One of Japanfs Three Sacred Mountains along with Mt. Fuji, Mt. Tateyama and Mt. Hakusan has been a mountain of worship from ancient times. The meaning of Mt. Hakusan is g White Mountain g like Mont. Blanc in Europa.
The Hakusan Shirayama Hime-Jinja Oku-miya (Shrine), is located at the peak of Mt. Hakusan. The origin of mountain-climbing worship is said to date back to 717, when a priest named Taicho climbed Mt. Hakusan for the first time to practice aesthetic rites. Today, about 2700 branch shrines of Hakusan Shrine can be found throughout Japan.
The Hakusan National Park is one of Japanfs most famous mountainous national parks, comprising Mt. Hakusan and its surrounding areas which cover a total area of 47,700 ha. One hundred million years ago, what is now the Hakusan region was the bottom of a lake, which gradually elevated and formed a volcano after recurrent volcanic eruptions.
The national park extends across the four prefectures of Ishikawa, Fukui, Gifu and Toyama, including a range of 2,000 meter-class mountains stretching from north to south and peaked by Gozengamine (2,702 meters), Onanjigamine (2,684 meters) and Kengamine (2,677 meters). Mt. Hakusan offers many kinds of ecosystem services charms ? a summit with a wealth of alpine flora, a vast forest of virgin beech trees and the diversity of wild animals which inhabit it, many hot springs upwelling from the deep valleys to mountain bases. Having been designated a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) site, it has also gained international recognition.