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Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road 白山白川郷ホワイトロード

Picturesque mountain road with waterfalls and hiking

Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road is a scenic driving route that winds through Hakusan National Park. The 33.3-kilometer toll road starts in the city of Hakusan and passes by natural landmarks such as Mt. Hakusan, a volcano that has been a focus of local esoteric religious practice for centuries.

Starting in the city of Hakusan, the first stop on the road is the Chugu Rest House, which serves seasonal cuisine made from local vegetables. Further along, the Hakusan Nature Conservation Center features exhibits about the volcanic landscape's flora and fauna and a virtual forest experience. The road then passes by a series of impressive waterfalls. Fukube Falls cascades from 86 meters and often sprays the road. Uba Falls is next to Oyadani no Yu, a free hot-spring bath named for the flowing white hair of an old woman. Stop at the arched bridge spanning the Jadani Gorge for a photo opportunity and stretch your legs on the walking path at the nearby Jadani Gardens. There are many lookout points with panoramas of the three peaks of Mt. Hakusan and the road winding through the mountains. Stop at Mt. Sanpoiwa for a mellow hike with rewarding views. After the road crosses into Gifu Prefecture, it passes a nature learning center and continues on to Shirakawa-go Village.

A major seasonal draw of the White Road is the vibrant colors of fall foliage. Check the maps on the White Road's official website to find out where the leaves are at peak color. For those unable to rent a car, there are private tour buses and chartered taxis available by reservation. The White Road is accessible from mid-June to mid-November.

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