Welcome to the islands of adventure

A vast expanse of pristine nature stretches all the way to the horizon before you. Hokkaido is surrounded by three vast bodies of water, the Sea of Japan, the Sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean, while towering peaks over 2,000m high lie in the center of the island. From mountains and rivers to vast plains and rolling seas, Hokkaido’s nature is endless. It is a paradise of outdoor activities, the perfect place to experience untold relaxation and a sense of fulfillment that previously seemed unimaginable. Welcome to Hokkaido, an island where adventure comes to life.

Abundant nature across six national parks

Japan’s national parks are managed directly by the Japanese government and offer a variety of opportunities for people from all walks of life to deepen their knowledge of the country’s incredible nature. There are currently six national parks in Hokkaido. These areas are protected by a range of measures, including strict limits on land development. Animals ranging from brown bears to Ezo sika deer and Blakiston’s fish owl can be found in the mountains of Hokkaido, while whales and seals swim in its seas. Each region on the island also has unique varieties of plant life waiting to be discovered. Each of the distinct ecosystems and natural environments that are cherished and protected through Japan’s national parks are home to a variety of thriving flora and fauna. Leaving plants and animals to flourish naturally is the purpose for which these parks were established.

Kushiroshitsugen National Park

Located on the Kushiro Plain in southeastern Hokkaido, this national park is home to Japan’s largest marsh. Thanks in part to the unforgiving terrain, it remains a vast expanse of pristine nature. Red-crowned cranes, designated as a special natural monument of Japan, reside among the reeds in the marsh. Part of the wetland has also been named a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention.

Shiretoko National Park

The Shiretoko Peninsula in east Hokkaido lies at the heart of this national park. Its abundant nature includes the habitats of large mammals such as brown bears and orcas, active volcanoes such as Mount Io, and the area’s iconic drift ice. Shiretoko is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site and attracts visitors from all over the world.

Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park

This national park by the sea is found in northern Hokkaido. The park covers both the Sarobetsu Plain and the two incredible islands that it overlooks. Rebun Island is home to alpine plants that can be found at altitudes as low as sea level, while Rishiri Island looks like Mount Fuji floating on the ocean waves from a distance. Land and sea come together in harmony in this northern natural wonderland.

Daisetsuzan National Park

This is Japan's largest national park and lies in the heart of Hokkaido. Its enthralling mountain ranges, including the Tokachi Mountain Range and Daisetsuzan itself, are home to peaks with altitudes in excess of 2,000m. The crystal-clear water that flows down from mountains goes on to form the Ishikari River and other major rivers in Hokkaido.

Akan-Mashu National Park

Akan-Mashu National Park lies in the mountains of east Hokkaido. The connection between mountains and water is clearly illustrated in this volcanic landscape. This is exemplified by the magnificent Lake Akan, Lake Mashu, and Lake Kussharo, which were formed as a result of volcanic eruptions. Akan-Mashu National Park is also known for its plentiful hot springs born from the volcanic activity below the surface.

Shikotsu-Toya National Park

Shikotsu-Toya National Park covers a large part of west Hokkaido, stretching from the Sapporo suburbs to Lake Shikotsu, Lake Toya and Niseko. From exploring natural landscapes punctuated with lakes formed by volcanic eruptions, to relaxing at hot spring resorts that make the most of the volcanic activity below the surface, there is a variety of things to see and do. This area is also a remarkable example of nature and humanity coexisting in harmony.