Which National Park in Western Japan Are You Visiting Next?

Enjoy the beauty of nature while engaging in fun activities.

As of January 2020, 34 national parks are designated all over Japan. Not only are the pristine natural environment and rich ecosystem protected, but there are also a lot of activities available for everyone to appreciate and experience. Let's visit the national parks where the untouched nature of Japan remains!

The national parks are designated by the Minister of the Environment based on the Natural Parks Act. The parks are available for everyone to enjoy interaction with nature while preserving the environment from the pressure of unreasonable development and handing it over to the next generations. The facilities such as sidewalks and visitor centers are prepared in the parks. Approximately 300 million people visit the national parks each year.

Multilingual digital signages are installed in some visitor centers of the national park. The signages provide information on activities that can be experienced in the national parks. You can also check the attractions, rules and manners of each national park as well as information for hiking and climbing.

Check out the National parks in western Japan below.

Daisen-Oki National Park
where ancient history lives on a place of the mythology of Kuni-Biki

Daisen-Oki National Park: there are a variety of landscapes consisting of four districts

Daisen-Oki National Park is a national park with a variety of landscapes which consists of four districts such as the mountainous district of Daisen and Mitokusan, the coastal district of Shimane peninsula, the district of Sanbesan, and the district of Oki islands. The mountainous districts are composed of various areas such as volcanic land, forests and grasslands. On the coast, you can enjoy a variety of coastal landscapes formed by complex factors such as volcanic activity, crustal movement and climate change. Literally translated as “states-dragging,” the mythology of Kuni-Buki at the beginning of the Izumo area of Japan says that the area was made of four different states that had been dragged from each different country. As a place of the Kuni-biki mythology, it has been a region that has a long relationship with nature and people's lives and livelihoods since ancient times. 

Exhilarating cycling in forest in the Daisen

(Ritual dance of Shintoism by shrine maidens) from "Asa-Mike (Morning rituals to offer meals for the God) in Miho Shrine Experience Plan"

Daisen-Oki National Park “Daisen National Park Center” is located at Daisen 40-33, Saihakugun Daisencho, Tottori prefecture. For more information, you may contact them through +81 (0)859-52-2165 (Daisen office, Tottori branch, National Parks Foundation).


Aso-Kuju National Park
where you can enjoy the magnificent and beautiful scenery around Mt. Aso and a superb view from the mountain ridge

Aso-Kuju National Park
: from Mt. Aso Kita-Gairin, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the five mountains in Aso in the south and the Kuju mountain range in the north

Aso-Kuju National Park
was designated as a national park in 1934. The park is characterized by volcanic groups such as Mt. Aso, which towers over a large caldera, the Kuju mountain range, which extends to the north of Mt. Aso and the magnificent and gentle grassland that spreads around the mountains. In the area around Mt. Aso, which is in the southern part of the park, you can enjoy a series of massive and wonderful scenery. In the northern part of the park, Mt. Tsurumi and Mt. Yufu, which are the source of hot springs such as Beppu and Yufuin, boast beautiful mountain views, and you can enjoy a panoramic view of the Beppu Bay, Yufuin Basin and Kuju mountain range from the mountain ridge.

A variety of activities such as horse riding to enjoy the magnificent grassland

The "Roof of Kyusyu Region," Kuju mountain range, is popular for hiking and climbing. A huge flower community of Miyama-Kirishima (purple Azalea) is in full bloom in early summer

Aso-Kuju National Park “Minami-Aso Visitor Center” is located at Oaza-Takamori 3219, Asogun Takamorimachi, Kumamoto Prefecture. For more information, contact them through +81 (0)967-62-0911.

Aso-Kuju National Park “Mt. Aso Visitor Center” is located at Akamizu 1930-1, Asoshi, Kumamoto Prefecture. For more information, contact them through +81 (0)967-34-2111.

Aso-Kuju National Park “Chojabaru Visitor Center” is located at Oaza-Tano 255-33, Kusugun Kokonoemachi, Oita Prefecture. For more information, contact them through +81 (0)973-79-2154.

Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park
boasts hot springs cultivated by giant calderas and a fruitful sea

Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park
: the park consists of Kirishima area in the north and Kinkowan area in the south

Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park
is one of the first national parks in Japan which were designated in 1934. The park consists of Kirishima area in the north and Kinkowan area in the south. A lot of natural vegetation is left in the Kirishima area along with crater lakes, fumarolic phenomena, hot springs, and plateaus that were created with the volcanic activity. In the Kinkowan area, there are unique landscapes such as Mt. Sakurajima, which still emits fumarolic smoke, surrounded by Mt. Kaimon and Lake Ikeda on the Satsuma peninsula side and Cape Sata on the Osumi peninsula side, where many subtropical plants inhabit.


Enjoy trekking in the Kirishima mountain range

Kirishima mountain range and Sakurajima in Kinkowan (C)Kohji Shiiki

Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park “Ebino Eco Museum Center” is located at Suenaga 1495-5, Ebinoshi, Miyazaki Prefecture. For more information, contact them through +81 (0)984-33-3002.

Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park “Shigetomi Beach Nature House” is located at Hiramatsu 7675, Airashi, Kagoshima Prefecture. For more information, contact them through +81 (0)995-73-3146.

Kerama National Park
offers fascinating world of “Kerama Blue” with blue ocean and islands

Kerama National Park
: A lot of tourists from Japan and abroad visit to see “Kerama Blue”

The Kerama Islands are a group of islands which consist of around 30 large and small islands and shore reefs.
Kerama National Park was designated as the 31st national park in 2014. In the park, you can enjoy diverse scenery including both seascapes and landscapes such as highly transparent sea, coral reefs with a high density of diverse corals, humpback whale breeding areas, an archipelago seascape, and white sandy beaches. In the beautiful sea called “Kerama Blue,” you can enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling as well as whale watching in the winter.

Guided snorkeling (or scuba diving?) with sea turtles

In whale watching, you might be able to meet mother and baby whales with any luck

Kerama National Park “Sango Yuntaku Kan Visitor Center” is located at Aka, Shimajirigun Zamamison, Okinawa Prefecture. For more information, contact them through +81 (0)98-987-3535.

There are plenty of activities in these national parks where you can enjoy nature such as trekking and canoeing, as well as marvel at the breathtaking views. Let's go visit and enjoy the national parks when it’s safer and there is no risk to our health.

Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, and Tokyo Walker™ (23 March 2020)

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