The "Hidden-Beauty" Small Towns / Villages in Japan - "Nishimeya Village" in Aomori Prefecture

January 10, 2016

My today's update on the "hidden-beauty" small village is quite unique but very crucial for our nature's protection and maintenace in Japan.  The name of the small village is "Nishimeya", located in the sounth-west side of Aomori prefecture.  The surrounding area is the best-known "Shirakami Mountain Rnages", which was designated as the first Japan World Natural Heritage together with Yakushima in 1993.  


The great values of Shirakami Mountain Ranges is irreplaceable among Japna's natural treasuries.  The main reason for that is "Shikarami Mountain Forest has not been affected and disturbed by humans and/or human world and has yet been preserved as the original condition of its primeval forests, furthermore, in one of the largest-scale in the mountain ranges. 



1. Basic Infomation on "Nishimeya Village" :


- The Total Area:  246.02km2

- The Population: 1,454 persons (as of 2015)

- The Desity of Population:  5.91 persons / km2

- Railway:  Not Available  

- Main Roads:  2 main prefectural-operated roads (No. 204 & 317)

- Bus:  Konan Bus Networks between Hirosaki city and Nishimeya village

- Airport:  Aomori Airport (it is about 1-hour car drive from Nishimeya village)



2. Main Industry:


- Forestry

- Agriculture



3. The recommended spots for sightseeing near "Nishimeya Village":


3-1  Shirakami Mountain Ranges (World Natural Heritage Site)


Aomori prefecture side takes up about the majority (74% ) out of the overall spaces (170km2) of Shirakami Mountain Ranges under the World Natural Heritage Site, compared to Akita prefecture.   

And Nishimeya village is located in the centre of the Shirakawa Mountain Ranges.  The village itself is kept with a minor population in residence, since the world heritage site has been well maintained and preseved as an original condition of the natures.  There are still existing extremely untouched natural primeval forests in Shirakami mountains.


3-2  Mt. Shirakami (Shirakami Dake):


Mt. Shirakami (1,232m high) is located to closer to the south-west side of Aomori and closer to Japan Sea, hence, you can enjoy a great view from the tip of Mt. Shirakami.  If you like to climb Mt. Shirakami, you may start your challenge from JR Shirakami Mountain-Climbing station (about 5.5 hour walk).  


3-3  Visitor Centre of Shiramaki Mountain Ranges


The Visitor Centre is located at Nishimeya village and it is the best for you to visit there and understand the overall picture of Shirakami Mountain Ranges at first.  Then, if you like to go for trekking or climbing, you are engaged with the recommended routes, depending on your capability and time allowed.


3-4  Anmon Waterfalls


There are three waterfalls but with a same name, which is called "Anmon falls" along with an upper stream side of Iwaki River.  The first fall is in 42m high, the 2nd one is in 37m high and the 3rd one is in 26m high.


3-5  Niogataki Waterfalls


Compared to those 3 different Anmon falls, Niogataki falls look more gentle as if it is silk material.  There is a hidden Japanese god worshipped behind the falls.  Especially in the cold winter season, the fall becomes frozen, which local villagers say could be a fortune-teller whether or not the village could have a good havest in the new-year.



It is really the great-view natural beauty spot in Japan, therefore, you shouldn't miss an opportunity to enjoy and apprciate the values of untouched natures in Japan, if you are the nature's lover. 



< Shirakami Mountain Ranges in Summer >




< Shirakami Mountain Ranges in Autumn >




 < Shirakami Mountain Ranges - Primeval Forests >



< Shirakami Mountain Ranges - Valley Streams >




< Shiramai Visitor Centre at Nishimeya Village >




< Shirakami Mountain Ranges - Anmon Falls >




< Shirakami Mountain Ranges - The Frozen Niogataki Falls in Winter >




< How to Get Shirakami Mountain Ranges >






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