A total of 30 sites throughout Japan—from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa and the Ogasawara Islands in the south—have been officially designated National Parks.
This page provides a brief description of each of these National Parks.
Designation: March 16, 1934
Area: 66,934 ha
Prefectures: Hyogo, Wakayama, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, Fukuoka, Oita
Setonaikai National Park consists of about 3,000 islets, small and large, and is famous for offering a sweeping view of huge clusters of islands floating in the calm inland sea. One such example of such beauty can be obtained in the view of the Bisan Archipelago as seen from Mt. Washu. Areas of white sandy beaches bordered by green pines, such as those found along the Shibukawa coast and in Keino-Matsubara, as well as terraced fields and other scenes of people living in a state of intimate connection with nature are signature attributes of this park.
Designation: March 16, 1955
Area: 24,646 ha
Saikai National Park consists of more than 400 islands, large and small, including Hirado, the Kujukushima ("99 Islands") Islands of Sasebo, and the Goto Archipelago. The park is famous for the myriad vistas that can be found among the Kujukushima Islands and the Wakamatsu-Seto Passage. High cliffs dot the islands in the area while Fukue Island is the site of rare volcanic formations.
Designation: March 16, 1934
Area: 28,279 ha
Prefectures: Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Kagoshima
Unzen-Amakusa National Park consists of the area surrounding Mt. Unzen-dake in the middle of the Shimabara Peninsula and the islands of Amakusa. The Unzen area is a resort district built around Mt. Fugen-dake, which is famous for volcanic activity that occurred in 1990, and numerous local hot springs. The Amakusa area is celebrated for the beauty of its 120 islands, large and small, in the Ariake and Yatsushiro seas.
Designation: December 4, 1934
Area: 72,678 ha
Prefectures: Kumamoto, Oita
Aso-Kuju National Park is a mountainous park with many volcanoes and the world's largest caldera basin, whose circumference measures approximately 90 kilometers. The Aso area boasts a magnificent view of the Aso-Godake Mountains, grassy plains, and an active volcano in Mt. Naka-dake. The Kuju area commands spectacular vistas of the Kuju Range and Mt. Yufu-dake. The region is famous as a habitat for wild azaleas.
Designation: March 16, 2012
Area: 36,586 ha
Prefectures: Miyazaki, Kagoshima
The Kirishima area comprises over twenty volcanoes, including Mt. Karakuni-dake, as well as natural forests of chinquapin, oak, Japanese red pine trees, and more situated at the foot of these mountains. Sakurajima, an active volcano, is a natural landmark of the Kinko Bay area.
Designation: March 16,2012
Area: 24,566 ha
Yakushima is famous as an island habitat of Jomon-sugi, Daio-sugi, and other examples of Yaku-sugi (Japanese cedars that are over 1,000 years old).
Designation: May 15, 1972
Area: 21,958 ha
Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park consists of Iriomote Island, Ishigaki Island, other islands that punctuate the space in between these islands, and the sea. In addition to subtropical forests, the park is home to mangrove trees growing in the estuary of the Nakama River, the Nagura Anparu wetlands, and elsewhere. The Iriomote wildcat and many other rare wild animals found nowhere else call Iriomote Island home. The largest coral reef in Japan lies in the seas between Taketomi Island and Ishigaki Island.