The wild forest covers 1,300 square kilometers and was one of the first sites on the World Heritage List for Japan. Inside the forest, visitors can see the final virgin forest of Siebold’s beech trees that once covered most of the Tohoku region. There are also over 80 species of birds, along with Japanese black bears, serow, and macaques.
Being a virgin forest, the woods remain largely undisturbed and therefore there are not many paths or trails leading into the forest. Marked trails leave from towns surrounding the forest and provide the best vantage to enter the shallow forest edges. Anmon Falls or Juni-ko (twelve lakes) are especially popular destinations for hikers willing to make the trek. Although these trails being flat and paved they do become steep and narrow and are not recommended for those without proper footwear.
Do take note, that special permission from Forest Management is necessary in order to enter the heart of Shirakami-Sanchi. Shirakami-dake, the highest peak in Shirakami-Sanchi is not a part of the World Heritage Site and so permission is not necessary to climb the mountain. A toilet and shelter facilities can be found at the summit.