National Parks (?, Kokuritsu K?en) and Quasi-National Parks (?, Kokutei K?en) in Japan are places of scenic beauty designated for protection and sustainable usage by the Minister of the Environment under the Natural Parks Law () of 1957. National Parks are designated and in principle managed by the Ministry of the Environment. Quasi-National Parks, of a slightly lesser beauty, size, diversity, or state of preservation, are recommended for ministerial designation and managed by the Prefectures under the supervision of the Ministry.
Japan established its first k?en () or public parks in 1873 (Asakusa Park, Asukayama Park, Fukagawa Park, Shiba Park, and Ueno Park). In 1911 local citizens petitioned that the shrines and forests of Nikk? be placed under public protection. In 1929 the National Parks Association was formed. In 1931 the first National Parks Law () was passed. After much study and survey, in March 1934 the first parks were established -- Setonaikai, Unzen and Kirishima -- with five more in December and a further four two years later. Three further parks were established under the old National Parks Law, in colonial Taiwan in 1937: the Tatun National Park (the smallest in Japan); Tsugitaka-Taroko National Park, (the largest); and Niitaka-Arisan National Park (with the highest mountain in then Japan).
In 1957 the Natural Parks Law replaced the earlier National Parks Law, allowing for three categories: the National, Quasi-National, and Prefectural Natural Parks. With minor amendments this established the framework that operates today.
As of 1 April 2014, there were 31 National Parks and 56 Quasi-National Parks, with the National Parks covering 20,996 km² (5.6% of the land area) and the Quasi-National Parks 13,592 km² (3.6% of the land area). In addition, there were 314 Prefectural Parks covering 19,726 km² (5.2% of the land area). On 27 March 2015, the 32nd National Park was established, My?k?-Togakushi Renzan National Park, on 15 September 2016, the 33rd, Yanbaru National Park, and on 7 March 2017, the 34th, Amami Gunt? National Park, subsuming Amami Gunt? Quasi-National Park. On 25 March 2016, a further Quasi-National Park was established, Kyoto Tamba Kogen Quasi-National Park.
The area of each National and Quasi-National Park is divided into ordinary, special and marine park zones. Special zones are further subdivided into special protection and class I, II, and III special zones, restricting access and use for preservation purposes. The state owns only approximately half of the land in the parks.
This map shows the locations of the national parks in Japan. Note Ogasawara National Park is not visible on the map.
|Akan Mashu National Park||1934||Hokkaid?||90.481 hectares (223.58 acres)|
|Minami Alps National Park||1964||Ch?bu||35.752 hectares (88.35 acres)|
|Amami Gunt? National Park||2017||Ky?sh?||42.181 hectares (104.23 acres)|
|Ashizuri-Uwakai National Park||1972||Shikoku||11.345 hectares (28.03 acres)|
|Aso Kuj? National Park||1934||Ky?sh?||72.678 hectares (179.59 acres)|
|Bandai-Asahi National Park||1950||T?hoku||186.389 hectares (460.58 acres)|
|Chichibu Tama Kai National Park||1950||Kant?||126.259 hectares (311.99 acres)|
|Ch?bu-Sangaku National Park||1934||Ch?bu||174.323 hectares (430.76 acres)|
|Daisen-Oki National Park||1936||Ch?goku||35.353 hectares (87.36 acres)|
|Daisetsuzan National Park||1934||Hokkaid?||226.764 hectares (560.35 acres)|
|Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park||1936||Kant?||121.695 hectares (300.71 acres)|
|Hakusan National Park||1962||Ch?bu||11.345 hectares (28.03 acres)|
|Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park||1972||Ky?sh?||40.653 hectares (100.46 acres)|
|Ise-Shima National Park||1946||Kinki||55.544 hectares (137.25 acres)|
|J?shin'etsu-k?gen National Park||1949||Kant?||148.194 hectares (366.20 acres)|
|Kerama Shot? National Park||2014||Ky?sh?||3,520 hectares (8,700 acres)|
|Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park||1934||Ky?sh?||36.586 hectares (90.41 acres)|
|Kushiro-shitsugen National Park||1987||Hokkaid?||28.788 hectares (71.14 acres)|
|My?k?-Togakushi Renzan National Park||2015||Ch?bu||39.772 hectares (98.28 acres)|
|Nikk? National Park||1934||Kant?||114.908 hectares (283.94 acres)|
|Ogasawara National Park||1972||Kant?||6,629 hectares (16,380 acres)|
|Oze National Park||1972||T?hoku||37.200 hectares (91.92 acres)|
|Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park||1974||Hokkaid?||24.166 hectares (59.72 acres)|
|Saikai National Park||1955||Ky?sh?||24.646 hectares (60.90 acres)|
|Sanin Kaigan National Park||1936||Kinki||8,783 hectares (21,700 acres)|
|Sanriku Fukk? National Park||1955||T?hoku||28.537 hectares (70.52 acres)|
|Setonaikai National Park||1934||Kinki, Ch?goku, Shikoku, Kyushu (Joint management)||67.242 hectares (166.16 acres)|
|Shikotsu-T?ya National Park||1949||Hokkaid?||99.473 hectares (245.80 acres)|
|Shiretoko National Park||1964||Hokkaid?||38.636 hectares (95.47 acres)|
|Towada-Hachimantai National Park||1936||T?hoku||85.534 hectares (211.36 acres)|
|Unzen-Amakusa National Park||1934||Ky?sh?||28.279 hectares (69.88 acres)|
|Yakushima National Park||2012||Ky?sh?||32.553 hectares (80.44 acres)|
|Yanbaru National Park||2016||Ky?sh?||13.622 hectares (33.66 acres)|
|Yoshino-Kumano National Park||1936||Kinki||61.406 hectares (151.74 acres)|