Travel on the Gono Line   五能線の旅

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A Shirakami Resort train

Take a trip along the coast by the Sea of Japan on the Gono Line.

Senjo-jiki

Kaze no Matsubara

Wonders all the way

Travel on the Gono Line in northeastern Japan to discover the stunning seascapes and natural wonders that abound on the Shirakami Resort special trains.

A birthday in style

On April 1st, 2017, the Resort Shirakami trains celebrated their 20th anniversary, along with the Akita Komachi Shinkansen. The Gono line has existed since 1908 and is one of the most beautiful train lines in Japan, as it runs along the coast of the Nihon-kai (the Sea of Japan). A wild coast, preserved and authentic which makes for a true adventure.

The line crosses sumptuous landscapes on almost 150km between the cities of Akita and Aomori, and 80km of it is by the sea. 43 stations mark out it for a break, discover breathtaking nature, a fishing village, or why not spend the night in a ryokan? From Mount Iwaki to Shirakami Sanchi (UNESCO), the choice is vast.

A course dotted with delights

Starting by taking the Gono Line from Aomori, the first remarkable place is in Senjo-Jiki. You are in the almost national park of Tsugaru. Senjo-Jiki means "one thousand tatami mats", and it really looks like several thousand tatami mats joined together, and offers a stunning panoramic viewpoint. Between the blue horizon of the sea and the rugged coastline of rocks, the contrast is striking.

Progress a little more towards WeSpa Tsubakiyama, where Furo-Fushi Onsen is located. A thermal spring rich in iron colors the water you immerse yourself in in front of the sea. Pure happiness for the body, eyes, and ears, as the sound of the waves rest and relax you. It's nicknamed "the onsen of immortality". A really wonderful experience!

Continue along the Gono line and make another stop in Juniko to discover Shirakami Sanchi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A huge natural area including the last virgin beech forest and a set of 33 ponds and lakes all connected by walking trails. The most famous pond is the mysterious Aoike, a pond so intensely blue that it becomes mesmerizing.

Fun to travel

To travel from place to place, there are the famous Resort Shirakami trains. Three different trains offer several daily departures from Aomori and Akita. It's therefore quite possible to take one along a section of the line, stop in one of the recommended places above, and later take another Shirakami Resort train to continue your trip.

You can also stay on one of the trains for the entire journey along the Gono line, which takes five hours. On board, entertainment is offered to travelers: traditional doll theater, storyteller of Tsugaru stories and shamisen concerts. The train also pauses at special points of interest along the line to allow you the chance to admire them. 

JR East has recently introduced hybrid trains that are more environmentally friendly. Good news when it comes to preserving the beauty of these landscapes.

Comments Read comments from our travellers

Mrs

Had a wonderful trip from Aomori to Kanazawa beautiful train. The only way to travel around Japan. We have travelled to Japan 4 times and will go again.