Scenic local lines and a World Heritage Forest

Shirakami Area (Akita), Shirakami Area (Aomori)

The Shirakami mountain range has the world's vastest beechwood forest. It still retains old-growth forests and was registered as a Natural World Heritage Site in 1993. Enjoy the fantastic view from the popular local "Gono Line" that passes through the base of the Shirakami mountain range and explore the mystical Juniko (Twelve Lakes).

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Day 1 - Juniko, Furofushi-onsen Hot Spring

[Traveling]
Akita -- <JR Ou Line 60 mins.> -- Higashi Noshiro -- <75 mins. from the JR Gono Line Resort Shirakami> -- Juniko -- strolling on foot [Juniko] -- Juniko -- <30 mins. by bus> -- [Furofushi-onsen Hot Spring]

*The times required with public transportation are approximate.

Gono Line

The Gono Line, which connects Akita and Aomori, is a popular local line in Japan that you must ride at least once. It is so close to the shore of the Sea of Japan that it makes you feel as though you are travelling over the surface of the water, and the spray from the surf even hits the cars in the winter. On the side facing away from the shore, you can see the Shirakami mountain range, which is a World Heritage site.

Resort Shirakami

A sightseeing train that runs along the Gono Line. Events are held onboard, and you can even listen to Shamisen performances. The Shamisen is the representative traditional string instrument of Japan.

Juniko (Twelve Lakes)

A group of lakes surrounded by beechwood forests, located in the western part of the Shirakami mountain range. It is said that the many lakes were formed by landslides caused by an earthquake. Aoike Lake is famous, but all of the lakes here are very transparent and so clear that you would think that there is a purification system somewhere. Be sure to have a taste of the water as there are locations where you can fill plastic bottles with it.

Nihon Canyon

Dynamic U-shaped valleys and cliffs, and rock surfaces with white tuff exposed due to erosion and deterioration. It was named so with the Grand Canyon in the United States in mind.

Hakkei-no-ike Lake

The first lake that can be seen when climbing the mountain from Juniko Station. There are locations where you can enjoy boating and see just how transparent the water is from above the surface.

Nakamichi-no-ike Lake

A small but beautiful pond that quietly reflects the deep green along the mountain path.

Wakitsubo-no-ike Lake

The second most transparent lake after Aoike Lake. It is among the most popular of the twelve lakes and has space available for slowly viewing its beauty. There is also a spot where you can drink spring water.

Ochikuchi-no-ike Lake

A spacious and tranquil lake. It is surrounded with autumnal leaves in the fall and is also a well-known photo spot.

Aoike Lake

The highlight of the Shirakami mountain range. As its name (“blue lake”) suggests, the water of the lake is clear blue, but it is still unknown why it is so blue in color. It is clear blue during the day, but it is mystifying how it turns navy blue in color at night.

Furofushi-onsen Hot Spring

A natural hot spring that springs up from two-hundred meters underground. The Sea of Japan spreads out before your eyes and is so close that you can feel its breeze and hear it clearly when you are in an open-air bath here. It is also famous as a hot spring with a beautiful sunset. Those who are new to hot spring baths can slowly relax here as the temperature of the water is quite tepid.

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Day 2 - WeSpa Tsubakiyama, Senjojiki

[Traveling]
Furofushi-onsen -- Henashi -- <JR Gono Line 3 mins.> -- WeSPa Tsubakiyama -- [WeSPa Tsubakiyama] -- <Resort Shirakami 15 mins. > -- Fukaura -- <Resort Shirakami 30 mins. > -- [Senjojiki] -- <Resort Shirakami 101 mins.> -- [Kawabe] -- <Resort Shirakami 45 mins.> -- Shin-Aomori

WeSPa Tsubakiyama

WeSpa Tsubakiyama, which is located adjacently to its exclusive station, is a resort facility that is surrounded by the ocean and mountains. There are many who make it the base point for trekking at the Juniko, Shirakami mountain range, and so on.

Fukaura

Back to the Gono Line. There are many unusual rocks that have been formed by natural phenomena to attract your attention by the Sea of Japan, which appears when you pass Fukaura Station.

Senjojiki

Senjojiki has a stepped landscape where the ground has risen up in all directions due to earthquakes. The scenery is unique with rocks of unusual colors such as green, black, and dull red. Visitors can also have fun looking for rocks shaped like lions, knight helmets, and more.

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