Standing protectively over the cities of southern Ishikawa, Hakusan stands 2,702 meters (8,865 feet) tall and is beautiful to see on a clear winter’s day. In the summer, however, it is a frequented hiking ground for seasoned hikers – a tradition started as a mountain pilgrimage by the monk Taicho 1300 years ago.
If you’re up for a trekking adventure, Hakusan’s trails are open May through early October when snow is sparse. Roundtrip, the basic hiking trail that goes to the highest of Hakusan’s peaks (there are 3) is roughly 16.5 kilometers (a bit over 10 miles) long, but there are facilities near the peak for staying overnight – a highly recommended course to not only see the sunset and sunrise but to also better enjoy the overall beauty of Hakusan and to avoid injury from hurrying up and down the mountain.
Hiking the trails of Hakusan is a wonderfully refreshing experience, especially for those looking for outdoor adventures on their trip around Kanazawa.
- To get to the trailhead, Bettodai, you must ride a bus that leaves from Ichinose Yaeijo – to access this location, it is best to go by car. There are bus lines from Kanazawa, however, the earliest you may reach Ichinose will be around 9:00 am.
If you do decide to try Hakusan as a day-trip, start early! Buses from Bettodai back to Ichinose stop running at 5:00 pm and an inexperienced hiker will likely take around 6-7 hours to reach the mountain’s peak.