List of National Parks in Japan

map of national parks in japan

There is a reason that Japan’s famous parks are admired by all kinds of travelers. Photographers, gardeners, or simply those with an eye for natural beauty are often left stunned by many if not all of Japan’s kōens (parks).

The first kōen was established in 1873 and since, the list of national parks in Japan has increased to 34 with almost 60 quasi-national parks, as well.

The first parks to be established in Japan were Asakusa Park, Asukayama Park, Fukagawa Park, Shiba Park, and Ueno Park.

Which Is the Most Beautiful National Park in Japan?

It seems unfair to choose one park out of all of Japan’s high definition, botanic masterpieces, given that no matter at which time of year you visit, Japan’s parks are bound to impress travelers.

For those travelers during seasons such as spring or autumn, it is recommended that travelers research the parks most likely to have seasonal surprises. For example, in spring, the season of sakura (cherry blossom), Japan has some of the world’s most impressive cherry blossom arrangements. Autumn is just as vibrant with more dramatic, fiery reds, oranges, and golds.

When Is the Best Time to Visit Japan?

Some of Japan’s most loved parks include:

  • Aso-Kuju National Park
  • Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park
  • Kerama Shoto National Park
  • Nikko National Park
  • Ogasawara National Park
  • Shiretoko National Park
  • Towada-Hachimantai National Park
  • Yoshino-Kumano National Park

When Was Mt Fuji Listed as a World Heritage Site?

Mount Fuji is a symbolic icon of Japan and has been for centuries. It is integrated deeply into Japanese culture and belief, and many choose to visit Mt Fuji in order to be blessed with fortune. Natural features such as mountains, lakes, and trees are places of spirit called kami.

national parks and mount fuji japan

These spiritual places are powerful forces according to Shinto religion and are often considered places of prayer or ritual.

Known to the Japanese as Fujisan or Fujiyama, it is the highest mountain in Japan. It is not uncommon to see souvenirs, trinkets, and small items resembling Mount Fuji. These make fantastic gifts if you are visiting friends or family in Japan or wish to take something home with you.

However, despite being such an iconic figure, Mt Fuji only became a World Heritage Site in 2013. The famous mountain is situated between the two prefectures of Shizuoka and Yamanish.

Overview of National Parks in Japan

The list of national parks in Japan has been separated into prefectures listed in alphabetical order so that travelers visiting specific areas are able to see which parks they are able to visit.

The year and size are included to indicate how long it has been a national park and the size.

national parks in japan

National Parks in Chūbu

National ParkFoundation yearHectares
Chūbu-Sangaku National Park1934 174.323 hectares (430.76 acres)
Hakusan National Park196211.345 hectares (28.03 acres)
Minami Alps National Park196435.752 hectares (88.35 acres)
Myōkō-Togakushi Renzan National Park201539.772 hectares (98.28 acres)

National Parks in Chūgoku

National ParkFoundation yearHectares
Daisen-Oki National Park193635.353 hectares (87.36 acres)

List of National Parks in Hokkaidō

National ParkFoundation yearHectares
Akan National Park193490.481 hectares (223.58 acres)
Daisetsuzan National Park1934226.764 hectares (560.35 acres)
Kushiro-shitsugen National Park198728.788 hectares (71.14 acres)
Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park197424.166 hectares (59.72 acres)
Shikotsu-Tōya National Park194999.473 hectares (245.80 acres)
Shiretoko National Park196438.636 hectares (95.47 acres)

List of National Parks in Kantō

National ParkFoundation yearHectares
Chichibu Tama Kai National Park1950126.259 hectares (311.99 acres)
Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park1936121.695 hectares (300.71 acres)
Jōshin’etsu-kōgen National Park1949148.194 hectares (366.20 acres)
Nikkō National Park1934114.908 hectares (283.94 acres)
Ogasawara National Park19726,629 hectares (16,380 acres)

List of National Parks in Kinki

National ParkFoundation yearHectares
Ise-Shima National Park194655.544 hectares (137.25 acres)
Sanin Kaigan National Park19368,783 hectares (21,700 acres)
Setonaikai National Park193467.242 hectares (166.16 acres)
Yoshino-Kumano National Park193661.406 hectares (151.74 acres)

List of National Parks in Kyūshū

National ParkFoundation yearHectares
Amami Guntō National Park201742.181 hectares (104.23 acres)
Aso Kujū National Park193472.678 hectares (179.59 acres)
Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park197240.653 hectares (100.46 acres)
Kerama Shotō National Park20143,520 hectares (8,700 acres)
Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park193436.586 hectares (90.41 acres)
Saikai National Park195524.646 hectares (60.90 acres)
Unzen-Amakusa National Park193428.279 hectares (69.88 acres)
Yakushima National Park201232.553 hectares (80.44 acres)
Yanbaru National Park201613.622 hectares (33.66 acres)

List of National Parks in Shikoku

National ParkFoundation yearHectares
Ashizuri-Uwakai National Park197211.345 hectares (28.03 acres)

List of National Parks in Tōhoku

National ParkFoundation yearHectares
Bandai-Asahi National Park1950186.389 hectares (460.58 acres)
Oze National Park197237.200 hectares (91.92 acres)
Sanriku Fukkō National Park195528.537 hectares (70.52 acres)
Towada-Hachimantai National Park193685.534 hectares (211.36 acres)


Japan is a country full of surprises. The famous kōens are particularly spectacular, although Japan holds more in store for its visitors, including ancient temples, tradition teahouses, bustling metropolitans, and exquisite cuisine.

Explore Japan with an electronic visa which will be available from 2020. The new visa process will enable travelers to apply online without visiting a consulate or embassy. It is hoped that this will speed up the visa process for those who require a visa in order to travel to Japan.