Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park

Japan's northernmost park blessed with myriad landscapes 

An island of northern extremes and wilderness, as well as splendid flower gardens and the vast ocean. Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park is the northernmost national park in Japan, boasting a landscape with a variety of mountains, fields of flowers, sea cliffs, wetlands, and coastal sand dunes.

Visiting Japan's National Parks

Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu 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

Locally referred to as Mt. Rishiri-Fuji, Mt. Rishiri is a beautiful cone-shaped mountain, a symbol of the park. Visitors to Rebun-to Island can see fields of alpine flora and bushes in the lowlands, including rare alpine plants such as the Rebun lady’s slipper orchid (C. marcanthum Sw.var. rebunense).

DON'T MISS

  • Rebun-to Island's colorful endemic wildflowers in summer 
  • Landscapes of beautiful ocean and cliffs from the Momoiwa Trail on Rebun-to
  • Camping on Rishiri-to Island 
  • A challenging hike up 1,721-meter Mt. Risihiri

The Bakkai and Wakasakanai shores present unique landscapes formed by rows of belt-like sand dunes dotted with lakes and reservoirs among sand dune forests of Mongolian oak (Quercus crispula Blume) and Sakhalin fir (Abies sachalinensis) trees. On the Sarobetsu Plain, there is one of Japan's largest high moors over the peatlands, making it an important stopping point of the migration for wild birds such as wild geese and ducks.

MT. RISHIRI

Situated about 20 km from the coast of northwestern Hokkaido, Rishiri Island is a cone-shaped volcanic island with a circumference of about 60 km. Mt. Rishiri stands at 1,721 m above sea level. The appearance of the mountain soaring from the coast makes for the symbolic image of Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park and the heart of its magnificent scenery. Although the hillsides of the mountain have suffered from erosion, creating deep valleys, the foot of the mountain is dotted with lakes, reservoirs, and wetlands, as well as a number of springs.

REBUN-TO ISLAND 

Rebun-to Island is an island with a long and elongated shape located roughly 8 km northwest of Rishiri Island. It measures about 20 km from north to south and 5 km from east to west. The western part of the island is made up of sea cliffs (a mixture of cliffs and stone formations). The area stretching from west to east consists of gently undulating hills and includes windswept grasslands formed through the impact of strong western winds and cold climatic conditions, with alpine vegetation appearing from sea level. The island is sometimes referred to as a "floating island of flowers" because of its colorful summertime flowers, many of which are endemic to the island.

THE COASTAL SAND DUNE REA

The coastal dune areas are populated with elongated strips of dune forests stretching out over 40 km along the coastline and consisting of Mongolian Oaks and Sakhalin fir trees. The dune forests are also home to some 170 small and larger lake groups. Because the area contains unique landscapes that are unrivaled in Japan, it has been designated a Hokkaido Designated Natural Monument.

THE SAROBETSU PLAIN

The Sarobetsu Plain is a vast peatland formed in the Sarobetsu River basin. Plant residuals have accumulated over 6,000 years on a peat bed to form moorland vegetation. Along with Kushiro Marsh and Ozegahara, the Sarobetsu Plain is a representative wetland of Japan and boasts the largest size of a high moor on low lands. Additionally, visitors can also encounter Hitomi Swamp, home of the largest floating island in Japan, and the development of a large-scale marshland ditch to exhibit the landscapes of wetlands of unparalleled size in Japan.

About the Park 

Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park is made made up of two islands off the coast of Wakkanai in Hokkaido. Rishiri-to Island is off the north-west coast of Hokkaido, known for it's only mountain, Mt. Rishiri. Rebun-to is the smaller of the two islands, known for its beautiful fields of wildflowers.

FACTS & FIGURES

  • Date of National Park Designation: September 20, 1974
  • Area: 24,166 ha (241.66 square kilometers)
  • Location: Hokkaido

PARKS RULES & SAFETY 

As with any national park or conservation area, visitors to the national parks 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.
  • Plastic bags for toilets can be purchased at a hotel and inn. There are also special booths provided for the portable toilets around the hiking trails, as well as a collection booth to throw away used portable toilets at the start of the hiking trail.
  • Place a cap on walking sticks and staffs; The sharp tip of walking sticks digs up the fragile soil and causes erosion.
  • Do not sit or step on plants.
  • To prevent damage to the plants and to stop soil erosion, be sure to stay on the trail.