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Gulls fly over Kabushima Shrine in Hachinohe, in Japan's Aomori Prefecture, on July 13. A U.S. travel magazine called the city "woefully overlooked." (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)
Asia Insight

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KENTARO IWAMOTO, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

HACHINOHE, Japan -- The city of Hachinohe, less than three hours north of Tokyo by bullet train, has plenty for visitors to explore.

Old alleyways are packed with cozy bars and restaurants. Meadows overlook the rugged Pacific shoreline. A hilltop Shinto shrine sits in the middle of a breeding ground for thousands of black-tailed gulls.

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