Do you know all of Japan's national parks? Japan has an incredible natural tourism, due to the exuberance and preservation of its nature. In this article, we will see the best national parks and a complete list of them all.
It is not a park like Asakusa or Ueno, it is literally a forest and an area with many hectares that are reserved by the government that may or may not be open to the public.
Today there are more than 80 national parks, spread across the archipelago, which are certainly worth the visit of anyone who goes to the country. Here we list the five national parks that you can't miss in Japan:
What are National Parks in Japan?
Japanese National Parks are called kokuritsu koen [公園] and the Regular Parks of kokutei koen [定公園]. They are places of scenic beauty designated for protection and sustainable use by the Minister of the Environment under the Law of Natural Parks of 1957.
Since 1931, Japan has had legislation to protect the environment and demarcate preserved areas, with the first national natural parks being created in 1934.
Japan's National Parks are managed by the Ministry of Environment, while smaller parks are managed by town hall, private or private institution.
The area of each National park and Quasi Nacional is divided into common, special and marine areas. Special zones are subdivided into protection zones that can be restricted from access for preservation purposes.
5 - Kerama Shotō National Park
The Kerama National Park is located around the Kerama Islands, where the park's name comes from. This region is characterized by turquoise blue water and white sand, with water and extreme sports as the main attractions, such as swimming, diving and climbing.
There are 22 islands that make up the Kerama Islands, 4 of which are completely uninhabited. They are located in Okinawa Prefecture, the southernmost prefecture of Japan. The most popular islands to visit are Tokashiki (the largest island), Zamami and Aka.
To access the islands, you must take a ferry from Naha, Okinawa, with the option of an express ferry. There are hotels and resorts around the park area.
There are many marine animals that can be seen in the park, such as whales, turtles and large fish. The park is certainly a good tip for anyone traveling to Japan in the summer.
4 - Shiretoko National Park
The Shiretoko National Park is a spectacle for those who enjoy preserved nature and contact with wildlife. It is in the north of the Hokkaido region, Japan's most pristine region, on the Shiretoko peninsula. The park occupies practically the entire area of the peninsula and access to the most remote area is only by boat or on foot, there are no roads in most of the park.
Shireroko is famous for its wildlife and its large population of animals such as brown bears, deer and foxes. Incidentally, it is the place with the largest population of brown bears in Japan. In summer, tourists can see them from the boat rides on the hillside of the park.
In winter, the coast of the Shiretoko peninsula is the southernmost place in the northern hemisphere where drifting ice is found (pieces of “loose” ocean ice that are not stuck on the coast, in rocks or icebergs), which is a separate show. The park has a thermal waterfall called Kamuiwakka Falls (Kamuiwakka-no-taki). Its name means "waters of the gods".
From the Shiretoko park, it is possible to see the island Kunashiri, a territory in dispute by Russia and Japan until today.
The extremely preserved natural beauty and the care of the park as a conservation area have earned it the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
3 - Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park
A place of beautiful scenery, with a unique natural beauty, Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park has active volcanoes, thermal lakes and a beautiful coast in southern Japan.
Located on the island of Kyushu, the southernmost island of the main 4 that form the country, the park is in the volcanic region of Kagoshima and Miyazaki, which has 3 volcanic belts.
The 3 living volcanoes can be found in Kirishima-Kinkowan, in addition to many others with no activity. As well as lakes and waterfalls of hot volcanic waters, famous for their medicinal properties. The region still has a beautiful diversity of vegetation, surprising for a volcanic region.
The highest peak among the volcanoes is 1,700m, where visitors can have a panoramic view of the park and its unique geography, formed by ripples and craters with lakes. This part of the park is an attraction for those who enjoy climbing and hiking.
Another must-see part of the park is the Kinko Bay. The bay was formed by a volcanic eruption more than 29,000 years ago and is still today facing the active Sakurajima volcano.
The park is very close to Kagoshima Airport, making it easy to access. Unmissable visit to see a landscape so peculiar and typical of Japan.
2 - Yoshino-Kumano National Park
Yoshino-Kumano National Park is located in a non-contiguous area of the prefectures of Mie, Nara and Wakayama, on the Kii peninsula.
It is one of the oldest national parks in Japan, its creation was in 1936. The park has mountains, valleys and beaches, being a good option for those who want to see nature, history and culture. This is because the park includes Kumano Sanzan, a group of ancient shrines in the Kumano region and Mount Yoshino, famous for its beauty.
The great attraction of the park, however, are its cherry trees, located on Mount Yoshino, considered a natural and sacred world heritage by UNESCO. The hill is considered one of the best places for the hanami festival, where people will contemplate the blooming of Sakura (cherry blossom), usually in the spring, between late March and mid-April, sometimes extending until May.
1 - Fuji Hakone Izu National Park
The Fuji Hakone National Park Izu is the most popular park in Japan, due to being very close to Tokyo and the famous Mount Fuji.
Bringing together Mount Fuji and its 5 lakes, Hakone, with its ancient history, sanctuaries and hot springs and also the peninsula and Izu Islands (incorporated into the park afterwards), the park brings a lot of beauty and variety of natural landscapes.
Fuji Hakone Izu National Park represents Japan well, with its volcanic landscape, hot springs, diverse vegetation and island geography, bringing in its heart Mount Fuji, which is not only the highest mountain in Japan, but also the symbol and a source of pride for its people, its visit is almost mandatory for those who go to the country.
List of National Parks of Japan
The list of national parks in Japan below has the year of its foundation along with its region and hectares:
Responsive Table: Roll the table sideways with your finger >>
|Japan National Park||Year||Region||Acre|
|Akan National Park||1934||Hokkaidō||90,481 hectares (223.58 acres)|
|Minami Alps National Park||1964||Chūbu||35,752 hectares (88.35 acres)|
|Amami Guntō National Park||2017||Kyūshū||42,181 hectares (104.23 acres)|
|Ashizuri-Uwakai National Park||1972||Shikoku||11,345 hectares (28.03 acres)|
|Aso Kujū National Park||1934||Kyūshū||72,678 hectares (179.59 acres)|
|Bandai-Asahi National Park||1950||Tōhoku||186,389 hectares (460.58 acres)|
|Chichibu Tama Kai National Park||1950||Kantō||126,259 hectares (311.99 acres)|
|Chūbu-Sangaku National Park||1934||Chūbu||174,323 hectares (430.76 acres)|
|Daisen-Oki National Park||1936||Chūgoku||35,353 hectares (87.36 acres)|
|Daisetsuzan National Park||1934||Hokkaidō||226,764 hectares (560.35 acres)|
|Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park||1936||Kantō||121,695 hectares (300.71 acres)|
|Hakusan National Park||1962||Chūbu||11,345 hectares (28.03 acres)|
|Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park||1972||Kyūshū||40,653 hectares (100.46 acres)|
|Ise-Shima National Park||1946||Kinki||55,544 hectares (137.25 acres)|
|Jōshin’etsu-kōgen National Park||1949||Kantō||148,194 hectares (366.20 acres)|
|Kerama Shotō National Park||2014||Kyūshū||3,520 hectares (8,700 acres)|
|Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park||1934||Kyūshū||36,586 hectares (90.41 acres)|
|Kushiro-shitsugen National Park||1987||Hokkaidō||28,788 hectares (71.14 acres)|
|Myōkō-Togakushi Renzan National Park||2015||Chūbu||39,772 hectares (98.28 acres)|
|Nikko National Park||1934||Kantō||114,908 hectares (283.94 acres)|
|Ogasawara National Park||1972||Kantō||6,629 hectares (16,380 acres)|
|Oze National Park||1972||Tōhoku||37,200 hectares (91.92 acres)|
|Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park||1974||Hokkaidō||24,166 hectares (59.72 acres)|
|Saikai National Park||1955||Kyūshū||24,646 hectares (60.90 acres)|
|Sanin Kaigan National Park||1936||Kinki||8,783 hectares (21,700 acres)|
|Sanriku Fukkō National Park||1955||Tōhoku||28,537 hectares (70.52 acres)|
|Setonaikai National Park||1934||Kinki, Chūgoku, Shikoku, Kyushu||67,242 hectares (166.16 acres)|
|Shikotsu-Tōya National Park||1949||Hokkaidō||99,473 hectares (245.80 acres)|
|Shiretoko National Park||1964||Hokkaidō||38,636 hectares (95.47 acres)|
|Towada-Hachimantai National Park||1936||Tōhoku||85,534 hectares (211.36 acres)|
|Unzen-Amakusa National Park||1934||Kyūshū||28,279 hectares (69.88 acres)|
|Yakushima National Park||2012||Kyūshū||32,553 hectares (80.44 acres)|
|Yanbaru National Park||2016||Kyūshū||13,622 hectares (33.66 acres)|
|Yoshino-Kumano National Park||1936||Kinki||61,406 hectares (151.74 acres)|
List of Regular Parks in Japan
- Suigō-Tsukuba Quasi-National Park
- Minami Bōsō Quasi-National Park
- Meiji no Mori Takao Quasi-National Park
- Tanzawa-Ōyama Quasi-National Park
- Suzuka Quasi-National Park
- Wakasa Wan Quasi-National Park
- Tango-Amanohashidate-Ōeyama Quasi-National Park
- Biwako Quasi-National Park
- Murō-Akame-Aoyama Quasi-National Park
- Kongō-Ikoma-Kisen Quasi-National Park
- Yamato-Aogaki Quasi-National Park
- Kōya-Ryūjin Quasi-National Park
- Meiji no Mori Minō Quasi-National Park
- Kyoto Tamba Kogen Quasi-National Park
- Echigo Sanzan-Tadami Quasi-National Park
- Myōgi-Arafune-Saku Kōgen Quasi-National Park
- Sado-Yahiko-Yoneyama Quasi-National Park
- Noto Hantō Quasi-National Park
- Echizen-Kaga Kaigan Quasi-National Park
- Yatsugatake-Chūshin Kōgen Quasi-National Park
- Tenryū-Okumikawa Quasi-National Park
- Ibi-Sekigahara-Yōrō Quasi-National Park
- Hida-Kisogawa Quasi-National Park
- Aichi Kōgen Quasi-National Park
- Mikawa Wan Quasi-National Park
- Abashiri Quasi-National Park
- Hidaka-sanmyaku Erimo Quasi-National Park
- Niseko-Shakotan-Otaru Kaigan Quasi-National Park
- Ōnuma Quasi-National Park
- Shokanbetsu-Teuri-Yagishiri Quasi-National Park
- Shimokita Hantō Quasi-National Park
- Tsugaru Quasi-National Park
- Hayachine Quasi-National Park
- Kurikoma Quasi-National Park
- Minami-Sanriku Kinkazan Quasi-National Park
- Zaō Quasi-National Park
- Oga Quasi-National Park
- Chōkai Quasi-National Park
Chūgoku and Shikoku
- Hyōnosen-Ushiroyama-Nagisan Quasi-National Park
- Hiba-Dōgo-Taishaku Quasi-National Park
- Nishi-Chūgoku Sanchi Quasi-National Park
- Kita Nagato Kaigan Quasi-National Park
- Akiyoshidai Quasi-National Park
- Tsurugisan Quasi-National Park
- Muroto-Anan Kaigan Quasi-National Park
- Ishizuchi Quasi-National Park
- Kitakyūshū Quasi-National Park
- Genkai Quasi-National Park
- Yaba-Hita-Hikosan Quasi-National Park
- Iki-Tsushima Quasi-National Park
- Kyūshū Chūō Sanchi Quasi-National Park
- Nippō Kaigan Quasi-National Park
- Sobo Katamuki Quasi-National Park
- Nichinan Kaigan Quasi-National Park
- Okinawa Kaigan Quasi-National Park
- Okinawa Senseki Quasi-National Park