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Shirakami-sanchi, one of the UNESCO World Heritages in Japan

Visit Shirakami Mountain Range

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World Heritage in Japan 4
Shirakami-sanchi (Shirakami Mountain Range)

Shirakami-sanchi or Shirakami Mountain Range (Nature, registered in 1993)
Shirakami-sanchi is a enormous mountain range of 130,000ha covering southwestern part of Aomori Prefecture and northwestern part of Akita Prefecture. 16,971ha area of beech tree primary forest in this mountain range was registered as world heritage in 1993. 3/4 of this area (12,627ha) belongs to Aomori Pref.

The characteristics of Shirakami-sanchi is one of the biggest primary forest of beech tree in the world which was preserved almost untouched by human beings.

In this forest, great many kinds of plant grow such as community of beech-quercus crispula and Japanese Wingnut. There also live many kinds of animals despite the high altitude such as asiatic black bear (tsukinowaguma), Japanese macaque, black woodpecker and golden eagle. So the whole mountain range is like a forest museum.

Especially in the world heritage designated area, primary forest is very well preserved and its value is considered very important on the global level.

In the beech forest, there live more animals than other forest because there are a lot of plants which become the food of them. This forest also has function to adjust the water amount which flow to the river and to prevent the denudation of the land surface. These function and beauty of the forest have been highly appreciated nowadays in Japan.
(Reference: Website of Aomori Prefecture)

How to appreciate the forest (example)
This area is registered as world heritage in order to preserve, so tourism infrastructure is not well improved. So you have to walk from the neaby busstops.
Following is the major touristic places.

Shirakami-sanchi Visitor Center
(shows the nature of the area by films and exhibition)Twelve Lakes

Juni-ko or Twelve Lakes
(33 lakes scatter in the area. Some are near the busstop.)

Shirakami-dake Mountain
(1231m. 5-6 hours walk from JR Shirakami-dake Tozanguchi Station)

Anmon-daki Waterfalls
(3 waterfalls and beech tree primary forest. 1 hour walk from busstop.)

Futatsumori Mountain
(1086m. 1 hour walk from parking.)

Tsugaru-toge Mountain pass
(400 years-old beech tree. 5 minutes walk from busstop.)

How to access to Visitor Center from Tokyo (example)
Tokyo Station-(Shinkansen)-Hachinohe Station-(JR)-Hirosaki Station
Total time: About 6 hours

How to access Juni-ko from Tokyo (example)
Tokyo Station-(Shinkansen)-Akita Station-(JR Ouhonsen)
-higasinoshiro Station-(JR Gonosen)-Juniko Station
Total time: About 7.5 hours

How to access Shirakami-dake from Tokyo (example)
Tokyo Station-(Shinkansen)-Akita Station-(JR Ouhonsen)
-higasinoshiro Station-(JR Gonosen)-Shirakami-dake Station

Total time: About 7.5 hours

Beech woods
Beech tree woods

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