Shirakami Sanchi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a mountainous area extending across Aomori and Akita. It is home to one of the world’s largest primeval beech forests stretching over 130,000 hectares, 17,000 hectares of which are designated Natural Heritage. Although much of the designated area is unexplored, there are various hiking trails available through the pristine natural surroundings of Shirakami Sanchi.
The Juniko (twelve lakes) Hiking Trail is the most popular scenic path. Leaving the souvenir shop Mori-no-Bussankan Kyororo, the 40-minute circular trail takes visitors to Ketoba-no-Ike Pond, the distinctive cobalt-blue Ao-Ike Pond, primeval beech forests, Wakitsubo-no-Ike Pond and Ochikuchi-no-Ike Pond. Ao-Ike Pond, the highlight of the trail, captivates visitors with its mysterious clear blue water. The pond varies in colour depending on the season, the best season is said to be from April to August thanks to the high angle of the sun.
After your walk, take a break at the Mori-no-Bussankan Kyororo souvenir shop where a range of refreshments is available. Our recommendations are the exclusive fresh juice and soup made with the locally produced super-sweet carrots known as Fukaura Yuki Ninjin. Other walking options include a 20-minute return trail from Tsugaru-Toge Pass to the 400-year-old Mother Tree or a 15-minute trail from the car park to Kurokuma Falls, one of Japan’s 100 greatest waterfalls. Enjoy a walk along one of the many hiking trails suitable for all levels!