Japan boasts 34 national parks, safeguarding its exquisite landscapes. These parks are vital for conserving Japan’s natural heritage. They serve as a gateway to the country’s breathtaking sceneries, ensuring their preservation for future generations. Reflecting Japan’s commitment to environmental stewardship, these national treasures are a testament to its dedication to nature conservation. Enjoy luxury and relaxation in a national park, rich in nature, wildlife, history, and culture. I introduce you some national parks worth visiting in Japan by campervan.

 

Akan Mashu National Park,Hokkaido

Natural Wonders of Hokkaido’s Oldest National Park

Hokkaido boasts its oldest national park, established as a national park since 1934. Over 90% of this park is protected as a nature preserve, preserving its untouched, pristine natural landscape. Subarctic coniferous forests dominate the park’s landscape. These forests are characterized by needle-like leaves, uniquely adapted for cold climates. They provide the park with a pristine, unspoiled appearance, showcasing nature’s untouched beauty. This dense canopy of conifers forms a serene and tranquil environment, reflective of the region’s subarctic conditions. The park also features three caldera lakes, formed by volcanic eruptions, showcasing sunken landforms that emerged due to massive magma eruptions. Lake Akan, Lake Kussharo, and Lake Mashu, respectively. The geographical features of a volcano and several lakes in close proximity to each other are rare in Japan. Lake Kussharo is one of the largest lakes in Japan.

A Harmony of Nature and Community in Akan Mashu National Park

Today, Akan Mashu National Park is home to a variety of people, some of whom have continued to live here since their ancestors’ time, and others who have moved here in search of nature. The best part of this place is not only experiencing the rich nature, but also meeting the people who have lived there. It’s a great national park to visit by campervan.

Related resource: kushiro sightseeing guide

 

Daizetsuzan National Park, Hokkaido

Located in central Hokkaido, Daisetsuzan National Park earned its designation as a national park in 1934, boasting the longest history among Hokkaido’s national parks. In all seasons, the park dazzles visitors with its beauty. Summer reveals stunning alpine flora, while from mid-September, visitors marvel at the brilliant autumn leaves. Daisetsuzan National Park, celebrated for showcasing Japan’s first autumn hues, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Its northern alpine region, challenging yet rewarding, draws experienced mountaineers. The park’s ropeway, however, makes it welcoming for beginners too. Starting late August, the summit’s foliage begins changing. This colourful transformation slowly descends, captivating visitors over a six-week period. By mid-October, Sounkyo showcases the vibrant peak of autumn beauty, offering a spectacular display.

As Hokkaido’s tallest and most expansive mountain, Daisetsuzan presents diverse experiences for both beginners and experts. The area is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a spectrum of sights from blooming alpine plants and open plateau landscapes to a caldera, variously shaped snow gorges on the mountain surface, and sweeping panoramas visible from afar. Visitors might even encounter rare wildlife, including the chipmunks that call this area home.

For beginners or those who are not confident in their physical strength, there is also a ropeway that will take you up to an altitude of 1,600 meters in one go, and a walking course that takes about an hour from there. There is also a course that takes you even higher by connecting the ropeway and lift. The lift allows you to feel close to nature in the open air, making it a wonderful experience. It’s a great national park to visit by campervan.

 

Related resource:Daisestuzan National Park council

Towada Hachimantai National Park, Aomori

The Diverse Landscapes of Towada-Hakkoda

This park has been registered since 1936 and is characterized by lush virgin forests and beautiful lakes. The Towada-Hakkoda region offers a rich and varied landscape throughout the four seasons, including the mysterious beauty of Lake Towada, the gentle and clean Oirase mountain stream, the Hakkoda mountain range famous for its ice trees, and the diverse flora and fauna that thrive in this rich natural environment.
The Hachimantai area is one of the most volcanic regions in Japan. The park is attractive for its many lakes, marshes, wetlands, and diverse ecosystems created over a long period of time by volcanic phenomena and heavy snowfall in winter. It’s a great national park to visit by campervan.

Wildlife and Conservation in Towada Hachimantai National Park

The park is also blessed with many hot springs, which is another major attraction of the park. The Towada-Hakkoda area includes Lake Towada, the Oirase mountain stream, and the Hakkoda mountain range, while the Hachimantai area, consisting of Mount Iwate, Hachimantai, and Akita Komagatake, has lakes and high-rise wetlands created by volcanic phenomena and cold temperatures. Animals also live in abundance in such a diverse environment.
The forests are home to mammals such as the black bear, Japanese serow, marten, and flying squirrel, as well as amphibians such as the tree frog and black salamander, and rare birds such as the bear hawk.
Because the area was deep in the mountains, the natural forests of the backcountry did not allow human intrusion, and no large-scale development took place. The surrounding area was once logged for firewood and coal, mainly from the Meiji period to the early Showa period, but has now recovered naturally, where a secondary forest of beech has been formed.

Recently, more and more people are starting to actively enjoy the beech forest through non-impactful activities. They hike in the summer, go snowshoeing and skiing in the winter, and canoe along the water’s edge. These enthusiasts seek the richness of nature in an area that remains largely undisturbed by human activity. If one listens carefully to tTowada Hachimantai National Parkhe rustling of the deep forest, they can discover it teeming with a wide variety of creatures.

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About the Author

Sayuri

I have been travelling by campervan to various areas all over Japan for more than 5 years. My goal is to visit all 47 prefectures in Japan! Just 12 more prefectures to go and I'll have accomplished it! I hope I can share some of information of wonderful places in Japan.

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