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Hike of a Sacred Mountain, Mt. Hakusan; Round Trip from the Kanko Shindo Route

One of Japan’s three sacred mountains, also famed for its alpine flora.
  • Duration
    2Days / 9.5Hours
    Highest Point
    2702m
    Elevation Gain
    1444m
  • Skill Level
    Fitness Level
    Gear Level
Mt. Hakusan is located in Japan’s Hokuriku region on the border of Ishikawa and Gifu prefectures. The surrounding area is designated as Hakusan National Park. The region receives a great deal of snowfall and the sight of Mt. Hakusan’s peak crowned in snow is a key source of its fame. In addition to being one of Japan’s 100 famous mountains, Mt. Hakusan is one of Japan’s Three sacred mountains, along with Mt. Fuji (Fuji-san) and Mt. Tateyama. Since people began climbing Mt. Hakusan in the 8th Century, the mountain has become a sacred peak and object of devotion for Shugendo, an ascetic faith native to Japan which venerates mountains. There are several peaks in the area around the mountain top, including Mt. Kengamine and Mt. Onanjimine (Ohnanji-mine). There are also crater lakes such as Midorigaike Pond and Konyagaike Pond. The route introduced here is a round trip from the Kanko Shindo to the mountain’s highest peak, Mt. Gozengamine, which benefits from easy access via public transit. This route takes two days including a one night stay.

From the Bettodeai trailhead, pass through the torii gate and follow the trail on the left side of the Sabo Shindo junction. Hike up a zigzagging section of trail through a forested area. When the trail becomes a traverse, your field of vision will open up, and the path once again turns to steep rocky steps.

From Bettodeai, it’s a two-hour hike to the Bettozaka junction where you emerge into the ridgeline. Hike up a ridge lined with shrubs and bamboo grass and pass through a large rock formation called Senninkutsu and you will soon be hiking up a zigzagging segment of trail. After about an hour and 20 minutes of departing from the Bettozaka junction, you will arrive at the Tonogaike-hinan-goya shelter hut. From Tonogaike-hinan-goya, hike up for about an hour and 20 minutes through grassy meadows where flowers bloom through July and August, and you’ll reach a large rock formation called Kuroboko-iwa Rock.

Follow a level segment of trail from Kuroboko-iwa Rock. Proceed straight past the junction with Minami-ryugabanba then hike up a rocky slope called Goyozaka through a stone pine belt to reach the Hakusan Murodo Visitor Center(mountain hut) where you will lodge for the first night of the trek.

On the second day, follow the stone paved path for about 40 minutes to reach the summit of Mt. Gozengamine, where you’ll find a small Shinto shrine belonging to the Hakusan Okumiya Shrine.

From here, follow the trail in reverse to complete the return hike.

Other Info

Mt. Hakusan is also popular due to its beautiful flowers. A variety of alpine flora blooms through July and August. Some like Hakusanfuuro (Geranium nipponicum) and Hakusanzakura (Primula cuneifolia) bear the mountain’s name. You can also see kuroyuri (Kamchatka fritillary), Iwagikyo (Campanula lasiocarpa), and Takanematsumushiso (Scabiosa japonica).

Notes

Hakusan Murodo has several buildings providing accommodation for large numbers of people. However, there is a strict system requiring reservations for anyone planning to stay. When planning your visit be sure to reserve lodgings ahead of time.

Route Map

Elevation Map

Height (m)
Horizontal Distance (km)

Spec

Duration
2Days / 9.5Hours
Highest Point
2702m(Hakusan Mt. Gozengamine)
Elevation Gain
1444m
Horizontal Distance
11.7Km
Skill Level
Fitness Level
Gear Level

On the Trail

Sleeping

Tonogaike-hinan-goya, Hakusan Murodo Visitor Center

Eating

Hakusan Murodo Visitor Center

Hot-Springs

Hakusan Onsen

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Access

Mt. Hakusan is located in the Hokuriku region on the border of Ishikawa and Gifu prefectures. From Tokyo Station, take the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Kanazawa Station (approx. 3 hours).
From Kanazawa Station, take the Hokuriku Tetsudo Hakusan Tozan Bus to Bettodeai (2 hours and 15 minutes. Operates on designated weekends from mid-July to early October, and during the hiking season from mid-July to mid-August).

Links

COURSES

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