Joshin’etsukogen National Park

A showcase of dramatic mountains and highlands

The park has many famous peaks that are numbered amongst the 100 Famous Mountains in Japan. Mt. Tanigawa, with its towering rock slopes, and the volcanoes of Mt. Asama and Mt. Kusatsu-Shiran form a richly various mountain landscape. From the sides to the foot of the mountains spread cool highlands, and there are also numerous lakes and marshes. Another huge attraction of the park is the many hot springs that have been created through volcanic activity.

Visiting Japan's National Parks

Joshin’etsukogen National Park, like all of Japan's national parks, has no entrance fees, no opening and closing hours, and a permit is not required to enter or stay in the park. The national parks of Japan differ from national parks worldwide in that the land within the national parks is not exclusively designated for national park use and is made up of private property as well as public and protected areas. Visitors are free to enter and leave at any time.

Park Highlights

The park comprises high mountains with altitudes around 2,000 m, the highest of which is Mt. Asama. The bases of these mountains form highlands. The park is also home to the famous snow monkeys that enjoy the steaming baths of Jigokudani.

DON'T MISS

  • The steaming baths of historic Kusatsu Onsen
  • Skiing in the Tanigawa Mountain Range
  • A trip to Karuizawa, a mountain retreat of the rich and famous

In this park, it is possible to see various plants that are peculiar to mountains and highlands. In particular, the alpine floras growing in subalpine belt, flowers blooming in wetland areas, and Japanese azalea growing on the Yunomaru Highland. These plants are the reason many people visit the park.

MT. NAEBA

The Mt. Naeba area is world famous for its heavy snow. The foot of the mountain is covered with expansive Japanese beech forests, while the broad marshes covering the peak of Mt. Naeba are dotted with countless ponds and are surrounded by a multitude of blooming flowers.

CHIGO-IKE POND (MT. YAKEBITAI)

A pond surrounded by the high moor at the top of Mt. Yakebitai in the Shiga Highland. A variety of flowers bloom around the moor depending on the season. Frogs and salamanders are also found here. Primordial forests of Maries' fir and Tsuga diversifolia remain around the moor.

JIGOKUDANI YAEN-KOEN AND THE SNOW MONKEYS

The Jigokudani hot springs in Yamanouchi Town in Nagano Prefecture are noted for their wild macaque monkeys. Active throughout most of the year, the monkeys are known worldwide as 'snow monkeys' for bathing in the hot springs during the winter; the sight is enjoyed by large numbers of tourists.

ONSEN

With its concentration of volcanoes, the park has an abundance of naturally rich water. The area is dotted with ancient hot spring districts: Shima Onsen, Kusatsu Onsen, Manza Onsesn, Kazawa Onsen and Yamada Onsen. These have been frequented by numerous famous writers and artists over their long history.

About the Park 

The Joshin'etsukogen National Park is an enormous park comprising highlands and mountains, including Mt. Tanigawa (1,977 m), Mt. Naeba (2,145 m), Mt. Kusatsu-Shirane (2,160 m), Mt. Azumaya (2,354 m), and Mt. Asama (2,568 m).

FACTS & FIGURES

  • Date of National Park Designation: September 7, 1949
  • Area: 148,194 ha (1,481.94 square kilometers)
  • Location: Gunma, Niigata, Nagano prefectures

PARKS RULES & SAFETY 

As with any national park or conservation area, visitors to Joshin’etsukogen are required to observe the following rules for safety and to protect the area's natural biodiversity:

  • Carry in, carry out: Take all of your trash with you.
  • Do not pick wildflowers or damage plants.
  • Do not feed the wild animals.
  • Hunting is not permitted.
  • No fishing unless with a certified guide.
  • No smoking while walking.
  • Campfires are only permitted in designated areas.
  • Stay on the footpaths. Marsh plants are delicate, so be careful not to trample on any vegetation.
  • Be careful of bears.
  • When hiking, be sure to take a map and select a hiking course that is appropriate for your physical strength and skill.
  • Make thorough preparations in advance so that you can enjoy your hike safely.
  • Be sure to go to the toilet before entering the hiking course and consider using disposable toilet bags during your hike.
  • Within the national park there are volcanoes that have been assigned eruption warning levels. Be sure to obtain the latest information and prepare a mountain climbing plan.