The Shirakamisanchi region straddles the border of the Aomori and Akita prefectures, stretching across 1,300 square kilometers of mountainous terrain. The region's pristine ecosystem remains untouched by man and in 1993 the Shirakamisanchi beech forest, one of the world's largest, was designated a World Natural Heritage Site. This primeval beech forest is home to a multitude of animals, such as the Japanese Macaque monkey, the Asiatic Black Bear, and the protected Black Woodpecker. Both a part of the World Heritage zone as well as the surrounding area feature extensive hiking trails letting you get in touch with the great outdoors. Shirakamisanchi is easily accessible on the Akita Shinkansen with a transfer to the Gono Line in Akita.
Juniko is a national park perfect for viewing the wilderness of Shirakamisanchi close up. The summit of nearby Mt. Ookue provides a dramatic view of the 12 lakes for which Juniko was named. The vast beech forest in this area is dotted with lakes and marshes, one of which, the Aoike blue pond, is famed for its crystal clear waters resembling a pool of shimmering blue ink. The fallen beech trees lurking beneath the surface appear as an ever-changing illusion, dancing in the sun's rays. This is one place you don't want to miss.
(10 minutes by bus from Juniko Station.)
Nestled in the coast facing the Sea of Japan, this open air hot spring provides a spectacular view. The Furofushi hot springs were named the Springs of Youth because of the water's reputed anti-aging effects. Those who tilt their ears towards the sound of the crashing waves before their eyes will feel appreciate the tranquil atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy the breathtaking sight of the setting sun sinking beneath the distant horizon while luxuriating in the hot spring':s waters. (Reserved for guests of the hotel after 16:00)
(5 minutes by courtesy bus from Wespa-Tsubakiyama Station. The bus runs according to the Resort Shirakami train's schedule.)
This sightseeing train ties together Akita with Hirosaki and Aomori, spending the majority of its journey atop the Gono Line, leisurely cruising along the coast. The specially installed scenic windows are wide, giving passengers a majestic view of the Sea of Japan and the Shirakamisanchi's sprawling mountains as well as the plains that stretch across Western Aomori. Spacious reclining seats provide plenty of room to dig into one of the original lunch boxes offered while enjoying the live onboard shamisen performances and telling of folktales. This train ride will take a spot among the highlights of your trip to Shirakamisanchi.
These falls are one of the World Heritage Shirakamisanchi's most famous sights. There's something mystical about the Anmon Falls trail that begins at Aqua Green Village Anmon and then winds its way through thick growths of primeval beech and maple as rock cliffs tower overhead. The Anmon Falls themselves consist of three waterfalls, each one taller than the last. The trek to the falls takes about one hour.
(55 minutes by Konan Bus from Hirosaki Station. The bus runs 3 times a day, only from late June to late October.)