Crossing Akita and Aomori prefecture located in northern Japan, the great mountain range of Shirakami-Sanchi is one of the wildest places in entire Japan. However it is possible to access it by train. From Akita station, take the JR line to Higashi-Noshiro station. Then, take the Gono line to Juniko station. It takes approximately 2h30. From Higashi-Noshiro, the railway runs along the coast. You will have a great view on the Japan Sea and the western slopes of the mountain that you will soon be able to discover. On arrival at Juniko station, you are just 2 kilometers from a great sightseeing called the “Nihon Canyon”, accessible by a footpath. The canyon of Japan was named by explorer Kishi Mamoru in 1953. Although quite different from the American Grand Canyon as we know, the Japanese canyon is a set of high rocky cliffs which beautifully reflect light sun into the valley covered with a wild pine forest.
From there, you could reach the natural reserve of Tsugaru, located about 4 kilometers away. (Note that most of the access are restricted from mid November to late May). In this quasi-national park, you will cross beautiful forests roads in a landscape punctuated by several lakes and ponds. One of the most beautiful and also smallest is the Aoike pond spectacular by its mysterious turquoise blue colour. It is recommended to go to the Juniko visitors center where you could get information about where to stay and camp during the night if you wish to.
This part of Honshu area, has nearly 8000 years of history and more than 130 000 hectares of forests. The Shirakami area is the territory of traditional japanese deer and bear hunters, the “Matagi hunters”. They live in this area since the feudal period. From the city of Hirosaki, you could access to interesting trekking sites. A bus (operational from July to November) will take you to the Anmon valley from which you could access to the beautiful Anmon waterfalls.