Do you have an escapade on your mind and are seeking to indulge in a variety of pursuits such as observing whales, exploring the depths with scuba diving, embarking on hikes, and unwinding in thermal springs? What if we informed you that you can partake in all of these activities and more when you pay a visit to these marvelous national parks in Japan!
The national parks of Japan are renowned for their distinct habitats, landscapes, and breathtaking locations, which offer the most splendid vistas in the country. From dense woodlands, mountains, and volcanoes to picturesque lakes, these national parks and nature reserves in Japan offer it all.
10 Renowned Japanese National Parks
To facilitate your planning, we have curated a list of ten national parks in Japan that are unmissable. So, continue reading to discover some of the finest ones that are unquestionably worth a visit.
1. Yoshino Kumano National Park2. Ogasawara National Park3. Sanin Kaigan National Park4. Akan National Park5. Nikko National Park6. Yakushima National Park7. Fuji Hakone Izu National Park8. Towada Hachimantai National Park9. Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park10. Shiretoko National Park
1. Yoshino Kumano National Park
Yoshino Kumano National Park is situated in the Kansai region. It also boasts of 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, namely Mount Yoshino and the Kumano Region. Mount Yoshino harbors over 30,000 cherry blossom trees, thus making it one of the most stunning cherry blossom viewpoints.
You can easily savor 2-3 days here by engaging in a multitude of activities such as scuba diving, paying a visit to the Kumano Hongu Spa Village, experiencing the Kumano-Nachi Taisha Shrine near the Nachi Falls, or embarking on invigorating nature walks in the morning. Therefore, be sure to include Yoshino Kumano National Park in your itinerary of Japanese national parks to visit.
Location: Nara Prefecture, JapanTimings: Open 24 hours
Essential Read: 25 Unbeatably Enjoyable Activities To Experience In Japan That All Travelers Must Try In 2022
2. Ogasawara National Park
The Ogasawara archipelago holds the esteemed designation of being one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in Japan. The site spans across 1,000 kilometers along the southern part of Tokyo, by the Pacific Ocean. This subtropical paradise is home to distinct flora and fauna that are exclusively found in Ogasawara National Park.
You can spend the day observing Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins, engaging in Humpback Whale watching, and also catch a glimpse of a few Green Turtles swimming in their natural habitat. There are numerous scuba diving spots and snorkeling areas where you can spend hours exploring the coral reefs and its vibrant marine life.
Location: Chichijima, Ogasawara, Tokyo, JapanTimings: Open 24 hours
3. Sanin Kaigan National Park
The exquisite Sanin Kaigan National Park is the focal point of the Sanin Kaigan Geopark. This park is renowned for showcasing a wide range of terrains, which trace back to the actual formation of the famous Sea of Japan. Some of the main attractions here include volcanic rock formations, rare natural sites, shimmering sand dunes, and awe-inspiring cliff points and caves.
You can also partake in other activities such as paragliding, cycling, sea kayaking, and trekking. Additionally, during your visit, you can choose to spend time appreciating and exploring countless magnificent sites.
Location: Oshima, Toyooka, Hyōgo Prefecture
4. Akan National Park
Akan National Park is the abode of dense forests, volcanic peaks, vast caldera lakes, and, of course, mountains. Akan National Park encompasses 3 lakes: Lake Akan, Lake Mashu, and Lake Kussharo. Among them, Lake Mashu is renowned for having the most crystal clear water in the entire world.
Akan National Park is divided into two distinct areas. The western part includes Lake Akan and a hot spring resort located beside the lake, while the larger eastern part contains the remaining lakes, Lake Mahsu and Lake Kussharo (Sulfur Mountain).
Trekking is one of the main attractions of Akan National Park, which attracts hikers from all over the globe. You can also enjoy a small picnic while observing the sunset from one of the numerous vantage points within the park. Nearly every corner of the park offers breathtaking views that leave you in awe.
Location: 1 Chome-1-1 Kancho Akankoonsen, Kushiro, Hokkaido
5. Nikko National Park
Nikko National Park is situated in the Kanto region, which is easily accessible from Tokyo. It is also designated as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, showcasing historic shrines like the Toshogu Shrine, one of Japan’s most ornate shrines. There are various ways to spend your time here. You can begin by exploring the waterfalls, appreciating the beauty of nature, taking refreshing walks in the morning, and indulging in hot springs.
You can also visit the sculptures of the renowned three wise monkeys, explore the Hall of the Medicine Buddha, and witness the grand Yomeimon Gate. Nikko National Park is definitely a must-visit during the autumn season, as this is when the lush green leaves transform into vibrant shades of red and orange.
Location: Honshu, Kanto Region, Japan
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