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World Heritage in Japan: Shirakami Mountain Range

By Staff Writer
October 21, 2022
Shirakami-Sanchi is the general term for the vast mountainous area that straddles Akita and Aomori Prefectures. Here, one of the world's largest beech forests can be found, preserving a precious ecosystem of many different animals and plants. The area was registered as a World Natural Heritage Site in 1993.
The Shirakami-Sanchi was formed when the Sea of Japan rose about 2 million years ago. It is said that the rich beech forest that covers the mountains first grew around 8,000 years ago when the ice age ended and the Japanese archipelago became warmer. The entire beech forest forms a natural dam that holds water before allowing it to flow into the sea, where the minerals and soil enrich the fishing grounds. In order to protect this beech forest, more and more people are volunteering for nature conservation activities.
The Shirakami beech forest
A waterfall in the Shirakami beech forest
A river flowing through an orange autumn beech forest
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