Hiking in UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site Shirakami Sanchi
The access road to Dakedai Forest and Mt. Fujisato-Komagatake will open on Thursday, May 20.
At Dakedai you can enjoy a tranquil stroll through an ancient beech forest. See frog and salamander eggs in the pools of water, hear the drilling of the rare black woodpecker, and drink from the natural spring located midway through the route loop. The relatively flat loop can be done in under an hour.
Mt. Fujisato-Komagatake has a peak of 1,158 meters. From the summit, hikers can take in expansive views of the Shirakami Sanchi Natural World Heritage Site, including Mt. Kodake and Mt. Futatsumori. Take the popular Kuroishi hiking course and pass through leafy primeval beech forests and Tanashiro Marsh — famous for its spring blossoms. It takes two hours to get to the peak and bringing a pair of snowshoes or wearing rain boots is recommended as there will still be snow on the ground!
Canoeing in the Yoneshiro River
Starting May 1, you can sign-up to go on a 5-km or 10-km canoe tour along the Yoneshiro River which flows down from the Ou mountain range through Noshiro City. As you row along, you can see Shirakami Sanchi’s wildlife up close, particularly birds of prey. Reservations must be made 3 days in advance with 2 or more people.
5-km: 3,500 yen/per person (morning course 10-11:30 a.m., afternoon course 1:30-3:00 p.m.)
10-km: 5,000 yen/per person (only morning course: 9 a.m.-12 p.m., includes lunch and free entry to the local bath house)
*Discounts are available for groups of 6-9 people and over 10 people. Please inquire via email.
Reservations can be made through the Futatsui Town Tourism Association (booking form can be found towards the bottom of the page). Due to Covid-19, this experience is currently limited to those living in Akita.
Picking Junsai in Japan’s Junsai capital, what the heck is Junsai?!
Also opening on May 1, you can pick junsai in Mitane town. Junsai (watershield) is an aquatic plant that has been a part of Japanese cuisine since at least the eight century. Its mild flavor makes it a versatile ingredient that can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes in Mitane town, which is Japan’s largest producer of junsai. For this activity, you will go to a local junsai farm, get into a specialized wooden boat, and row around to pick this unusual water vegetable. Friendly farmers will show you how it’s done and give you tips on how to eat your haul!
Adults: 2,000 yen/per person
Duration: About 2-3 hours (or however long it takes to fill your bucket!)
Reservations must be made 3 days in advance through email: firstname.lastname@example.org Due to Covid-19, this experience is currently limited to those living in Akita.
*Most of the junsai farms are open between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., however reservations should be made for before 2 p.m.
*On the day of, go to the Mitane Town Tourism Association to find out which junsai farm you will be assigned to. All of the junsai farms are about a 15 to 20 minute drive from there.