Designating land as a protected national park preserves Japan's spectacular nature so that future generations can experience these sites with the same sense of wonder and joy as we do today.
Yellowstone National Park in the United States was the first park in the world to be designated as a national park in 1872. Today, national parks are common throughout the world.
Japan's national park history dates back 80 years. In Japan, an “Application to Recognize Nikko as an Imperial Park” was submitted to the National Diet in 1911. Two decades later, the National Park Act was enacted in 1931 to respond to growing calls by citizens. On this basis, Setonaikai, Unzen and Kirishma were designated as the first three national parks on March 16, 1934.
The Natural Park Act, Japan's present-day natural parks classification consisting of national parks, quasi-national parks, and prefectural natural parks, came about after a comprehensive revision of the National Park Act in 1957.
Systems that support the ideal management of Japan's national parks and promote their protection and optimal usage remain in place today. Japan has 34 national parks stretching from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa and the Ogasawara Islands in the south, and they attract a large number of visitors every year.