Hakusan National Park

The holy peak of Mt. Hakusan

Hakusan National park is centered around iconic Mt. Hakusan and has expansive natural forests. The park is a habitat for the Asian black bear, Japanese serow, golden eagle, and other large wild animals and birds. As a Japanese national park with a near-untouched environment, the park has been designated a Biosphere Reserve in accordance with the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB).

Visiting Japan's National Parks

Hakusan National Park, like all of Japan's national parks, has no entrance fees, no opening and closing hours, and a permit is not required to enter or stay in the park. The national parks of Japan differ from national parks worldwide in that the land within the national parks is not exclusively designated for national park use and is made up of private property as well as public and protected areas. Visitors are free to enter and leave at any time.

Park Highlights

At the foot of the mountains, at altitudes of 1,600 m or less, are expansive natural forests comprising mainly Japanese beech, while in alpine and subalpine belts some 250 species of alpine plants can be seen, including Geranium yesoemse var. nipponicum and chocolate lily. The primeval natural environment is actively being preserved.

DON'T MISS

  • See the giant Itoshiro Cedar—designated as a National Special Natural Monument
  • Visit the dramatic Hyakuyojo-no-taki Falls
  • The seasonal colors of Lake Hakusui

The park is a habitat for the Asian black bear, Japanese serow, golden eagle, and other large wild animals and birds. In winter, Mt. Hakusan is covered in deep snow. In mountain areas at altitudes of 500 m or higher, it is estimated that over 600 million tons of snow accumulate. This snow is a major element in the formation of Mt. Hakusan's natural environment nurturing a distinctive landscape and culture.

MT. HAKUSAN WORSHIP

Due to being covered in pure white snow, Mt. Hakusan has long been referred to as a standout white mountain in Koshi (the former name of Fukui Prefecture). It has been a sacred mountain since 717, when it was consecrated by Taicho Daishi, an Echizen priest. It is one of Japan's three most famous sacred mountains, alongside Mt. Fuji and Mt. Tateyama.

HAKUSAN CHUKYO-JINJA SHRINE

This long-established Shinto Shrine is in Itoshiro in Shirotori, Gujo City, Gifu Prefecture, a place known since ancient times as the home of the gods. Thus, it is a core shrine for followers of Mt. Hakusan worship, which spread across Japan. Gigantic Japanese cedar trees over 1,300 years old line the approach to the shrine, creating a dignified atmosphere.

HYAKUYOJO-NO-TAKI FALLS

This waterfall, with a vertical drop of some 90 m, is one of the most iconic landscape formations in Mt. Hakusan area. The falls can be viewed from above from the Kaga-Zenjodo Ridge and the sight of the falls rushing over the edge of the vast Seijougahara Plain is one of the most dynamic landscape views in the Mt. Hakusan area.

JAPANESE BEECH FOREST (PRIMEVAL FOREST)

After climbing the Bessan-Ichinosedo trail from the Ichinose hiking site for about two hours, you arrive at Chiburi Ridge, one of the few areas of primeval Japanese beech forest in the Mt. Hakusan area. Nature observation meetings are conducted in spring, when the leaves are fresh and green, and in fall, when the leaves turn red.

About the Park 

Hakusan National Park stretches approximately 40 km north-south and 30 km east-west comprising the three peaks of Mt. Hakusan: Gozengamine (2,702 m), Onanjmine (2,684 m), and Kengamine (2,677 m). There are also smaller surrounding mountains.

FACTS & FIGURES

  • Date of National Park Designation: November 12, 1962
  • Area: 49,900 ha (499 square kilometers)
  • Location: Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Gifu prefectures

PARKS RULES & SAFETY 

As with any national park or conservation area, visitors to Hakusan are required to observe the following rules for safety and to protect the area's natural biodiversity:

  • Carry in, carry out: Take all of your trash with you.
  • Do not pick wildflowers or damage plants.
  • Do not feed the wild animals.
  • Hunting is not permitted.
  • No fishing unless with a certified guide.
  • No smoking while walking.
  • Campfires are only permitted in designated areas.
  • Do not bring plants or animals into the park.
  • Camp in designated areas only.
  • Beware of bears.
  • Submit a mountain climbing plan.
  • Obey camping ground rules.
  • Plan hikes that are appropriate for your level of experience and ability.
  • Do not go mountain climbing at night as this is dangerous.