Shirakami Sanchi

The Shirakami Sanchi is the collective name for the mountains stretching from Akita to Aomori Prefectures. This natural treasure trove was registered as Japan’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site (Natural Heritage) in 1993, along with Yakushima Island.

The pristine natural beech forests, untouched by humans, are among the largest in the world.

The beech forest was formed around 8,000 years ago during the last glacial period, and is home to more than 540 species of native plants, including not only beech, but also large trees such as katsura, harigiri, and asada.

In addition, a total of more than 4,000 species of creatures live here, making for a wealth of things to see and do.

Birds include the black woodpecker, the most common type of woodpecker, as well as golden eagles, bear hawks, and snowy ducks.

Mammals include black bears, antelopes, and Japanese macaques. The Shirakami Mountains in Akita Prefecture are the only place in Japan where Japanese macaques live as a troop.

Insects: More than 2,300 species of insects have been confirmed, and several new species of insects have been discovered.

There is a group of 33 lakes and marshes surrounded by beech forests in the Shirakami Mountains, collectively known as the “Twelve Lakes. The Twelve Lakes are said to have been created by a major earthquake in 1704.

The most famous of these is “Aoike,” or Blue Pond. Shining a brilliant cobalt blue, the pond is so clear that a large rotting beech tree lies in the water and a fallen tree can be seen at the bottom of the pond, yet the clear blue surface of the lake, as if ink had been poured over it, is mysterious.

The spring water of Boiling Pot Pond, with its similarly beautiful blue lake water, has been selected as one of the “Famous Water of Aomori Prefecture” and “100 Famous Water of the Heisei Era”.

Matcha green tea and sweets brewed with the famous “Boiling Pond Fresh Water” are offered free of charge at the teahouse “Junikoan” in front of the Ochiguchi-no-ike pond. However, if you put your feelings in the “Kokorozashi” box, it will help us run the event in the future.

If you stop by during a forest-bathing hike, you will find an oasis of healing and a place to take a rest.

On the way to Lake Fuji, there is a spot with a spectacular view. It is the Japan Canyon.

The white rock cliffs, which are reflected in the surrounding trees, are a beautiful sight, similar to the Grand Canyon in the U.S. The “Twelve Lakes Forest” is also a beautiful place to visit.

In addition, four recommended therapy paths have been established in the “Twelve Lakes Forest. Depending on your time and physical strength, we recommend that you choose the one that suits you best and walk along one of the following courses: Aoike Pond and Boiling Pot Pond Course, Kinzan Pond Short Course, Kinzan Pond and Itohata Pond Long Course, or Ooike Pond Course.

The Forest Products Museum Kyororo, located near Lake Juniko, sells snacks and souvenirs, and is a popular base for trekking and hiking in the mountains.

It is accessible even without a car, as there is a local bus service from JR Juniko Station. Visitors can stop by and take a rest during their hiking trip.

Juniko Refresh Village is a campground located on the shores of Lake Juniko. Visitors can enjoy camping in log cabins and tent sites.

In particular, authentic log houses made of Finnish red pine add to the resort atmosphere. Also, the campground is within walking distance of Lake Juniko, allowing visitors to fully enjoy sightseeing in the Shirakami Sanchi (mountainous region).


Shirakami Sanchi
Official Site
61-1 Tashirokanda, Nishimeya Village, Nakatsugaru-gun, Aomori Prefecture
Telephone number

Approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes by car from Hirosaki Station on the Ou Main Line
Approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes from Aomori Airport by car
Approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes from Owani-Hirosaki IC on Tohoku Expressway by car.

Aomori Shirakami Tohoku
Mountains, Mountain passes, Plateaus, Wetlands, Valleys Animal habitats, Flora animal