In 717 A.D., a monk named Taichou became the first priest to pilgrimage to Mt. Hakusan. On his way to the mountain, it is said that he rested near the current location of the Shishiku Highlands. Hence, the name Shishuku ‘resting place’ stuck to the area, which eventually became the current Shishiku.
Although the highland is accessible by hiking up a trail on Mt. Okushishiku (650m elevation), the most popular and quickest option is riding the suspended gondola to the summit. The gondola, which operates from April to November, provides a fantastic bird’s eye view of the mountains and river. At the summit the great expanse of the Tedori River Alluvial Fan can be seen in its entirety, including the island-like villages spread out between thousands of rice fields.
There are also many fun activities to enjoy at the summit. Sleds can be rented for grass sledding, and golf carts can be rented to drive around the highlands. The steep hill at the summit makes the perfect location for paragliders, and on clear days you can see many colourful sails in the sky. A café is also available on the second floor of the gondola station, and several picnic tables are available across the grounds. During spring, flowers such as the Asian Fawnlily and Toringo Crabapple bloom, and in the Autumn you can enjoy the gentle mountain trail called ‘Akebi Kaidou’.
At the base of the mountain, beside the gondola station, lies a museum dedicated to the local traditional craft of wooden lion heads (shishi). Here you can see hundreds of different lion heads, all hand carved by local craftsmen.