My night at Cape Oma was less than spectacular. As you can imagine, camping alongside a coast can be a bit cool, and windy.
It wasn't a wind storm, by any means, but let's just say that I didn't get my full 8 hours of rest. In this case, you get what you pay for with this free camping site.
Fortunately, a cooking area is provided on-site. I was able to make a full breakfast and re-fuel with some nearby groceries.
The plan for today is to head into the Akita Prefecture and visit Shirakami-Sanchi. I've heard that the wilderness in that stretch of land is unreal.
If possible, I'd like to do some off-road riding through there with the DZed. Considering its designation as a World Heritage site, riding through might be easier said than done.
Regardless, I'm excited to see what Akita has in store for me today. According to my GPS, I have a 4-hour ride to the entrance of the forest.
Not only that, there might be a lot of hiking today so this may be the most physically demanding day of the trip (up to this point).
I scoot away from Cape Oma and wave goodbye to the oversized Tuna. My route to Shirakami-Sanchi appears to use many of the same roads up here, so hopefully, I can cut some time off of the route.
As I change course and head south along the bay, I begin to think about my planned day at Sugo Sportsland.
You know that I have an extensive background in dirt bike racing, so I'm excited to see the layout of this park and what bikes they'll have available, to rent.
As versatile as the DZed is, it's not the kind of bike I'm going to use for any kind of racing.
It'll be the first of many motorcycle-related activities on the trip.
With Japan being the homeland to many motorcycle manufactures, I'm excited to see how the brands are utilized for racing and leisure purposes over here.
I heard about this crazy kind of racing that involves bikes with a weird handlebar set up and no brakes.
It appears to be popular around the Tokyo/Saitama area, so I'll be sure to check it out when I get down there.
As I continue to daydream about the litany of fun two-wheeled activities there are here, the time pushes me further south and to the nearest village outside of Shirakami Sanchi.
It looks like the best method for getting into the site will be via bus from this village, then a variety of hiking trails can be found throughout the park itself.
With the DZed set aside, I hop on the bus and look forward to an afternoon filled with awesome scenery.
At the entrance of the site is a visitor information center that gives you information regarding everything from wildlife to hiking trails spread throughout the forest.
One of the biggest attractions in the forest is a waterfall named Anmon Falls. There are three different parts to the falls and offer several different sights.
There's also a blue pond, like the one in Biei.
Unfortunately, the main trail to the Falls looks to be closed until later this month, so I won't be able to get an up-close look at it.
Considering my surroundings, I'd say that's a small trade-off for being in such a beautiful slice of wilderness. The management team for the site goes to great lengths to preserve its integrity.
Trails are limited and none of them allow visitors to go into the center of the area.
I found a trail that appears to cover a lot of the scenery so I work my way through this route for the better part of the afternoon. What I went on to witness was stunning.
While the falls present their beauty, it does not compare to the view of the trees found in this forest.
The biggest reason why Shirakami Sanchi became a world heritage site was due to its abundance of beech trees.
These trees have laid roots in this soil for thousands of years and have gone relatively untouched.
None of them are that old but the fact that this entire region is filled with these trees is a testament to their heritage and importance to the country.
To add to its beauty is the thousands of creatures that inhabit this wilderness. Because of its untouched timber, many of these animals can exist, without the threat of extinction.
The only animals known to have a controlled population here are the Sika Deer as they tend to re-populate at a faster rate.
Between the rich green shrubbery and abundance of diverse wildlife, I collected enough photos to fill several albums. Again, the sheer diversity of the wildlife in such a small area astounds me.
With my afternoon adventure into the forest out of the way, I head back into the village and collected the DZed.
I made reservations at a local Ryokan tonight, so I can get a good night's rest and recollect myself for the journey tomorrow.
Speaking of which, I'm off to the Iwate prefecture and will see the Sanriku coast. I'm trading in the lush, green wilderness for some beautiful beaches.
Thanks again and I'll see you soon!