South of Mt. Iwaki are the Shirakami Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to the world's largest virgin beech forest. The area is truly pristine and great for hiking, particularly in spring. If you don't have a car, take the Konan bus from JR Hirosaki Station bound for Tsugaru Touge, getting off at Aqua Green Village, Anmon (90 minutes). If you want to see the Mother Tree—the forest's largest, and presumably oldest tree—get off at the last stop, Tsugaru Toge (2 hours, 10 minutes); the tree is a five-minute walk from there. Only a few buses run daily, so check the schedule in advance.