Sightseeing on the Resort Shirakami Line
Aomori is a place to take pleasure in the landscapes that alternate between mystical mountain scenes and beautiful coastal vistas. Travel anywhere in the prefecture and you will be dazzled by the endless beauty of Aomori’s nature.
One area that stands out above the rest both for the natural beauty and the way to travel through it is the coastline of Fukaura in western Aomori. This area is accessible by car or via train and both methods provide memorable experiences. Yet, if you are looking for a unique experience while in the region, then riding the Resort Shirakami train on the Gono Line is the way to go.
The Gono Line runs from Akita's Higashi-Noshiro Station to Kawabe Station in Aomori, where it connects with the Ou Line for riders to reach either the train station in Hirosaki and Aomori. The Resort Shirakami Trains are set up exclusively as sightseeing trains and take visitors slowly along the coastline, giving them the chance to take in the amazing views through the larger-than-usual windows, while providing unique amenities showcasing the culture and food of the prefecture.
The ride from one end of the line to the other takes approximately five hours to complete. Along the way, the train slows down at several landmarks so that pictures can be taken and stops completely at various points to allow for longer exploration.
The most memorable spots on the Aomori section of the Gono Line are the Aoike Pond inside the Shirakami-Sanchi, Furofushi Onsen on the Fukaura coast, and the rock formations at Senjojiki.
The mysterious blue waters of Aoike Pond can be reached from Juniko Station where the Resort Shirakami makes a stop. Hop on the bus at Juniko Visitor Centre and in about 20 minutes you will be inside Shirakami-Sanchi and at the edge of this unique pond.
Koganesaki Furofushi Onsen Hotel
Furofushi Onsen is situated on the Fukaura Coast and is one of the most popular stops on the Resort Shirakami. Besides the usual services associated with a high-quality hot spring resort, Furofushi is set apart from the rest thanks to the outdoor bath where the hot spring seems to join as one with the ocean. The “Umibeno Rotenburo” as it is known in Japanese, is only available from sunrise to sunset as there’s only natural light available in this part of the resort. It is available both for day-only (600 yen per adult) and overnight guests.
Senjojiki Rock Formations
On the north side of Fukaura, one stop no to be skipped is Senjojiki. Here, the Resort Shirakami stops for travelers to walk on the seashore bedrock which formed thanks to an earthquake back in 1792. After the walk, there is time left to visit the rustic shops on the side of the road to either get some souvenirs or a seafood snack. The sunset views are also spectacular here, and Minshuku Tanaka is available for those wishing to spend the night at Senjojiki to enjoy them.
Resort Shirakami Line_Samisen performance
While you ride with comfort on the Resort Shirakami, let the locals entertain you with their culture. A shamisen show is including with the train ride and performances take place intermittently during the length of the trip, complementing the beautiful scenery and making the trip even more memorable. A trip on the Resort Shirakami from Hirosaki to Juniko will cost approximately 2,500 yen and will take about two hours 50 minutes. For those using a Japan Rail Pass, this sightseeing train is accessible with the pass.