Japan’s Great Nature! 8 Recommended National Parks of Japan  

Curated by :  MIKU KANESIHRO

Hi everyone, when we talk about Japan, we always imagine about Tokyo Tower, the old town Kyoto and skyscrapers in the metropolitan right? But in fact, Japan has many nature-rich and magnificent places all over the country!

As stated above so, this time I am proud to present you 「National Parks 」of Japan which are full of splendid nature with its briefly stories!

But for making it special so, this time, I will choose only 8 recommended places from among all 32 of the national parks of Japan. So, let check it out!

① Aso-Kuju National Park

Aso Kuju National Park is located in the center of Kyushu and stretches across Kumamoto and Oita Prefectures where you can enjoy 360° panoramic views of the mountains which are so spectacular and unforgettable.

「Mt. Aso, a huge caldera」

When you hear the name of Mt. Aso, you might think that it's just the name of the mountain. But actually, it is a large caldera(bowl-shaped volcanic depression) with three municipals inside, and five mountains (Aso Gogaku) on the central plateau, including the active Mt. Naka-dake. It is one of the largest calderas in the world.

「The vast gently-slope grassland which formed by the remains of an explosion crater」

The images of open burning, pasturage and people's daily lives harmony with the nature surround Mt. Aso made this place been called as "Thousand Years of Grassland".

<Sight-seeing information>
■Aso-Kuju National Park
・Oita Airport⇒(Airport shuttle bus about 55 minutes)⇒Yufuin Station (Yufuin Station Bus Center)⇒
 (Sankou high-speed bus about 52 minutes)⇒Kuju tozan-guchi (Chojahara)※Chojabara Visitor Center near by the bus stop
・Aso Kumamoto Airport⇒(Miyazakikotsu high-speed bus about 55 minutes)⇒
   Takamori chuo⇒ (Takamori Chomin bus about 10 minutes) ⇒Kyukason Minami Aso※ Minami Aso Visitor Center near by the bus stop
・Aso Kumamoto Airport⇒(Sankou express bus about 50 minutes)⇒Aso Station
<Facility around>
Tsuetate Kanko Hotel Hizenya
4223 Shimojo, Oguni-machi O-gun , Aso-gun , I-machi Kumamoto Japan

② Akan National Park

Akan National Park is a mountainous park that stretches across the eastern part of Hokkaido. It is the one of Japan's first groups of national parks and covers 905 sq km of volcanic peaks, large caldera lakes, thick forests and rejuvenating onsen. Its contrast of the image of Hokkaido and other combinations are so impressive and worth-seeing!

「Majestic and powerful northern scenery」

The vast land with the amazing views of Akan Caldera, Akan Lake, Onneto Falls and etc. which you can fully sense of northerly region.

「The blue blue blue Lake Mashu」

At the eastern portion of Akan National Park, it's not only Lake Kussharo, the most biggest caldera lake of Japan located in, but there is Lake Mashu located here as well. It is one of the country's deepest lakes and although it is usually appreciated for its clear blue water, it is also famously and frequently blanketed in heavy fog.

<Sight-seeing information>
■Akan National Park
・Memanbetsu Airport ⇒(Taxiーabout 3 mins)⇒Nishimemanbetsu St.⇒(JR Sekihoku Main Line about 25 mins)
    ⇒Abashiri St.⇒(JR Senmo Main Line about 120 mins)⇒Kawayu Onsen Station
・Kushiro Airport⇒(Akan bus about 70 mins)⇒Akanko Onsen

③ Towada-Hachimantai National Park

Towada-Hachimantai National Park is located in the mountainous interior of the northern Tohoku Region, stretching across Aomori, Akita and Iwate Prefectures. Towada-Hakkoda Area encompasses with Hakkoda Mountain Range, Lake Towada and Oirase-Keiryu (a mountain stream) where you can enjoy a mysterious landscape throughout the year.

「Japan's Special Place of Scenic Beauty and a Natural Monument: Lake Towada」

Lake Towada is a caldera lake formed by volcanic activity that began approximately 200,000 years ago. The rich greenery that covers the area from the lakeside creates a primeval landscape that is the a highlight of this lake. Oirase-Keiryu (a mountain stream), the only river that flows out of Lake Towada, not only the clarity of the water flowing in the stream, but also its particularly stunning views of spring and autumn foliage are so impressive.

Frost covered trees

Water vapours chilled to 5°C or below the freezing point, and super-cooled water droplets, are blown against the trees, forming ice. Covered in snow, it resembles a monster.

<Sight-seeing information>
■Towada-Hachimantai National Park
・Aomori Station⇒(JR bus bound for Mizuumi about 170 mins )⇒Towadakoyasumiya bus stop ※Nov. to Mar. is closed
・Morioka Station⇒(Iwate Ken Kita bus about 110 mins)⇒Hachimantai Chojo bus stop※Dec. to Apr. is closed
<Facility around>
Rokusuke Ryokan
37 Hachimantai Yuze, Kazuno 018-5141, Akita Prefecture

④ Nikko National Park

Nikko National Park is a first national park of Japan spreads over four prefectures: Tochigi, Gunma, Fukushima, and Niigata. It is known as one of the most beautiful national parks in Japan with the magnificent combination of ancient Buddhist shrines which have been recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites and the stunning views of fine nature around such as spectacular waterfalls, numerous mountains, as well as the nationally famous Lake Chuzenji. The park is beautiful all year round but it is particularly famous for its fall colors.

「Kegon Waterfall」

It is the most famous waterfall of Nikko and ranked as one of the top three waterfalls in Japan. Kegon Falls are fed from Lake Chuzenji with its main falls has a height of approximately 97 meters.

「Nikko's World Heritage Sites shrines and temples」

Nikkotoshogu Shrine, Futarasanjinja Shrine and Rinnoji Temple which been listed as one of the UNESCO World Cultural sites. These three are historic architectures which full of their cultural values in the park area along with the stunning scenery surrounded that really worth-seeing.

<Sight-seeing information>
■Nikko National Park
・Utsunomiya Station⇒ (JR Nikko Line about 50 mins) ⇒ Nikko St.
・Shimo-Imaichi Station⇒(Tobu Nikko Line about 10 mins)⇒ Nikko St.
・Kuroiso station⇒(Higashino Kotsu bus about 40 mins)⇒Nasu Yumoto
<Facility around>
Hotel Natural Garden Nikko
Tochigi, Nikko, Hanaishicho 1825-3, Japan

⑤ Ise Shima National Park

Ise Shima National Park is located in southern Mie Prefecture and consists of the cities of Ise, Toba and Shima and the town of Minami-Ise. It is a park that you can sense the history and sacredness of Ise Shrine, the unique culture and daily life of people and splendid nature surrounding this area.

「Ise Grand Shrine, the power spot」

It is a Shinto shrine dedicated to the sun goddess Amaterasu where you can sense of a unique calm sacred atmosphere.

「Fine and graceful Ria coast」

The view with racks for pearl cultivation spreading on the sea surface and complicated coastal line is very impressive. More than 50 islands of varying size float in the Ago bay.

<Sight-seeing information>
■Ise Shima National Park
・Toba Station⇒(Kintetsu Yamada・Toba・Shimasen about 30 mins)⇒Kashikojima
・Toba Station⇒(Kintetsu limited express about 30 mins)⇒Kashikojima
<Facility around>
Ise-Shima National Park Toba/Ijika Shinpachiya
338-1 Ijikacho, Toba 517-0026, Mie Prefecture

⑥ Daisen-Oki National Park

Daisen-Oki National Park is a national park spreads over 3 prefectures: Okayama, Shimane, and Tottori.

Shizen-Kaiki-no-Mori Forest

In Mt. Daimanji, a part of the Daisen-Oki National Park, There are many powerful looking giant trees are dotted around. Among all of them, there are more than 800 cedar trees with its long-life for about 200 years. So, it is the place where you can fully sense the magic of the primeval forest very well.

Izumo-taisha Shrine

The very well known shrine as the sacred place of the god of marriage and the god of Luck. And it is the old shrine which its long establishment has been recorded in Japan's oldest historical book "Records of Ancient Matters". It is the place where still remains the sensation from the old-time period.

<Sight-seeing information>
■Daisen-Oki National Park
・Yonago Station⇒(Japan Bus about 50 mins)⇒Daisenji
・Shichirui Port⇒(Ferry about 145 mins)⇒Saigo Port⇒(walk)⇒ Oki Nature Museum
・Otashi Station⇒(Iwami Bus about 60 mins)⇒ Sanbe Nature Hall Sahimeru
<Facility around>
Hotel Route Inn Matsue
2-22 Higashihonmachi, Matsue 690-0842, Shimane Prefecture

⑦ Kirishima Yaku National Park

Kirishima Yaku National Park is a mountainous park which composed of two parts: Kirishima-Kagoshima Bay, an area of Kagoshima Prefecture and Miyazaki Prefecture.

Large geyser named Hachiman Hell

Sense the power of the earth at Mt. Kurino-dake in Kirishima Volcanoes, there is the large geyser called as "Hachiman Hell" with the furious boiling gas above it.


You can sense the powerful energy of the earth by observing this Sakurajima, a volcanic island which floats in the sea at the center of the park. This is one of the world's greatest active volcanoes. And It still has been repeating major eruptions.

<Sight-seeing information>
■Kirishima Yaku National Park
・Kagoshima new port⇒(Sakurajima ferry about 15 mins)⇒Sakura ferry terminal※Sakurajima Visitor Center nearest station
・Kagoshima Airport⇒(Kirishima Mt. tour bus about 30 mins)※4 rounds/day⇒Ebinokogen※Ebi Eco Museum Center nearest station
<Facility around>
Kirishima Kanko Hotel
3885 Takachiho Makizono-cho, Kirishima, Kagoshima Prefecture

⑧ Kerama Shoto National Park

Kerama Shoto National Park has been designated as the 31th National Park of Japan on March 5, 2014 (Coral Day) which consists of more than 30 of small and large islands and a number of coral reefs.

Clear and distinctive blue sea which has been nicknamed as “Kerama Blue”

You can enjoy the stunning views of the white sand beaches with the gradation of Kerama Blue which comes from the coral limestone.

Diverse species of animals such as coral reefs, humpback whales, Kerama Deer and etc.

From December to April, you can enjoy watching humpback whales due to the visiting for breeding. And sandy-beach of Kerama Island is also famous as the spawning ground of the green sea turtles.

<Sight-seeing information>
■Kerama Shoto National Park
・Naha Airport⇒(shuttle bus about 15 mins)⇒ Naha Tomari Port⇒(Marine liner Tokashiki about 35 mins)⇒Tokashiki Port
・Naha Airport⇒(shuttle bus about 15 mins)⇒Naha Tomari Port⇒(Queen Zamami about 50 mins)⇒ Zamami Port/ Aka Port
<Facility around>
Hyatt Regency Naha, Okinawa
3-6-20 Makishi, Naha 900-0013, Okinawa prefecture


How was it ??

Japan's national parks which full of great natures・cultures and stories, these amazing places are waiting for you to come to explore!

ORIGINAL ARTICLE SOURCE : www.hisgo.com/visit-japan/

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