Shirayama Hime Jinja Shrine
At this shrine, the object of worship is Mt. Hakusan itself. The main sanctuary is located at the start of the pilgrimage route on the Ishikawa Prefecture side, while its inner sanctuary is at the summit. At the main sanctuary, visitors can undertake a Shinto purification ritual known as Misogi, under the guidance of a shrine priest. During the summer, priests are permanently stationed at the inner sanctuary. When the weather conditions are right, they conduct prayer rituals to greet the rising of the sun.
The village of Shiramine, deep in the mountains, is one of the starting points for the pilgrimage to the peak of Mt. Hakusan. In the old days it was filled with visitors from around Japan, and you can still find many handsome wooden buildings dating from those times. This cafe, housed inside one of those old houses, serves local specialties that are traditional to this area, including foraged wild plants and dishes made from grains such as finger millet, which is rarely grown today.
Hakusan Murodo Visitor Center
This visitor center is located at a height of 2,450 meters, just below the summit of Mt. Hakusan. As many as 750 people can stay overnight here, and during the peak summer climbing season, it even has a post office and medical clinic. There are also guides who conduct nature observation walks free of charge.
From Tokyo, it takes 2 and a half hours by Shinkansen bullet train to Kanazawa. From there it is 30 minutes by local train to Tsurugi, and then a 1-hour bus ride to Shiramine. To reach the trailhead, it is another 30 minutes by bus from Shiramine.