Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road

Attractions on the Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road

Here you’ll find everything you need to plan your visit to the Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road.

Hakusan Nature Preservation Center

Chugu Exhibition Hall

This center was built in 1973 for research into nature conservation in Hakusan and its surrounding areas. There are valuable materials on display at the base of Mount Hakusan explaining the biology of the rare plants and animals that inhabit Hakusan National Park and also people’s way of life. The Exhibition Hall is located about 1 kilometer before the White Road toll gate. There is a footpath from the back of the Exhibition Hall up to Jirai-dani valley and along the Jadani-gawa river. As the area forms part of the Jadani Nature Observation Park, you might also have the chance to see Japanese serows and wild monkeys. Of course, these wild animals are quite unpredictable, so you will need luck on your side if you are to see them, but even if you don’t, you can still enjoy the area’s great nature, including the sound of birds singing.  

Located at an altitude of 690 meters, this is the first large waterfall that you will see after passing the Chugu White Road toll gate. The waterfall has its source on Mount Shiritaka. There is a car park facility available here but the forest road is wide and the waterfall can also be viewed from there. The waterfall comprises three tiers and its appearance changes depending on where you view it from. It’s a magnificent waterfall and during the autumn there is often a rainbow visible around its middle until about 11 am, when the autumn sun has risen higher.

Although there are always people who wish to walk the White Road instead of driving, safety rules mean during its in-service period, pedestrians are not allowed access to the road. There are, however, certain specially appointed days when it is open exclusively for pedestrians. Every year, over 8,000 participants gather from all across the country to enjoy a 10-kilometer round-trip walk taking in the magnificent landscape. The walking route includes the sights of ‘Jadani Hakkei’ (eight spots of Snake Valley) and ‘Fukube no Ohtaki’ (the large Fukube waterfall) with its drop of 86 meters. There is also the ‘Ubagataki’ waterfall, listed as one of Japan’s best 100 waterfalls. A hot spring emerges from ‘Ubagataki’ and is a popular spot for taking a bath and also as a foot bath for tired feet! There are various kinds of native grass along the way to catch visitors’ eyes. And Hakusan Onsenkyo (Hakusan hot spring village) spring mountain marquee market is where you can find all of Hakusan’s wild vegetables and specialties gathered. This is held at the same time as the walking event and enjoys a good reputation as an event for people to enjoy during the early summer holiday. The 2015 event was held on June 13th. There is also a trekking tour lasting roughly two hours that aims to reach Sanpou Iwadake, the peak of the White Road at an altitude of 1,736 meters. The guided trekking tour starts from Ren-nyo Chaya teahouse car park. There is also a guided bus tour that leaves from Kanazawa train station, meaning that it’s possible to visit the road without having to worry about the driving. 

How to get to Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road from Kanazawa

From Kanazawa, take the Hokuriku motorway from Kanazawa west interchange and continue driving until you reach Chugu toll gate, which is the entrance to the Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road.

Saru-ga-jodo (The pure land of monkeys)

The high mountain cliff behind the Hakusan Nature Preservation Center Exhibition Hall is called Saru-ga-jodo (the pure land of monkeys).  The Kaga clan used to produce Ensho (gunpowder) in the mountain area during the period of their reign, and general access to this area was strictly banned. It thus became a haven for wild animals such as monkeys, bears and Japanese serows, and is now known as Saru-ga-jodo. It is the only area in Ishikawa prefecture to offer official protection for the inhabitation of Japanese monkeys. You can also enjoy the autumn leaves here up to early November.

Shiritaka-taki Waterfall

Ⓒ Hakusan City

Kamasoko-no-taki Waterfall

Located at an altitude of 690 meters, this is the first large waterfall that you will see after passing the Chugu White Road toll gate. The waterfall has its source on Mount Shiritaka. There is a car park facility available here but the forest road is wide and the waterfall can also be viewed from there. The waterfall comprises three tiers and its appearance changes depending on where you view it from. It’s a magnificent waterfall and during the autumn there is often a rainbow visible around its middle until about 11 am, when the autumn sun has risen higher.