Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road Itinerary-Westbound

Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Applicable Dates :
Available June through the 11th of November
Itinerary Type :
Autumn Colors Viewing, Hiking/Walks, National Parks, Scenic Drives
Number of Stops
19
Est. Drive
33 km / 20.5 miles - 1 hours and 27 minutes
Est. Site-Seeing :
Between 2 hours 40 minutes and 5 hours 15 minutes
 
This itinerary covers the Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road, a scenic, two-lane highway stretching over 33.3 kilometers (21 miles), 24.5 kilometers (15 miles) of which are toll-road, through the beautiful Hakusan National Park. There are 7 significant waterfalls and 13 parking areas for observations and hiking trailheads. Estimated driving time, without stops, is about 60 minutes.

This itinerary only covers the road from the toll booth at the east end (in Shirakawago in Gifu Prefecture) to the Hakusan Nature Conservation Center/Nakamiya (Chugu) Museum a little west of the toll booth at the west end (in Hakusan City in Ishikawa Prefecture) as there are many points of interest along this section.

The road is open from 07:00 - 19:00 (meaning the exits close promptly at 19:00) from early June through August. The road is open from 08:00 - 18:00 (meaning the exits close promptly at 18:00) from September through about November 10th (subject to the road being closed due to early snow or landslides). There are 14 locations with emergency telephones, spaced about 2 kilometers apart along the road. Toilet facilities that include Western-style toilets can only be found at the Rennyo Teahouse near the east end of the road and the Nakamiya (Chugu) Onsen Nature Center at the west end of the road. Not all stops/parking areas have any restrooms so do try to plan ahead.

The toll for a one-way drive is currently JPY1,400-1,600 (about US$12-16) per passenger car. Cash only. No credit cards accepted (no telephone signal in most places along the route).

Notes: Night parking or camping is prohibited. Visitors must not collect plants or animals as this is a national park. Take any litter out of the park with you. Pedestrians and two-wheeled vehicles (bicycles and motorcycles) are not allowed to enter the road. The road is normally closed in the winter from about November 10th through early June (check the website for specific opening and closing dates each year).

See the above website for more information.
 

33 km / 20.5 miles - 1 hours and 27 minutes
1. Toyota Shirakawa-go Eco-Institute (P13) (Hotel) - トヨタ白川郷自然學校 (P13)

Courtesy of Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Accessible Has Food Has Parking Has Shopping Has Toilet Has Vending Machine(s)
MapCode :
549 016 516*11
Phone :
057-696-1187
Description :
The Toyota Shirakawa-go Eco-Institute is a stop along the Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road between Ishikawa and Gifu. This stop if just outside the east toll booth (Parking Lot P13).

Founded in 2005 as an educational facility for adults and children to educate them about nature and ecology in a separate educational/museum building. It also has clean, modern hotel, restaurant and onsen facilities.

See their website for details.

Hours :
Open year-round, but road may be closed or difficult in winter.
Address :
223 Magari, Shirakawa, Ōno-gun, Gifu 501-5620
7.0 km /  4.4 miles - (13 minutes)
2. Magari Toll Booth (P12) - 白山白川郷ホワイトロード - 馬狩料金所 (P12)

Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Has Parking Has Toilet Has Vending Machine(s)
Min/Max Time :
5 / 5 Minutes
MapCode :
549 008 181*58
Phone :
076-256-7341
Description :
The Magari Toll Booth (cash only) is the east end of the Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road (Parking Lot P2) between Ishikawa and Gifu (Parking Lot P12). The toilet facilities in the parking lot include Western-style toilets. The only other Western-style toilets facilities are at the Rennyo Teahouse and the Nakamiya (Chugu) Onsen Nature Center at the west end of the road. Note: Poor or no phone signals.

Formerly called the Hakusan Super Rindo or Forest Road, the White Road is a winding mountain toll road that connects Hakusan City in Ishikawa Prefecture with Shirakawa-go in Gifu Prefecture. The well maintained, 2-lane, 33.3 kilometer (21 miles) long road, 24.5 kilometers (15 miles) of which are toll, rises to over 1400 meters (4600 feet) above sea level and offers visitors sweeping panoramic views, hiking trails and a variety of waterfalls along the way.

The road is beautiful during the summer when the surrounding forests are lush and green; however, it is at its best during the autumn months when the trees are ablaze with autumn colors (koyo). The leaves usually begin to change around the higher elevations in late September and gradually make their way down into the valleys over the course of a month.

On the Gifu side of the mountains the road is extremely curvy and there are few stops along the way. The road quickly gains elevation leading to a tunnel that connects the two prefectures. A 40 minute hiking trail leads from the tunnel entrance to the summit of Sanboiwadake, a 1736 meter (5700 feet) high set of nearby peaks. The trail continues on from there for another 15 hours to the summit of Mount Hakusan.

The Ishikawa side of the road passes by several waterfalls. The largest, Fukube no Otaki, is an 86 meter (282 feet) tall column of water that cascades down next to the road. However the highlight of the Super Rindo may be the riverside Oyadaninoyu hot spring. This mixed gender bath is a steep, 15 minute walk down into the valley from the road, and offers beautiful views onto the Ubagataki Waterfall across the river. Note that there are no changing facilities and the bath is visible from along the trail to the waterfall.

Courtesy of Japan-Guide.com
Hours :
The road is normally open from early June through November 10, depending on weather conditions or other problems such as landslides.
Vehicle tolls range from JPY1,400-1,600 for cars one-way.
When the road is open, it is open for vehicles from 07:00-18:00, with exits closing at 19:00 from June through August; and 08:00-17:00, with exits closing at 18:00 from September through November.
Address :
Shirakawago
6.1 km /  3.8 miles - (17 minutes)
3. Rennyo Teahouse & Information Center (P11) - 蓮如茶屋 (P11)

Courtesy of Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Accessible Has Food Has Parking Has Shopping Has Toilet Has Vending Machine(s)
Min/Max Time :
10 / 30 Minutes
MapCode :
549 014 871*30
Phone :
801-957-8683
Description :
Stop along the Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road between Ishikawa and Gifu (Parking Lot P11). Note: Poor or no phone signals.

This teahouse is styled like a mountain cabin and is found within the Shirakawa-go Observatory Parking Lot (P11). The Observatory, with a view of Shirakawago village, is up a set of steps at the east end of the parking lot. The tea house (chaya) is the only shop along the paid route of the Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road. Take in views from 1,200 meters (3,940 ft.) above sea level while enjoying a meal and selecting from among the many souvenirs. The name comes from the fact that Rennyo, the famous head-priest of Jodo Buddhism, once walked this route. The information house offers pamphlets on the neighboring region and screens DVD footage about the White Road. These are some of the best (i.e., Western style) restrooms along the road).
Hours :
Only open when the road is open.
Address :
Shirakawago
4.1 km /  2.6 miles - (13 minutes)
4. Sanpoiwa Parking Lot (P10) - 三方岩駐車場 (P10)

Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road
Courtesy of Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road
Accessible Has Parking Has Toilet
Min/Max Time :
10 / 30 Minutes
MapCode :
549 040 235*25
Phone :
076-256-7341
Description :
Stop along the Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road between Ishikawa and Gifu (Parking Lot P10). Note: Poor or no phone signals.

Located at the highest point on the Hakusan Shirakawago White Road, 1,450 meters (4,757 ft.) above sea level, this point is on the prefectural border between Gifu & Ishikawa Prefectures. You can ascend the Sanpoiwadake Trail (50 minutes up, 40 minutes down) and make a route between Sanpoiwadake. On clear days, you can see Japan’s “Northern Alps,” including Mt. Hakusan itself. The Hakusan Shirakawago White Road is the place to see the fall foliage ahead of other areas. Note that the toilets at the parking lot do not have running water and are Japanese-style.
Hours :
Only open while the road is open.
Address :
Shirakawago
1.1 km /  0.7 miles - (4 minutes)
5. Tsuga no Mokudai (Toganokidai) Parking Lot (P9) - とがの木台駐車場 (P9)

Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Accessible Has Parking Has Toilet
Min/Max Time :
10 / 30 Minutes
MapCode :
549 040 034*52
Phone :
076-256-7341
Description :
Stop along the Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road between Ishikawa and Gifu (Parking Lot P9). Note: Poor or no phone signals.

(Also called Toganokidai Parking Lot.) This parking lot is located in Ishikawa Prefecture near the border. You will find vast virgin beech forests in the area. The contrast between the first snow-capped peaks and the foliage in autumn is beautiful. A steep, 25-minute walk from here will take you to the Fukubedani Gardens Observatory. On the way, you can gaze out at the peaks of Hakusan and at Sanpoiwadake. Virgin forests are also a place to see the natural process by which large trees decay and are replaced by new vegetation in the natural circle of life. The restrooms here are some of the best along the road.
Hours :
Open while the road is open.
Address :
Hakusan
0.5 km /  0.3 miles - (2 minutes)
6. Hakusan Observatory Parking Lot (P8) - 白山展望台駐車場 (P8)

Courtesy of Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road
Accessible Has Parking
Min/Max Time :
5 / 10 Minutes
MapCode :
549 009 650*00
Phone :
076-256-7341
Description :
Stop along the Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road between Ishikawa and Gifu (Parking Lot P8). Note: Poor or no phone signals.

Located at the Hakusan Observatory Parking Lot, this is the best site to see the highest peaks of Hakusan (Gozengamine, 2,702m), Onanjimine (2,684m), and Kengamine (2,677m). Below you is a vast virgin beech forest, with views of the new green foliage and autumn leaves.
Hours :
Open while the road is open.
Address :
Hakusan
0.8 km /  0.5 miles - (3 minutes)
7. Fukube Garden Parking Lot (P7) - ふくべ園地車場 (P7)

Courtesy of Google Maps Street View
Has Parking Has Toilet
Min/Max Time :
5 / 15 Minutes
MapCode :
549 009 633*14
Phone :
076-256-7341
Description :
Stop along the Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road between Ishikawa and Gifu (Parking Lot P7). Note: Poor or no phone signals.
Hours :
Open only when the road is open.
Address :
Hakusan
3.2 km /  2.0 miles - (11 minutes)
8. Kunimi Observatory Parking Lot (P6) - 国見展望台駐車場 (P6)

Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road
Accessible Has Parking
Min/Max Time :
5 / 20 Minutes
MapCode :
549 006 705*28
Phone :
076-256-7341
Description :
Stop along the Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road between Ishikawa and Gifu (Parking Lot P6). Note: Poor or no phone signals.

Across the road from the Kunimi Observatory Parking Lot is an observatory, with beautiful views at 1,100 m (3.609 ft.) above sea level. In addition to views of Hakusan, this popular foliage spot also lets you see the White Road snaking across the mountains.
Hours :
Open while the road is open.
Address :
Hakusan
2.5 km /  1.6 miles - (8 minutes)
9. Fukube Waterfall Parking Lot (P5) - ふくべの大滝駐車場 (P5)

Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Accessible Has Parking
Min/Max Time :
10 / 30 Minutes
MapCode :
950 878 562*25
Phone :
076-256-7341
Description :
Stop along the Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road between Ishikawa and Gifu (Parking Lot P5). Note: Poor or no phone signals.

This large waterfall is located near the center of the Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road and is a signature stop. Falling from a drop 86 m (289 ft.) up, the spray from the falls sometimes even covers the road. A waterfall flows right near the parking lot, with the water rushing past a cliff and creating a dynamic appearance as it strikes the exposed rocks. Many people let out cheers of delight at seeing this natural display. This mysterious waterfall was discovered when the forest road was opened. There is also another waterfall above it, so its name refers to a gourd shape with two tiers.
Hours :
Open while the road is open.
Address :
Hakusan
1.7 km /  1.1 miles - (4 minutes)
10. Mizunori Falls - みずのりの滝

Courtesy of Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road
Min/Max Time :
1 / 5 Minutes
MapCode :
549 006 229*74
Phone :
076-256-7341
Description :
Stop along the Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road between Ishikawa and Gifu. Note: Poor or no phone signals.

As you head from Fukube Falls Parking Lot towards Jadani Gardens Parking Lot (P4), before the Ubagataki Falls, you will find this stunning waterfall above and to your right, just before entering a tunnel (there is a concrete barricade along the side of the road to direct the water away from the road). The falls are also likened to an “old man” in order to provide a contrast to the “old woman” falls of Ubagataki.

If you are driving eastbound, after you leave the Jadani Gardens Parking Lot (P4), just before you enter a tunnel, look up and to your right to see the falls.

Note: There is no parking lot (you may be able to pull over and stop for a brief moment right outside the mouth of the tunnel).
Hours :
Open while the road is open.
Address :
Hakusan
0.6 km /  0.4 miles - (1 minutes)
11. Jadani Gardens Parking Lot (P4) - 蛇谷園地駐車場 (P4)

Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road
Has Parking
Min/Max Time :
10 / 60 Minutes
MapCode :
549 006 451*77
Phone :
076-256-7341
Description :
Stop along the Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road between Ishikawa and Gifu (Parking Lot P4). Note: Poor or no phone signals.

Note that almost straight across from the parking lot you may be able to see the Kooyudani Waterfall.

You may descend steps for about 15 minutes by the Jadani ("Snake Valley") Gardens Parking Lot and towards the foot of the river to find virgin beech and Mongolian oak trees growing here. There is a footpath from here to Ubagataki Falls and the Oyadani no Yu hot spring (onsen) . There is a Japanese-style toilet near the Ubagataki falls. The onsen is not enclosed so use at your discretion. Under the circumstances you may want to just soak your feet.
Hours :
Open while the road is open.
Address :
Hakusan
0.8 km /  0.5 miles - (2 minutes)
12. Kamoshika Falls - かもしか滝

Courtesy of Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road
Courtesy of Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road
Min/Max Time :
1 / 5 Minutes
MapCode :
549 035 134*30
Phone :
076-256-7341
Description :
Stop along the Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road between Ishikawa and Gifu (there is no parking but you may be able to see the falls just before the Jadani Bridge on your right. Note: Poor or no phone signals.

This is the fourth waterfall you will see after entering from Ishikawa Prefecture. These falls are also called the “five-stepped falls” or “five-colored falls” for the five tiers they have. The falls get their name from the high concentration of Japanese serow, or “kamoshika,” a protected species that inhabits the area.

Note: There is no parking lot.
Hours :
Open while the road is open.
Address :
Hakusan
0.1 km /  0.1 miles - (0 minutes)
13. Jadani Bridge - 蛇谷大橋

Courtesy of Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road
Min/Max Time :
1 / 5 Minutes
MapCode :
549 035 071*17
Phone :
076-256-7341
Description :
Stop along the Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road between Ishikawa and Gifu (no parking area so only a quick photo stop). Note: Poor or no phone signals.

The only bridge running across the Jadani River Gorge. This bridge is 70 meters (230 ft.) up and 45 meters (148 ft.) long, greatly enhancing the beauty of the valley views. Near the bridge, you will see unique columnar formations caused by chilled volcanic rock. Beyond the arch is a cliff face composed of these columns, as well as views of the Tokuzure Valley. The scenery is simply exquisite during the fall foliage season, almost like a painting.

Note: There is no parking lot.
Hours :
Open while the road is open.
Address :
Hakusan
0.9 km /  0.5 miles - (2 minutes)
14. Kamasoko Falls Parking Lot (P3) - 岩底の滝 (P3)

Courtesy of Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road
Accessible Has Parking
Min/Max Time :
5 / 10 Minutes
MapCode :
549 034 345*17
Phone :
076-256-7341
Description :
Stop along the Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road between Ishikawa and Gifu (Park Lot P3). Note: Poor or no phone signals.

This is the third waterfall you will see after entering from Ishikawa Prefecture. Around when the new green foliage sprouts, the water level increases. In autumn, the colors of the leaves produce a beautiful canvas. There is a kettle-shaped pool at the top of the falls considered so deep that it can suck up a tree, which is where the name Kamasoko (kettle bottom) comes from. A little further east in the river is the Iwasokonotaki Waterfall, more like a rapids.
Hours :
Open while the road is open.
Address :
Hakusan
0.3 km /  0.2 miles - (1 minutes)
15. Akachi Falls - 赤石の滝

Courtesy of Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road
Min/Max Time :
1 / 5 Minutes
MapCode :
549 034 515*74
Phone :
076-256-7341
Description :
Stop along the Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road between Ishikawa and Gifu. Note: Poor or no phone signals.

When the water flows, you will see three streams resembling the strings of a guitar or Japanese “shamisen,” so the falls are colloquially referred to as the “shamisen falls.” The name “Akachi” comes from the fact that, when digging for gold, red stones were found here.

Note there is no parking lot here; you can just slow down. This is the second waterfall you will see after entering from the Ishikawa Prefecture end going eastbound toward Shirakawago in Gifu.
Hours :
Open while the road is open.
Address :
Hakusan
0.3 km /  0.2 miles - (1 minutes)
16. Shiritaka Falls - しりたか滝

Courtesy of Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road
Min/Max Time :
1 / 5 Minutes
MapCode :
549 033 563*66
Description :
Stop along the Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road between Ishikawa and Gifu. Note: Poor or no phone signals.

This is the first waterfall you will see after entering from Ishikawa Prefecture. Starting at Mt. Shiritaka, the flows of its water wind a silken white line across the steep mountains. The falls have three tiers; the volume and movement of water differs from where you look at it. In the morning in autumn at around 11:00 AM, you can see rainbows in the middle of the falls.
Hours :
Open while the road is open.
Address :
Hakusan
1.5 km /  0.9 miles - (3 minutes)
17. Nakamiya (Chugu) Toll Booth - 白山白川郷ホワイトロード - 中宮料金所

Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Has Parking
Min/Max Time :
5 / 5 Minutes
MapCode :
549 031 119*17
Description :
The Nakamiya (Chugu) Toll Booth (cash only) is the west end of the Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road between Ishikawa and Gifu. Note: Poor or no phone signals.

Formerly called the Hakusan Super Rindo or Forest Road, the White Road is a winding mountain toll road that connects Hakusan City in Ishikawa Prefecture with Shirakawa-go in Gifu Prefecture. The well maintained, 2-lane, 33.3 kilometer (21 miles) long road, 24.5 kilometers (15 miles) of which are toll, rises to over 1400 meters (4600 feet) above sea level and offers visitors sweeping panoramic views, hiking trails and a variety of waterfalls along the way.

The road is beautiful during the summer when the surrounding forests are lush and green; however, it is at its best during the autumn months when the trees are ablaze with autumn colors (koyo). The leaves usually begin to change around the higher elevations in late September and gradually make their way down into the valleys over the course of a month.

On the Gifu side of the mountains the road is extremely curvy and there are few stops along the way. The road quickly gains elevation leading to a tunnel that connects the two prefectures. A 40 minute hiking trail leads from the tunnel entrance to the summit of Sanboiwadake, a 1736 meter (5700 feet) high set of nearby peaks. The trail continues on from there for another 15 hours to the summit of Mount Hakusan.

The Ishikawa side of the road passes by several waterfalls. The largest, Fukubeno Otaki, is an 86 meter (282 feet) tall column of water that cascades down next to the road. However the highlight of the Super Rindo may be the riverside Oyadaninoyu hot spring. This mixed gender bath is a steep, 15 minute walk down into the valley from the road, and offers beautiful views onto the Ubagataki Waterfall across the river. Note that there are no changing facilities and the bath is visible from along the trail to the waterfall.

Courtesy of Japan-Guide.com
Hours :
The road is normally open from early June through November 10, depending on weather conditions or other problems such as landslides.
Vehicle tolls range from JPY1,400-1,600 for cars one-way.
When the road is open, it is open for vehicles from 07:00-18:00, with exits closing at 19:00 from June through August; and 08:00-17:00, with exits closing at 18:00 from September through November.
Address :
Hakusan
0.4 km /  0.3 miles - (1 minutes)
18. Hakusan Nature Conservation Center/Chugu Museum (P2) - 中宮温泉ビジターセンター (P2)

Courtesy of Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road
Accessible Baby Changer Has Parking Has Shopping Has Toilet Has Vending Machine(s)
Min/Max Time :
15 / 45 Minutes
MapCode :
549 031 198*74
Phone :
076-256-7111
Description :
Stop along the Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road between Ishikawa and Gifu (Parking Lot P2). Note: Poor or no phone signals.

This exhibit space goes into detail about the history of the flora and fauna of the volcanic area that is Hakusan, as well as the ways of live that evolved in the area. You can touch real animal pelts and see the different trunks of trees; the highly-original exhibits let you virtually experience what the beech forests of Hakusan are like. A natural observation route is installed starting from the exhibit hall and along the Jadani River. If you are lucky, you may even see Japanese serow or wild monkeys. Every Saturday, Sunday, and holiday, volunteer staff act as guides on walks (free) of the area.

The adjacent Hakusan Forest Road Office is equipped with multi-purpose restrooms and vending machines.
Hours :
Open while the road is open.
Address :
920-2324 Ishikawa, Hakusan, Chūgū, O, オ−9
1.0 km /  0.6 miles - (2 minutes)
19. Nakamiya (Chugu) Onsen Rest House (P1) - 中宮レストハウス (P1)

Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Hakusan-Shirakawago White Road
Has Food Has Parking Has Shopping Has Toilet Has Vending Machine(s)
MapCode :
549 000 791*60
Phone :
076-256-7436
Description :
You will find a large parking lot (P1) at this rest stop, the first as you enter the Hakusan-go White Road from Ishikawa Prefecture. The cuisine here makes use of nutritive mountain produce like seasonal plants and mushrooms. There are many souvenirs on offer, including soybean powder bean cakes, which are wrapped in magnolia or bamboo leaves. There is charr sushi, a product developed in collaboration with local sushi shops using charr caught in the streams. The unique products are highly recommended. On rare occasions, you can even encounter wild monkeys in the area. The toilet facilities here include Western-style toilets. The only other Western-style toilets facilities are at the Rennyo Teahouse at the east end of the road.
Hours :
Open daily 08:30 - 16:30
Address :
920-2324 Ishikawa, Hakusan, Chugu, オ−3

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