Discover Japan's eco region

Posted by North South Travel Blogger · Jun 12 · in Japan · about Sightseeing

The Shirakami World Heritage Site is located in northern Honshu Mountains in Japan. It consists of the world’s last virgin cool temperate forests that contain Siebold’s beech trees. The Siebold’s beech trees at one point in the past covered the hills and mountain slopes of ancient Japan. And guess what, this is one of the few remaining places in Asia where you will encounter the black bear.

The property is situated along the shores of the Sea of Japan at an altitude that ranges from 100 to 1243 meters. 12,000 years ago, the planet was still devoid of human activity…it is during this time that half of Japan was covered in beech forests.

From North America to East Asia to Europe, you are going to find beech forests evenly distributed. The forests are thought to have originated from the Last Glacial stage. During this same period, the beech forests are said to have shifted their circumpolar area where they flourished before and then spread to mountainous areas. In Japan however, the vegetation maintained its original location by retreating to southern Japan and once again recolonized the circumpolar region. A good example of this kind of a forest in Japan is the Shirakami Sanchi forest.

The Shirakami Sanchi forest of South Japan displays a distinctive heavy snow environment along the inland areas of Sea of Japan, a climatic condition that is very rare around the world. These conditions are favorable to the flourishing of mono-dominant Fagus crenata – a species that is endemic to Japan.

The forests also feature flora diversity in its undergrowth with the most endemic being the evergreen Sasa Kurilensis. The forest also hosts some birds’ populations such as the black woodpecker as well as large mammals such as the Japanese serow and black bear. The interaction of climatic and biological processes has helped keep a stable environment of climax beech forests.

The Shirakami eco-region is something you don’t get to see every day. It is important that you get a chance to visit this region while it is still in its virgin status. Tell me, how many of your friends have visited this region? Why don’t you become the first one among your friends?

For more information on tours of Japan or flights to Tokyo, please contact a Travel Specialist at North South Travel today

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