The Resort Shirakami is a pleasure train system that runs from Akita Station to Hirosaki in Aomori along the Gono Line. There are three trains in total all with their own names and models, but they all are more or less the same and share similar characteristics.
These photos highlight a winter ride on the "Buna" train, so named because of the thousands of "buna" or Japanese beech trees in the nearby World Heritage Site Shirakami Sanchi. Naturally, the train makes several stops around Shirakami Sanchi and other locales along the Akita and Aomori coastline. While the spring, summer, and fall surely bring their own unique charms to the rural landscape, the winter season creates something special, something I can only describe as timeless serenity.
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Justin Velgus (ジャスティン ベルガス) is a long-term resident and promoter in the Tohoku region. He has been a content producer for JapanTravel.com since 2012 and was the Miyagi Prefecture Regional Partner 2013-2015. Justin’s over 300 published travel and culture articles come from a background of studying in Akita, teaching English in Miyagi through the JET Program, and working for the government in Fukushima. He lives in the gyutan capital of the world, Sendai. Justin is an expert in local culture and history. He was the first foreign volunteer at Sendai City Museum and regularly advises the local volunteer guide group GOZAIN , which he is a veteran member, on guiding techniques and hidden locations in the city even locals don't know about. In his free time he enjoys delivering original walking tours, such as his Dark Sendai Tour (ghost tour) or Kokubuncho Mystery Tour (redlight district tour). Justin is also a Certified Sake Professional.