Tourists should know that one of the great features about Japan is that although it is a largely industrialized and developed country, it has also protected many of its most beautiful and important natural sites using national parks. Being a nation that is made up of a number of islands, the various surroundings and altitudes of the different areas of Japan mean that there are many different types of natural areas that are included in these national parks too. Travelers who are looking to enjoy a holiday including some of the natural beauty of Japan, you can book any Tokyo hotel near one of these national parks.
Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park
Probably the most famous natural feature in Japan is the mountain that has graced a thousand postcards, and Mount Fuji is at the heart of this national park. However, it can also boast a number of other sites of great interest for visitors, and the Izu islands that lie off the coast near Mount Fuji are especially attractive. The islands themselves are green an lush islands that are crammed with flowers, and the waters around the islands are particularly popular as sites for scuba diving. Izu Oshima is also home to a volcano that erupted as recently as 1990.
The magnificently named ‘Great Boiling Valley is another of the attractions in this national park, where the sulphur vents and hot springs bubble away beneath the visitors on the walkway. One of the local delicacies is the hard boiled eggs that are boiled in the waters of the valley.
Nikko National Park
Another of Japan’s most beautiful and scenic national parks lies at the heart of Honshu island and although its scenery is stunning, it is the marvelous temples and shrines in the area that make it truly special. The Shinto shrine of Nikko Tosho-gu that lies within the park is designated as an UNESCO heritage site, and the stunning five storey pagoda is filled with ornate carvings and religious symbols.
The Buddhist Temples of Rinno-Ji also make up one of the important sites within the national park. This complex of temples lies in a particularly remote area, and this made it an ideal site for monks looking for a simple life. The site is also home to the mausoleum of the third Tokugawa shogun.
Setonaikai National Park
The inland sea of Japan contains over 3,000 small islands, and many of these have tourist sites and also important shrines and sensitive natural areas. Although the sea itself is known for its whirlpools, it is generally considered to be a calm sea with a mild climate.
Probably the most famous site in the SetonaikaiNational Park is the Itsukushima Shrine, which has been an important religious site for many centuries. The shrine itself is a spectacular building at high tide, as it has been built on piers that make it look as though it is floating on water during high tide. One of the interesting aspects is that it is considered so sacred that it cannot be soiled by births and deaths, and neither has been registered in the area for over a century.
Unzen-Amakusa National Park
Considering that Japan is considered among the most volcanically active areas in the world, it is no surprise that this national park in the south of Japan does have the volcanically active MountUnzen at its heart. The last major eruption of the volcano happened in 1991, but this site is still considered important among those that study volcanoes.
Many of the visitors to the Unzen-AmakusaNational Park do so because of its strong associations with the early years of Christianity in the country, where worshippers had to keep their religion a secret.