Summer Roadtrip: Day Three (Nanbu → Sendai)

Waking up very (!) early, we went in search of breakfast at Japan’s largest morning market – Tatehana Wharf Morning Market!

HACHINOHE: Tatehana Wharf Morning Market


Your average wharf at any other time of the week, on Sunday mornings the Tatehana Wharf area transforms into Japan’s largest morning market; a bustling hive of activity with over 300 stalls lined up along a stretch of around 800 metres!! Selling everything from local produce to lifestyle goods, there is a reason why tens of thousands of people come to visit every weekend.

Breakfast: check! With our stomachs full, it was off to enjoy the last day of our trip.

Tatehana Wharf Morning Market

The largest morning market in Japan!! Definitely a must on any foodie’s itinerary and worth the early start.

Along with local seafood and vegetables, here you will find all kinds of dishes being prepared, from fried-chicken and gyoza to ramen, takoyaki and yakisoba.

Keep your eye out for the unofficial market mascot ‘Ikadon’!

The market is held every Sunday morning from dawn until around 9am. However, it takes a break during the bitterly cold winter months, from January to mid-March.

Access details here

Tatehana Wharf Morning Market

NANBU: Fruit-picking & Parfait making

‘Kitano Fruit Parlor’ in Nanbu-town is famous for its very popular seasonal fruit-picking and parfait-making workshops! Depending on what fruit is in season at the time of your visit, you can enjoy picking your own fresh fruit before turning it into an original and tasty parfait. As it was late summer, we picked peaches and challenged each other to see who had the best parfait making skills!

After being shown different creative ways of cutting the fruit we were left to our own creative devices. Whose parfait was the winner? (they all tasted great!)

Kitano Fruit Parlor

Enjoy a fruit picking experience and make your own creative parfait!

Fruit available depends on the season.

Please call ahead to book your experience (usually lasts for about 2 hours)

Price: Adults, 2000 yen; children (below primary) 1500 yen

Phone: 0178-76-1001

Homepage (Japanese):



‘Kitano Fruit Parlour’


Off to Morioka!

MORIOKA: Noodles, noodles and more noodles!

When you hear the word ‘Morioka’, the first thing you should think of is ‘the three noodles of Morioka’: spicy ‘Jajamen’, ‘Reimen’ and (of course) ‘Wanko-soba’!

You can’t really leave Morioka until you’ve tried all three! ‘Jajamen’ is a delicious mix of noodles, special miso, grated ginger, vinegar, garlic and chili oil. Morioka Reimen, whilst similar to Korean Reimen, uses a different kind of noodle made from a special mix of wheat flour and starch.

We ate this delicious set at the Mt. Iwate Service Area (heading towards Sendai). It costs just 1140 yen for a taste of all three of Morioka’s famous noodles!

Feeling more than satisfied (again!) it was nearly time for our trip to come to a close – but not before a spot of shopping!

At Japan’s Service Areas you can find a great range of souvenirs and local produce to take home with you as a memory of your trip, including some limited edition products only available in the local area. For example, this awesome ‘melon-pan’ in the shape of Mt. Iwate!!

‘Mt. Iwate Melon bread’ 286 yen (Mt. Iwate Service Area)

On the way home, we also stopped at Kurihara to take advantage of the fresh local produce on offer! Even if you forget to buy a souvenir during your trip, you can just pick something up on your way home! Easy!!

Once back in Sendai, we filled up the car with petrol and took it safely back to Nippon Rent-a-car. Safe and sound, and with full bellies, the journey home was spent planning our next Tohoku adventure! Stay tuned…

What did you think of our trip?

Especially for those coming back to Japan for a second or third time, Tohoku is the best option to experience the natural beauty and warm hospitality of the ‘real’ Japan. Traveling by car is the best way to make the most of your Tohoku journey; take the time to explore roads less traveled and enjoy the freedom to decide how long you want to stay and when you want to go home…or not!

Read more about our roadtrip!

Day Two: Inakadate → Hachinohe

Have you ever held a real Japanese sword? We have! Some of Japan’s best kept secrets lie in Aomori, including some amazing Rice-Paddy Art, stunning coastal drives and local night-life hidden away from the main streets…

Day One: Sendai → Hirosaki

Follow us as we set-off from Sendai City, check-out Japan’s amazign ‘flying dumplings’ before taking on the Wanko-soba challenge!! Who will win…?

Read more about NEXCO East’s Tohoku Expressway Pass here!





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