Shikotsu-Toya National Park
Not far from Sapporo is Shilkotsu-Toya National Park. This park has several gorgeous lakes and volcanoes. It is also home to two canyons that are several hundred meters long, blanketed in thick moss. These canyons also have no entrance fee.
Daisetsuzan National Park
Daisetsuzan is the country’s largest national park. There are no train stops anywhere in the park so a car rental in Japan is particularly useful for getting here. Daisetsuzan translates to “great snowy mountains”, so plan for snowy conditions from October to June. In some places patches of snow remain year-round. Head here for a challenging, but invigorating hike.
Nikko National Park
If you find yourself in the Tokyo area and need some nature, head to the Nikko National Park. Famous for its Toshogu Shrine, the park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or stop by for a dip in a hot spring.
Yakushima National Park
Visit Yakushima National Park and see the country’s oldest trees. Located in the Kagoshima prefecture, the park is home to Jomonsugi, a tree believed to be up to 7,000 years old.