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Shirakami Sanchi

A UNESCO-recognized conservation zone teeming with ancient trees, abundant wildlife, and serene adventure in droves.

The mountain range which separates Aomori from Akita, named Shirakami Sanchi, is one of the best-preserved parts of untouched nature in the country. In fact, it’s recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it one of the most precious natural spots in the world!

At its center is a pristine, untouched beech forest hidden away behind the mountains. There are no paved tracks through the area, but there are several well-travelled routes along which to make your way through this natural time capsule. Besides the beech trees themselves, nature lovers will also have the chance to spot black bears, the elusive Japanese serum, and almost 90 different species of bird, so bring your binoculars!

Walk for around an hour and a half to reach Anmon Falls: three remote waterfalls which can only be accessed from spring to fall. The twelve lakes of Juniko are also worth a visit, especially the azure-blue waters of the lake named Aoike. For more rugged rocky terrain, the area also has Nihon Canyon.

If you feel like you’ve seen plenty of the more developed and accessible hiking trails of Japan, then setting off into this forest adventure will offer an entirely new experience to remember.

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