Shirakami-Sanchi ( 白神山地 )

  • #6 of 21 sights in Aomori
  • #433 of 838 sights in Japan
A World Heritage expanse of trees consisting of a virgin forest of Japanese beech

Within a large 130,000 hectare mountainous zone, there is a spreading landscape of an ancient virgin forest of Japanese beech and the beauty of a deep valley. Shirakami-Sanchi is being preserved as a World Heritage site, and is a natural sanctuary that has retained its original appearance.

A mountainous zone registered as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site

Shirakami-Sanchi, a mountainous area 1000 meters in altitude which spans from southwestern Aomori Prefecture to northwestern Akita Prefecture, was registered in 1993 as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site for its valuable region of primeval Japanese beech forest which has covered northern Japan’s hills and mountains from 8000 to 12000 years ago. As has been explained as a reason for its registration (“The world-class scale and distribution of a virgin natural Japanese beech forest that has been barely touched by Man”), Mother Nature there has been left untouched and the area has been an example of a natural museum with many precious flora and fauna inhabiting the sanctuary continuing to be hospitably protected.

Trekking through the ancient primeval forest

The entirety of the wide area is a natural treasure box with a precious heritage, so to know its true colors, you have to officially apply to enter the area to test your climbing prowess and to enter the core region. However, a trekking course for average tourists is available whose charms can be fully enjoyed. A regular traveler can trek without needing permission along areas such as Anmon-no-Taki consisting of 3 waterfalls, Juni Lake which was formed from a group of 33 large and small lakes, and Shirakami-dake which has a mountain-climbing path. You can get a full appreciation of Mother Nature through the primeval Japanese beech forest, the mysterious azure wetlands and the dynamic waterfalls born from the difference in elevation of the deep valley.

Enjoying Shirakami-Sanchi

At the Shirakami-Sanchi Visitor Center, models and large-screen videos explaining the area’s nature and ecosystem introduce its attractiveness. There are also pamphlets in English for foreign visitors, and information can be collected on matters such as the trekking course. In the interests of safety, it is recommended to wear the appropriate clothing and shoes for trekking for regular travelers going into the allowed zones. Please be aware that the region is closed during winter between late November and late April.

by Midori     2 months ago

Business hours Shirakami-Sanchi
Shirakami-Sanchi Visitor Center
April 1-October 31 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
November 1-March 31 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Closed Late November-late April: closed for the winter

Shirakami-Sanchi Visitor Center is closed on the following days:
The second Monday of each month from April to December (if that Monday falls on a holiday, then the next day)
Every Monday and Thursday from January to March (if either that Monday or Thursday falls on a holiday, then the next day)
New Year's Holidays December 29-January 3
Price Free
Address 61-1 Tashiro, Nishimeya-mura Nakatsugaru-gun, Aomori
Telephone 0172-85-2810


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