10 Most Beautiful National Parks in Japan

by Takumi Hiroshi

It is difficult to think about Japan without seeing the colossal megacity of Tokyo with its thriving, technology-fueled civilization that is so astounding for its innovation and ingenuity. Mount Fuji, Japan’s most famous landmark, is another recognizable emblem that has come to represent the country.

In addition to the many other wonderful things to see and do in this country, the sight of cherry blossom trees may come to mind. National parks in Japan are typically overlooked by tourists because of the country’s abundance of other attractions. However, the abundance of natural beauty and amazing vistas will leave you speechless.

10. Ogasawara National Park

Kominato Beach from Nakayamatoge Observatory, Ogasawara island, Japan

Breathtaking view of Kominato Beach from Nakayamatoge Observatory. Image source: kmksk/Shutterstock.com

Ogasawara National Park is comprised of a group of islands known collectively as the Bonin Islands, a name that was used interchangeably with “Bonin Islands” during the Second World War. The amazing splendor of this distant area makes the lengthy ferry voyages there well worth the effort.

After a long trip, it’s great and invigorating to finally see the beautiful coves and hidden beaches that dot its borders. Because of its unique place in evolutionary history, Ogasawara has been dubbed the “Galapagos of the Orient” and is a fascinating place to visit.

Numerous rare species of flora, fauna, and mammals are found in the breathtaking surroundings surrounding the islands, which are surrounded by turquoise waters. One of the many amazing sights in Minamijima National Park is the beautiful rock arch.

What are you waiting for when you can enjoy fantastic snorkeling, delightful hiking, and an outstanding range of water sports? Ogasawara’s hidden charm makes it a once-in-a-lifetime destination.

9. Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park

Kabira Bay scenery on Ishigaki Island, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan

Serene and picturesque views of Kabira Bay on Ishigaki Island. Image source: Dominique Bonnet/Shutterstock.com

The Iriomote wild cat makes this national park famous, and the isolated islands there are wonderful to visit. Some of the islands are encircled by lagoons with crystal clear waters that, together with the subtropical flora and fauna that cover their low-lying interiors, contribute much to the natural splendor of this area.

Walk along the limestone cliffs that sometimes gaze out over the beaches below, and you’ll come across some breathtaking vistas and expansive panoramas.

Moreover, cascades shed light on the deep undergrowth with their beautiful sounds and images among the trees. The beautiful scenery of Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park is only enhanced by the soaring birds above.

8. Aso-Kuju National Park

Mount Aso (Aso-san), the largest active volcano in Japan

Majestic view of Mount Aso, Japan’s largest active volcano. Image source: Mei Yi/Shutterstock.com

This national park takes its name from the towering peaks that rise impressively from the surrounding flatlands, including Mount Aso and the Kuju Mountains. Mount Aso is an active volcano with a beautiful crater that tourists may roam about and many relaxing hot springs in the area.

The desolate, lava-scarred landscape of a volcano is stunning in its starkness. The Kuju Flower Gardens, located on the plains at the foot of the Kuju Mountains, are a riot of color and energy. The grounds are beautiful and peaceful, and the surrounding mountains provide a breathtaking background.

7. Towada-Hachimantai National Park

Waterfall along Oirase Stream in Towada-Hachimantai National Park, Aomori, Japan.

Enchanting waterfall along the picturesque Oirase Stream. Image source: Brown PS/Shutterstock.com

There are many beautiful trails and routes in the mountains here, perfect for a day of exploring the great outdoors. In the winter, the park’s Juhyo forests offer a stunning and uncommon sight, coated in a blanket of snow.

The park’s mountains are blanketed in a diverse variety of flora and fauna throughout the summer, bringing a rainbow of colors and a renewed sense of life to the environment. Throughout Towada-Hachimantai, you’ll find everything from magnificent rivers and lakes to steaming hot springs because of the area’s volcanic origins.

6. Yoshino-Kumano National Park

Kumano, Japan coast line at Onigajo "Devil's Castle" rocks on the coastline

Spectacular view of the Onigajo “Devil’s Castle” rocks along the Kumano coastline. Image source: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

Among the many breathtaking natural wonders in Yoshino-Kumano are the distinctive rock formations that rear magnificently along the coastline.

These interesting geological wonders, which protrude into the sea, are amazing to witness, as are the many different landscapes that come together to form a stunning mosaic of breathtaking sights. Still rivers meander through gorges that suddenly become mountains. Trees cover the slopes and valleys, while shrines and waterfalls dot the landscape here and there.

Beautiful sights can be seen from the top of both Yoshino Mountain and the sacred Mount Omine, which is covered in lush vegetation and shrouded in mist. Following the cobblestone paths that wind through the mysterious forests will be an adventure you’ll never forget.

5. Kerama Shoto National Park

The dreamy beauty of the islands off Okinawa is enough to leave anybody star-struck. White sand beaches and clear turquoise waters are hallmarks of the islands’ tropical nature.

Spending the night in a minshuku is a worthwhile investment due to the abundance of flora and fauna in the islands’ lowland regions. In the sea, scuba divers and snorkelers can enjoy the stunning underwater world painted by the coral reefs’ kaleidoscopic array of colors.

Visitors may see sea turtles cruising leisurely or even humpback whales, which sometimes make their way through the area’s seas. Kerama Shoto National Park is a piece of heaven right here on Earth.

4. Nikko National Park

Autumn Colors seen from Akechidaira Observatory, Lake Chuzenji, Nikko, Japan.

Vibrant autumn colors overlooking Lake Chuzenji from Akechidaira Observatory. Image source: TNShutter/Shutterstock.com

Nikko, site of the breathtaking Toshogu Shrine, is widely regarded as one of Japan’s most beautiful national parks. The park is rich in history, and it is recommended that visitors check out both the aforementioned shrine and the Buddhist temple of Rinno-ji. Nikko is known for its breathtaking landscape, and tourists are sure to love the many great attractions the city has to offer.

For example, Kegon Falls is a beautiful waterfall with a dramatic drop into a series of pools below, which stands out dramatically against the backdrop of dense forests on each side. The massive Lake Chuzenji, nestled between the slopes and hills behind the waterfalls, is a sight to see. The most stunning is Mount Nantai, which stands out against the background of the lake with its majestic beauty.

The snow-capped top of Mount Nikko-Shirane is another breathtaking sight in the park, and it looks especially majestic against the clear blue sky. Nikko National Park has an infinite supply of amazing sights to see.

3. Shiretoko National Park

Wood walkway in Five Lake and mountain at Shiretoko, Hokkaido, Japan

Tranquil wood walkway amidst the picturesque Five Lakes and mountains. Image source: domenapat/Shutterstock.com

Shiretoko National Park is located in the far northeastern corner of Hokkaido, and its isolation has helped to preserve its natural beauty. The majesty of the park’s namesake Five Lakes is its major lure, and visitors will enjoy exploring the lakes and the surrounding mountains and forests.

Kamuiwakka Falls is a beautiful sight in the park that is well worth the trip. By clambering over the boulders that dot the river, you can get closer to the source of the hot springs, where the water gradually heats up, making for a delightful experience of swimming in their warm waters amongst the pure environment all around you.

Visit Shiretoko Pass in Shiretoko National Park to take in the stunning panorama.

2. Akan Mashu National Park

Panorama view of Lake Mashu in Hokkaido, Japan.

Sweeping panorama of the stunning Lake Mashu in Hokkaido. Image source: CHEN FANGXIANG/Shutterstock.com

Akan Mashu is one of the country’s first national parks, and its natural environment has been preserved and safeguarded for decades. The park is fantastic to visit because of its breathtaking landscape, and its many ecosystems and assortment of attractions further add to its beauty.

Travelers might spend weeks exploring Akan Mashu’s natural attractions and yet miss something. The spectacular volcanic craters, vast forests, and crystal-clear lakes create a natural atmosphere that will leave you feeling at peace and filled with awe.

Stunning natural attractions abound in Akan Mashu, including the Onneto and Akan lakes, the Me-Akan and Nishibetsu mountains, and the Kawayu hot springs.

1. Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park

Hakone, part of the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park, Japan

Scenic beauty of Hakone, nestled in the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park. Image source: anek.soowannaphoom/Shutterstock.com

Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park is home to an impressive variety of natural attractions, and its varied landscapes are fascinating to explore. Although it is not the only reason why Mount Fuji is Japan’s most visited national park, its unique look is the major lure.

Over a thousand volcanic islands dot the park’s shores, while sparkling waterways and streams gently caress the park’s mountains, hills, and valleys. The cherry blossom trees, lakes, and hot springs that dot the landscape are distinctive.

There are also several waterfalls and old-growth forests in the lava fields that were created when the volcanoes erupted. It would be a shame to miss out on any of the wonderful scenery if you didn’t bring your camera. It’s unbelievable as a tourist destination.

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