Eating out / Bouillabaisse event showcases seafood unloaded at Aomori port

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Chefs of restaurants participating in Hachinohe Bouillabaisse Festa gather ahead of the opening of the event in Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, on Jan. 24.

The Yomiuri ShimbunHACHINOHE, Aomori Pref. — The sixth Hachinohe Bouillabaisse Festa, an annual event to provide locally flavored bouillabaisse using seafood unloaded at Hachinohe Port, is being held until March 31.

Restaurants in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture, and Kuji, Iwate Prefecture, joined this year’s event, among a record 17 restaurants to participate in the festival.

Cooking Hachinohe bouillabaisse sarted to show the public how abundant winter seafood items are in the city.

Focusing on the dish also aims to create new styles of eating seafood and to promote the city’s tourism in winter.

Bouillabaisse was originally a local cuisine for fishermen in southern France. But people engaging in the event in Hachinohe set some new rules over what can be called Hachinohe bouillabaisse.

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  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

    A bouillabaisse dish prepared by the chefs

“At least four kinds of Hachinohe seafood items should be used,” and “Another dish should be prepared to create a course or set meal with the bouillabaisse.”

Chefs of participating restaurants made various efforts, such as adding Japanese flavors by using kelp, or having the flavors reflect Italian or other ethnic cuisines.

Many of the restaurants serve courses with appetizers and other additional dishes. Lunch prices range from ¥972 to ¥4,320, and dinner goes for ¥2,800 to ¥4,320.

The festival is organized by Hachinohe Hama Relation Project (HHRP), a local volunteer group of fisheries.

Atsushi Kogawa, a representative of HHRP, said: “Now, in the sixth festival, tastes offered by the restaurants have further evolved. As an increasing number of people from outside of the prefecture come, we offered about 9,500 meals last year. This year, we would like to set a goal of 10,000.”

North 40-40, a casual French restaurant in Misawa, joined the event for the first time this year.

Kazu Hirabayashi, the chef of the restaurant, said, “Because I love seafood, I had wished to participate in the festival. I hope people will enjoy the specialty dishes in my restaurant.”

Detailed information about the event in Japanese can be found online at

To find out more about Japan’s attractions, visit


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