Noheji is located next to Mutsu Bay, at the base of the Shimokita Peninsula in eastern Aomori Prefecture. Historically, Noheji was populated by the ancient Emishi people. Its name is a derived from the Ainu word, Nosobechi, meaning a place with a river flowing through. The town is famed for its scallops and yams.
In summer, Noheji offers a sunny, picturesque and quiet beach, perfect if you are in search of some relaxation away from the crowds. There aren’t too many hotels around but a few traditional ryokan style inns close to the beach. Noheji Beach is referred locally as 野辺地海浜公園 (Noheji Kaihin Koen), just in case you need to tell a taxi driver. Since the train comes on an hourly basis, why not kill time at the Italian restaurant next to Noheji Station. You can watch them make it by hand, and it’s very cheap, a medium for 500 yen!
(In the winter when it’s too cold to swim at the beaches, you can instead visit Makado Onsen, a famed hot spring and ski resort.)
First go to Hachinohe Station in Aomori Prefecture
To reach the Noheji you’ll first need to reach Hachinohe Station. If you are coming from the south (i.e. Sendai or Tokyo), the only shinkansen or bullet train that reaches Hachinohe are the Hayabusa trains. If you’re coming from the north (i.e. Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto in Hokkaido), you need to ride either the Hayabusa or Hayate trains. If you are using local trains, you’ll need to ride the the Aoimori Railway Line (please note that this line is owned by Aoimori Railways and not JR East, meaning that your Seishun 18 ticket or JR Rail Pass is not valid). The exception to this is if you are riding JR East’s Hachinohe Line from Kuji City to reach Hachinohe (probably the most unlikely path to Hachinohe for most travelers).
Then go to Noheji or Kita-Noheji Station
Noheji Station station is the larger of the two stations and has taxi services and other amenities, but is located 2.8 kilometers south of Noheji Beach, a 20-30 minute walk or 7-10 minute ride in a taxi (fare is approximately 1100 yen). Kita-Noheji station is located nearer to Noheji Beach, but is a small unmanned station. Recommending which station to arrive at really depends on whether or not you want to go directly to the beach, and time (there are few trains between Noheji and Kita-Noheji), so check Hyperdia for the time table.
From Hachinohe, you’ll need to switch to the local line. You will need to ride the Aoimori Railway Line, and either
- Ride the Aoimori Railway towards Aomori, get off at Noheji Station. However if you want to go to closer to the beach, you will need to transfer to the JR Ominato Line and get off at Kita-Noheji Station
- At certain hours, Aoimori Railway and JR East operates a joint train that leaves Hachinohe Station and goes directly to Ominato. In this case, although the train is operated by two different companies, it is the same train and you will not need to transfer at Noheji. You simply need to get off at Kita-Noheji Station. From Hachinohe to Kita-Noheji it will cost 1480 yen regardless if you go directly there, or transfer at Noheji. From Hachinohe to Noheji, it will cost 1340 yen.
For those living in Misawa, Noheji is very close! In fact it is just two stops north of Misawa Station on Aoimori Railway/JR East’s rapid line (about 4-5 stops on the regular train).
Hyperdia – Use this site to plan which train you’ll need to use to reach Osorezan and Noheji
Japanican – This is a site I often use to reserve hotel rooms. Although there are hotels in the Shimokita peninsula and Mutsu Bay, I’ve generally used Hachinohe as a base, due to a larger amount of hotels, and its function as a transit point.
Noheji Official Town Site (Japanese)
Makado Onsen Ski Area – In the winter, you can check out Makado for your winter sports needs