Best time to visit Japan

Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road

A scenic road with dramatic mountain scenery

Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road in Japan 2019 - Best Time
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© Dan Bachmann

Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road (formerly known as Hakusan Super Rindo Forest Road) is a beautiful drive winding through the mountains. The road that connects Hakusan City, Ishikawa Prefecture with Shirakawa-go, Gifu Prefecture, is 33 km long, with an altitude gain of 1400 m. A tunnel connects two prefectures. The toll road is open from June through mid-November. It's also prohibited to use it after dark. The best time for a drive is fall months when leaves turn into autumn hues (koyo).

Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road in Japan - Best Season 2019

Hakusan White Road with switchbacks, sheer drops, steep climbs, and hairpin twists offers many photo opportunities. Breathtaking panoramic views, exciting hiking trails, and a few waterfalls are awaiting visitors along the way. When you cross into Gifu prefecture, the road gets exceptionally curvy, and there are few stops along the way. Shirakawa-go’s Gassho-Zukuri Village is a top spot on the route along with the Gokayama Gassho-Zukuri Village as both are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Another highlight of the trip is the riverside Oyadaninoyu hot spring offering no changing facilities, but with beautiful views onto the Ubagataki Waterfall.

Best time for Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road in Japan 2019

Hakusan Super Rindo Forest Road was asphalted in 1977. It can be only used by cars and pedestrians. The speed limit is 30 km/h. As its length is about 33 km (20 mi), the trip along Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road takes about one hour. The scenic route goes through the alpine reserve of Hakusan National Park. There is an admission fee for one-day and round trip, and opening hours from 7 am to 6 pm. in June–August and from 8 am to 5 pm from September to early November.