The National Parks of Japan aim to protect and preserve Japan's exceptional nature. To ensure that future generations can experience the same joy and wonder about the natural world as the today's generation, the national parks are protected and managed by the Japanese government under the National Parks Act.
A distinctive feature of Japan's national parks is that they include a diverse range of natural environments such as forests, agricultural land and small villages. While the parks offer opportunities to explore areas of untouched natural beauty, they also blend traditional lifestyles with the surrounding natural environment, allowing visitors to experience Japanese history and culture within the parks. Japan's national parks abound in natural landscapes, wildlife and cultural history.
Japan is a small, densely-populated country, and its land has been managed and used for many different purposes throughout its history. Unlike in countries such as the United States or Australia, the land within a national park is not exclusively designated for national park use, and a large number of national parks include private property. Because of the limited land area of Japan, the government has adopted a Regional Natural Park System that designates national park land as such regardless of private land ownership. For instance, over 90% of Ise-Shima National Park is privately owned. Many people live in national parks, which are home to several industries including agriculture and forestry.
Accordingly, the national parks are managed while taking into account the lifestyles of local residents and relevant industry conditions. The management and operation of the parks involves the collaboration of a wide range of parties and stakeholders concerning the protection and use of the natural environment. This is what distinguishes them from other national parks around the globe.
The 34 national parks of Japan protect the quintessential way of life, nature, and culture unique to the country. They preserve the relationship between humans and the great outdoors, as well as the spiritual traditions that have been passed down since antiquity. As you are visiting the parks, take in the fusion of nature, culture and local traditions.