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  • Beach Forest Trail in autumn
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  • Beach Forest Trail in early summer
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  • Anmon Valley Route
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  • Beach Forest Trail of fresh green
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Shirakami-Sanchi – Anmon Falls Recreation Forest


Elevation Average : 240―360m / Highest : 830m

Shirakami's timeless beech forest and the secluded Anmon Falls: a tapestry of stillness and motion

Shirakami's timeless beech forest and the secluded Anmon Falls: a tapestry of stillness and motion

Newest information
Please visit official tourism websites for the latest updates and information.
Autumn leaf viewing (Includes surrounding area) Waterfall viewing (Includes surrounding area) Birdwatching (Includes surrounding area) Picnics (lawn area/park) (Outside the forest) Areas for paddling/fishing (pond/lake/river) (Outside the forest) Guided tours (Includes surrounding area)(charge applies)(Japanese guidance only) Hands-on experience of woodwork (Outside the forest)(charge applies)(Japanese guidance only) Skiing (Ski resort)(Outside the forest)
(3 trails: 1,200 m)(3 trails: 2,000 m)
Pleasure boat trips on the dam(Amphibious bus)(Outside the forest)(A fee will apply) Day-trip bathing facilities
Geographical/topographical features
This Recreation Forest is about an hour by car from Hirosaki City. Located in the northeast of the Shirakami-Sanchi World Heritage Site, it is designated as a buffer zone for the heritage site. Steep, rocky gorges cut their way through the surrounding landscape, which offers spectacular views of everything from the fresh greenery of spring to the stunning red and gold leaves of autumn.
Historical/cultural features
Home to the East Asia's largest virgin beech forest, Shirakami-Sanchi achieved global recognition for its forest ecosystem and rich natural environment in December 1993, when it became one of the first places in Japan to be inscribed on the list of World Natural Heritage Sites.
This area has a traditional hunting culture called “matagi.” Matagi hunters, who venerate the mountain god, live in harmony with nature, avoiding hunting during the breeding season and gathering only the mountain vegetables and mushrooms that they need to survive. It would be fair to say that these traditional practices have helped to ensure the survival of Shirakami-Sanchi's natural environment down through the centuries.
Climate, flora and fauna
The changes of seasons are clear and distinct in Shirakami-Sanchi. As well as a typical beech forest, the Recreation Forest provides a habitat to a diverse array of endemic and other plant species, numbering at least 540. To date, 35 species of mammal ― including the nihon kamoshika, Japanese serow (Capricornis crispus), which is protected as a special natural monument ― have been identified there, along with 94 species of bird, 9 species of reptile, 13 species of amphibian, and more than 2,200 species of insect. (According to the Shirakami-Sanchi World Heritage Area Management Plan)
World Heritage Beech Forest Trail: With well-maintained paths and steps, this trail is suitable for people of all ages. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll at their own pace, savoring the seasonal changes of the Shirakami-Sanchi's beech forests from the fresh greenery of spring to the stunning red and gold leaves of autumn. The circuit is about 2 km long and takes between 60 and 120 minutes to walk.
Anmon Valley Route: This trail is for expert-level hikers. It is intended for those who are confident about their stamina. Sturdy equipment is required and we recommend that those tackling this route are accompanied by a guide. This route offers hikers the chance to experience the profound tranquility of Shirakami-Sanchi as they visit the three secluded waterfalls that make up the Anmon Falls. The trail may be closed at times of heavy rainfall or when the stream is swollen. The walk to the falls and back is about a 5-km round trip.
Latest Information
Be careful about bears that you may encounter in trekking between May and November.
While one of the attractions of the Shirakami-Sanchi World Heritage Site is the chance to go into the forest and share the natural habitat of wild animals, please note that there is a risk of encountering bears between May and November.
Please note the following points to ensure that you do not come to any harm during your trip.
1. Pay attention to information about any prior bear sightings before you start your trip; do not enter the areas in which they have been seen. Obey the instructions on any warnings in the area.
2. Do not go into the mountains alone; ensure that you are with at least one other person at all times.
3. Do not go any further if you find any signs of a bear, such as paw prints or feces; turn back immediately.
4. If you encounter a bear, calmly back away from it. (Do not shout at it, run toward it, or turn your back on it and run away. (Bears will chase anything that runs away from them.)
5. Never approach a bear cub. (Its parent will certainly be nearby.)
The Anmon Valley Route involves gorge walking, which requires stamina. Mountain climbing equipment is also required. The trail passes through a steep-sided gorge beside a mountain stream, so we recommend wearing a helmet and being accompanied by a guide.
The Anmon Valley Route follows the path of a mountain stream, which may become swollen at times of high rainfall. In such situations, please go back down the mountain immediately.
Usage Guide
Entrance fee
None (However, voluntary Forest Environment Improvement Donations to contribute to the upkeep of the forest are welcomed.)
Opening seasons and hours
World Heritage Beech Forest Trail: Early May – mid-November (approximately)
The Trail: ca. 2 km, 1-2 hours circuit on foot.
Anmon Valley Route: Early July – early November (approximately)
Accommodation options
Use Japanese inns and hotels in Nishimeya-mura (30 minutes by car) or Hirosaki City (1 hour by car)
Toilets and drinking fountains (Includes surrounding area) Walking trail (Includes surrounding area)(including mountain trails) Car park (Outside the forest) Observation platform (Outside the forest)(including the observation deck) Visitor center (staffed only) (Outside the forest)(Charges apply for some facilities) Vending machine (Outside the forest) Shop (Outside the forest) Restaurant (Outside the forest) Campsite and cabins (Outside the forest) World Heritage Site/Cultural asset (nationally designated)(Japanese guidance only) Accommodation facilities (Hotels / Japanese inns) (Outside the forest)
Aza Okawazoe, Oaza Kawaratai, Nishimeya-mura, Nakatsugaru-gun, Aomori Prefecture
(Distances and times are provided as a guide only)
By public transport
<Access from nearest railway station / bus stop>
  • We recommend taking a taxi or renting a car to drive from Hirosaki City.
  • A direct bus (Hirosaki Station – Aqua Green Village Anmon – Tsugaru-toge (Tsugaru Pass)) is available for a certain period; please contact Konan Bus Co. Ltd. on 0172-36-5061 for details of service frequency and timetables.
<Access from major transport hubs to nearest railway station / bus stop>
  • ・JR Tokyo Station (Tohoku Shinkansen: 3 hours 20 minutes) → change at JR Shin-Aomori Station (Ou Main Line: 40 minutes) → JR Hirosaki Station (Konan Bus: 55 minutes) → Aqua Green Village Anmon (tourism facility near the Recreation Forest)
By car
  • ・Tohoku Expressway Owani-Hirosaki IC → Route 7 → Pref. Route 127 → Apple Road → Pref. Route 28 → Nishimeya Municipal Office (28 km / 45 minutes)
  • ・Tohoku Expressway Kuroishi IC → Route 102 → Pref. Route 41 → Pref. Route 28 → Nishimeya Municipal Office (32 km / 50 minutes)
  • ・Nishimeya Municipal Office Pref. Route 28 → Aqua Green Village Anmon (16 km / 30 minutes)
<Car parking capacity / parking charges>

Parking charges: Motor coaches ¥2,000 midibuses ¥1,500 minibuses ¥1,000
Car parking capacity: 156 standard-sized cars (free of charge), 17 motor coaches and buses (charges apply)

Nearby tourist facilities
  • ・The Shirakami-Sanchi Visitor Center located near Nishimeya Municipal Office offers visitors the chance to learn about the area before they set off.
Management office contact details
Tsugaru District Forest Office
Information on Other Local Tourist Attractions
Shirakami Public Corporation [External link]
Official Tourist Information
Nishimeya Municipal Office [External link]
Environmental Protection Division, Aomori Prefecture [External link]
Shirakami-Sanchi Visitor Center [External link]
Recreation Forest Management Committee
Committee name and contact details:
Shirakami-Sanchi – Anmon Falls Forest Environment Improvement Committee
Secretariat: Commerce and Industry Section, Industry Division, Nishimeya Municipal Office

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