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 the Miyagi Prefecture Partner for Japan Travel and a longterm contributor since 2012 with a focus on the Tohoku region. Justin has written extensively for JT, and other publications such as VisitMiyagi and Sake Today, amassing over 350 published articles introducing the travel and culture of the region. Justin's wealth of experience and knowledge comes from studying in Akita, teaching English in Miyagi through the JET Program, and promoting sake overseas for the government of Fukushima. Now Justin helps with inbound tourism and regional promotion while also enjoying his role as a volunteer tour guide in Sendai, the gyutan capital of the world.