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Natural Wonders of Shirakami-Sanchi: A UNESCO World Heritage site with its untouched forests and wildlife

The Magnificent Shirakami-Sanchi

Shirakami-Sanchi is a mountain range that runs through Aomori and Akita Prefectures in Japan. It is home to some of the last remaining virgin beech forests in East Asia, and its pristine forests are a testament to the importance of preserving natural habitats. The Shirakami-Sanchi area was declared a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in 1993, and it has since been recognized as one of Japan’s most valuable natural treasures. The region stretches over more than 130,000 hectares and is home to a diverse range of plants and animals. The area has been protected since the early 20th century and remains virtually untouched and unspoiled to this day.

The Flora and Fauna

The Shirakami-Sanchi area is predominantly covered by beech forests that can grow up to 50 meters tall. The forest floor is covered in a thick layer of moss, and the cool, damp atmosphere gives rise to many lichens and ferns. The area is also known for its many waterfalls and rivers, which provide habitats for many fish species and other aquatic life. As for the animal population, visitors can expect to see a variety of species such as black bears, foxes, and deer. The area is also an important breeding ground for the Blakiston’s fish owl, a rare bird of prey that is endangered in Japan.

Exploring Shirakami-Sanchi

If you’re interested in experiencing Shirakami-Sanchi for yourself, there are many ways to enjoy this pristine environment. Hiking trails wind through the forest, and visitors can take guided tours to learn more about the flora and fauna of the area. The Anmon Falls, one of the most famous sites in Shirakami-Sanchi, is easily accessible and well worth a visit. Whether you’re interested in hiking, birdwatching, or simply enjoying the breathtaking scenery, Shirakami-Sanchi is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts.


Shirakami-Sanchi is a natural wonder that embodies the beauty and importance of untouched ecosystems. As one of Japan’s most valuable natural treasures and a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is a testament to the importance of preserving natural habitats for future generations to enjoy and appreciate.
Cultural Heritage