Top Japanese National Parks

BULLET trains, sushi and busy cities are usually the first things that pop in to people’s minds when they think of visiting Japan. But as well as being abundant in unique technological inventions, this country is also full of beautiful natural landscapes and scenery. Here are some of the top national parks that we think are worth a visit.

Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park

Located close to Tokyo and containing Japan’s tallest mountain, Mt Fuji, this national park is both easy to visit and also stunning. As well as Mt Fuji, the large national park encompasses Hakone, the Izu Peninsula and the Izu Islands. The scenery ranges from mountains and lakes to islands, and visitors can enjoy hot springs and fresh seafood. The Izu Islands are a popular diving spot for many. In the Hakone region, make sure you drop in to the hot springs and Owakudani, which is an active¬†volcanic zone complete with hot rivers and springs and sulfurous fumes, as well as views of Mt Fuji on clear days.

Kerama Islands National Park

Sunbathing isn’t immediately something you associate with Japan, but that’s certainly a popular activity in the Kerama Islands. Of these 36 islands, only four are inhabited, meaning there are plenty of untouched spots to explore. The national park is characterised by its pristine white sand beaches and the clear blue waters of the East China Sea. The islands are rimmed by coral reefs and include world leading dive spots. Depending upon the time of year you visit, you’ll also get a chance to do some whale-watching, getting up close with the gentle giants of the sea from January to March.

Daisetsuzan National Park

Daitsetsuzan is located on Japan’s most nothern island, Hokkaido, and is it’s largest national park. The area is mountainous, and there’s plenty of wildlife to spot including brown bears and deer. If you’re wanting to get away from it all, Daitsetsuzan is definitely the place to go. There are many hiking tracks throughout the park which are best to tackle between late June through to September. A number of onsens (inns) around the edge of the park make a great base for exploring the park, particularly Asahidake Onsen, which has a ropeway leading to some easy trails around sulfurous vents.