Shirakami Sanchi Area
Hike through one of Japan’s most sacred spots: Shirakami Sanchi. This 130,000 hectare UNESCO World Heritage site is shared between Aomori and Akita prefectures. There are 12 hiking courses where you can explore the expansive ancient beech tree forests as well as the 33 different ponds in the area.
Taxi / bus
1 hour from Aomori Station or Shin-Aomori Station to the Shirakami Sanchi Visitor Center
3 hours from Aomori Station to Juniko Twelve Lakes
Recommended hiking spot
Ketoba no Ike Lake
Ketoba no Ike Lake is beautiful in the summer when the lake’s green water reflects the lush greenery of the surrounding beech trees. This is also a recommended spot to see the autumn leaves reflected on the lake’s surface.
On the eastern side of Shirakami Sanchi, you can hike to the Juniko Twelve Lakes, the most enchanting one being ‘Aoike’, or the ‘blue pond’. The sapphire blue waters allow you to see into its 9m depths. The hike takes under five hours return and is recommended for experienced hikers or those who like a challenge.
Beech Tree Forests
Lose yourself on a hike through one of the endless beech tree forests in Shirakami Sanchi. These forests used to cover all of Japan, but many were lost due to the development of cities and farmland. The beech forests in Shirakami Sanchi play an important role as a conservation area and are home to many animals that rely on this habitat that has remained unchanged over hundreds of years.
Camp at Anmon Aqua Green Village
After an exciting hike through the forest, rest overnight by camping at the Aqua Green Village Anmon located at the end of the hiking trail to Anmon Falls. The village has various facilities, including cottages for families, an onsen to wind down in, and even a fishing hole.
Rafting in Shirakami Sanchi
Visitors can easily escape the heat of summer and rest their feet after all of the hiking by canoeing on the pristine waters of Tsugaru Shirakami Lake! This is the perfect opportunity to take in the beautiful view of the forest and skies as you explore the wide lake.