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Itsukushima in Setonaikai National Park, the first of Japan's National Parks (established 1934)

National Parks (国立公園, Kokuritsu Kōen) and Quasi-National Parks (国定公園, Kokutei Kōen) in Japan are places of scenic beauty designated for protection and sustainable usage by the Minister of the Environment under the Natural Parks Law (自然公園法) of 1957.[1] 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.[2]

HistoryEdit

Japan established its first kōen (公園) 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 Nikkō be placed under public protection. In 1929 the National Parks Association was formed. In 1931 the first National Parks Law (国立公園法) 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).[3]

Ise-Shima was the first to be created after the war, and a further seven had been added by 1955.

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.[4][5]

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).[6] On 27 March 2015, the 32nd National Park was established, Myōkō-Togakushi Renzan National Park,[7] on 15 September 2016, the 33rd, Yanbaru National Park, and on 7 March 2017, the 34th, Amami Guntō National Park, subsuming Amami Guntō Quasi-National Park.[8][9] On 25 March 2016, a further Quasi-National Park was established, Kyoto Tamba Kogen Quasi-National Park.[10]

Protection statusEdit

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.[11]

Map of National ParksEdit

List of National ParksEdit

Name Established Region Area [ha] Photo
Akan National Park 1934 Hokkaidō 90.481 hectares (223.58 acres)  
Minami Alps National Park 1964 Chūbu 35.752 hectares (88.35 acres)  
Amami Guntō National Park 2017 Kyūshū 42.181 hectares (104.23 acres)  
Ashizuri-Uwakai National Park 1972 Shikoku 11.345 hectares (28.03 acres)  
Aso Kujū National Park 1934 Kyūshū 72.678 hectares (179.59 acres)  
Bandai-Asahi National Park 1950 Tōhoku 186.389 hectares (460.58 acres)  
Chichibu Tama Kai National Park 1950 Kantō 126.259 hectares (311.99 acres)  
Chūbu-Sangaku National Park 1934 Chūbu 174.323 hectares (430.76 acres)  
Daisen-Oki National Park 1936 Chūgoku 35.353 hectares (87.36 acres)  
Daisetsuzan National Park 1934 Hokkaidō 226.764 hectares (560.35 acres)  
Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park 1936 Kantō 121.695 hectares (300.71 acres)  
Hakusan National Park 1962 Chūbu 11.345 hectares (28.03 acres)  
Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park 1972 Kyūshū 40.653 hectares (100.46 acres)  
Ise-Shima National Park 1946 Kinki 55.544 hectares (137.25 acres)  
Jōshin'etsu-kōgen National Park 1949 Kantō 148.194 hectares (366.20 acres)  
Kerama Shotō National Park 2014 Kyūshū 3,520 hectares (8,700 acres)  
Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park 1934 Kyūshū 36.586 hectares (90.41 acres)  
Kushiro-shitsugen National Park 1987 Hokkaidō 28.788 hectares (71.14 acres)  
Myōkō-Togakushi Renzan National Park 2015 Chūbu 39.772 hectares (98.28 acres)  
Nikkō National Park 1934 Kantō 114.908 hectares (283.94 acres)  
Ogasawara National Park 1972 Kantō 6,629 hectares (16,380 acres)  
Oze National Park 1972 Tōhoku 37.200 hectares (91.92 acres)  
Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park 1974 Hokkaidō 24.166 hectares (59.72 acres)  
Saikai National Park 1955 Kyūshū 24.646 hectares (60.90 acres)  
Sanin Kaigan National Park 1936 Kinki 8,783 hectares (21,700 acres)  
Sanriku Fukkō National Park 1955 Tōhoku 28.537 hectares (70.52 acres)  
Setonaikai National Park 1934 Kinki, Chūgoku, Shikoku, Kyushu (Joint management) 67.242 hectares (166.16 acres)  
Shikotsu-Tōya National Park 1949 Hokkaidō 99.473 hectares (245.80 acres)  
Shiretoko National Park 1964 Hokkaidō 38.636 hectares (95.47 acres)  
Towada-Hachimantai National Park 1936 Tōhoku 85.534 hectares (211.36 acres)  
Unzen-Amakusa National Park 1934 Kyūshū 28.279 hectares (69.88 acres)  
Yakushima National Park 2012 Kyūshū 32.553 hectares (80.44 acres)  
Yanbaru National Park 2016 Kyūshū 13.622 hectares (33.66 acres)  
Yoshino-Kumano National Park 1936 Kinki 61.406 hectares (151.74 acres)  

List of Quasi-National ParksEdit

HokkaidōEdit

TōhokuEdit

KantōEdit

ChūbuEdit

KansaiEdit

Chūgoku and ShikokuEdit

KyūshūEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Natural Parks Act (1957)" (PDF). Ministry of the Environment. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  2. ^ "Natural Park Systems in Japan" (PDF). Ministry of the Environment. pp. 4, 12. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  3. ^ Kanda Koji. "Landscapes of National Parks in Taiwan During the Japanese Colonial Period" (PDF). Osaka City University. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  4. ^ Sutherland, Mary; Britton, Dorothy (1995). National Parks of Japan. Kodansha. pp. 6f. ISBN 4-7700-1971-8.
  5. ^ "Natural Park Systems in Japan" (PDF). Ministry of the Environment. pp. 1f. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  6. ^ "Summary table of area figures for Natural Parks" (PDF). Ministry of the Environment. 1 April 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  7. ^ "Birth of Myoko Togakushi Renzan National Park". Ministry of the Environment. 10 June 2015. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  8. ^ やんばる国立公園について [About Yanbaru National Park - Summary] (in Japanese). Ministry of the Environment. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  9. ^ 奄美群島国立公園(仮称)の指定及び公園計画の決定等に関する意見の募集について [Consultation about the Establishment of Amami Guntō National Park] (in Japanese). Ministry of the Environment. 6 October 2016. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
  10. ^ "京都丹波高原国定公園の指定日について" (in Japanese). Ministry of the Environment. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Natural Park Systems in Japan" (PDF). Ministry of the Environment. pp. 2f. Retrieved 1 February 2012.

External linksEdit