Hachinohe, there are several highly-rated morning markets all worth going to, although if time is of the essence and you can only try one, we suggest you head to the Tatehana Wharf Morning Market.
This is one of Japan’s biggest outdoor markets and draws massive crowds as well as a long list of vendors from around the prefecture. Farmers, chefs, craftsmen, baristas, and fishermen gather every Sunday at the Tatehana Wharf parking lot and open up their tents in sync with the sunrise (in the summer usually around 5am). You might think this is early and not a lot of people would show up at this time, but soon after the sun is up, the locals are also walking into the wharf to get first dibs at the endless food offering which obviously includes seafood, ever so popular in this part of the country.
In case you do decide to hop out of bed bright and early, do not bother with breakfast at the hotel; the morning market has more than enough treats to choose from. You’ll be served well by starting out with a hot cup of coffee from Ralia, one of the most popular stands at the market. To get there, head to the “AB East” lane and look out for the VW wagon. With a coffee in hand, walk over to “CD East” lane and try the “senbei” soup (200 yen a bowl) and shrimp tempura served by a group of local women who will gladly exchange a few words with you while they cook up the big pots of soup.
From here on the morning market is all about strolling around without rushing. With over 300 vendors setting up camp here, you will be busy jumping from stall to stall trying as much as your appetite will allow you; with yakitori, grilled tofu, freshly baked croissants, curry bread, grilled fish, and buttery sea urchin being just a few of the options. The market is also perfect for picking up fresh flowers and produce, including the signature red apples of Aomori. There is even a pizza truck for those who make the walk to the other side of the lot. As it is to be expected from such large event, a lot of the food stands have long lines, although these move fast and you will be served in no time.
Besides the food and products that abound at this iconic morning market, the beauty of making the trip to the wharf on Sundays is the chance to mingle with the locals and get an unrehearsed look at their lifestyle. Seeing the people with their large traditional grocery baskets greeting their favourite farmers, friends sharing conversation along with a cup of coffee, and even fishermen trying to outsmart the seagulls hungry for some tuna, this is what makes this market so special and memorable for visitors. If you have time, hang out for a little longer, catch some live music, and load up on some more treats of the Hachinohe area.
- Facility Name
- Aomori Pref. Hachinoheshi Minatomachi
- Information Sources:
- NAVITIME JAPAN