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Nature in Japan

Nature in Japan

When people think of Japan they usually picture a technologically advanced mega city. It may be true for the heavily urbanized areas of the country, but two thirds of the nation is covered by hills and forested mountains. There are many natural sights all over Japan like the drift ice off the shores of Hokkaido in the winter or the gorge of Takachiho. There are laws in place to protect and preserve these places from being overly developed. Otherwise places like Lake Mashu would not be one of the clearest lakes in the world. The most famous of these natural monuments is Mount Fuji, which is the symbol of Japan. Nature has produced amazing sites in Japan through hundreds and thousands of years. Sometimes the natural formation of the land has been so majestic that people believed a deity resides in them. One good example is Nachi Waterfall in Kumano. It can be seen from the Nachi Taisha Shrine, which is part of the Kumano Kodo. It is said that the deity of the waterfall is enshrined at the nearby shrine.

One of the best places to see nature is in Hokkaido because it developed at a much later time compared to the rest of Japan. This can be confirmed by Shiretoko where much of the area remains undisturbed and is protected as a UNESCO World Natural Site. You can also find Lake Akan, which is known for the marimo algae and Lake Toya the former host site for the G8 Summit. Aside from the mountains, volcanoes, capes, coasts, beaches, gorges, caves, marshlands, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, and bays, there are these unique places that are in a category of their own.

photo of waterfall nature scenery in Japan

Nature in Japan

photo of Mount Shosha

Kansai | Hyogo | Himeji

Mount Shosha

Mount Shosha is home to Engyoji and was one of the filming sites for “The Last Samurai.”

photo of Mount Aso

Kyushu | Kumamoto | Aso

Mount Aso

Mount Aso is located at the center of Aso-Kuju National Park in Kumamoto and Oita, which lies roughly in the center of Kyushu.

photo of Mount Misen

Chugoku | Hiroshima | Miyajima Island

Mount Misen

Mount Misen is a sacred mountain with the highest elevation of over 500 meters above sea level in Miyajima.

photo of Mount Fuji

Chugoku | Yamaguchi

Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan and has been worshipped as a sacred mountain. The perfect cone shape of the mountain is iconic of Japan.

photo of Geibikei Gorge

Tohoku | Iwate | Hiraizumi

Geibikei Gorge

Geibikei Gorge is located to the west of Ichinoseki and is one of the 100 best landscapes of Japan.

photo of Oboke Gorge

Shikoku | Tokushima | Iya Valley

Oboke Gorge

A scenic geological valley with sightseeing cruises and varies outdoor activities located at Shikoku Island, Japan.

photo of Jozankei Valley

Hokkaido | Jozankei

Jozankei Valley

The Jozan-kei-onsen Hot Spring is located to the southwest of Sapporo in a ravine situated upstream along the Toyohira-gawa River.

photo of Sounkyo Gorge

Hokkaido | Sounkyo

Sounkyo Gorge

Sounkyo Gorge is situated at the foot of Mt. Daisetsu-zan, which is called the "roof of Hokkaido."

photo of Nagatoro

Kanto | Saitama | Chichibu


Nagatoro is a city surrounded by beautiful nature with a river going through the center of the area.

photo of Kurobe Gorge

Chubu | Toyama

Kurobe Gorge

Kurobe Gorge is a forested ravine located in the mountains of the Northern Japan Alps and has the steepest gorges in Japan.

photo of Tenryu-kyo Valley / Tenryu-gawa River Rafting

Chubu | Nagano | Ina

Tenryu-kyo Valley / Tenryu-gawa River Rafting

The Tenryu Valley, situated on the southern tip of Ina Basin in Nagano, is a valley created by the erosion of rocks located in the Ina area over the years.

photo of Takachiho Gorge

Kyushu | Miyazaki | Takachiho

Takachiho Gorge

A naturally formed scenic area located in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan.

photo of Bat Cave, Ice Cave & Wind Cave

Chubu | Yamanashi | Mt Fuji

Bat Cave, Ice Cave & Wind Cave

The Bat Cave, Ice Cave, and Wind Cave were created through the past eruptions of Mount Fuji.

photo of Ryusendo Cave

Tohoku | Iwate

Ryusendo Cave

Ryusendo Cave, which can be found in the foothills of Mt. Urera-san at the east of Iwate, is one of the three largest limestone caves in Japan.

photo of Akiyoshido Cave

Chugoku | Yamaguchi

Akiyoshido Cave

Akiyoshido Cave is famous in Japan for being the country’s largest cave and the second largest cave in all of Asia.

photo of Gyokusendo Caves

Okinawa Islands | Okinawa | Southern Okinawa

Gyokusendo Caves

With a total length of five kilometers, Gyokusendo Cave is the longest of the many caves in the south of Okinawa Island and the second longest cave in the entire country.

photo of Kegon Waterfall

Kanto | Tochigi | Nikko

Kegon Waterfall

Kegon Waterfall is listed as one of the three most beautiful falls in Japan along with Nachi Waterfall in Wakayama Prefecture and Fukuroda Waterfall in Ibaraki Prefecture.

photo of Nachi Waterfall

Kansai | Wakayama | Kumano

Nachi Waterfall

Nachi Waterfall is one of the tallest waterfalls located in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.

photo of Kawazu Seven Waterfalls

Chubu | Shizuoka | Izu Peninsula

Kawazu Seven Waterfalls

Kawazu Seven Waterfalls was the setting for the famed short story “Izu no Odoriko.”

photo of Ginga & Ryusei Waterfalls

Hokkaido | Sounkyo

Ginga & Ryusei Waterfalls

Waterfalls located in the Sounkyo Gorge and are in the top 100 waterfalls in Japan list.

photo of Lake Akan

Hokkaido | Akan National Park

Lake Akan

A crater lake within Akan National park; known for being the home of marimo.

photo of Lake Toya

Hokkaido | Lake Toya

Lake Toya

Lake Toya, which is situated in the southwestern part of Hokkaido, belongs to Shikotsu-Toya National Park.

photo of Lake Towada

Tohoku | Aomori | Towada

Lake Towada

The largest caldera lake in Honshu; located on the borders of Aomori and Akita prefectures.

photo of Lake Ashi

Kanto | Kanagawa | Hakone

Lake Ashi

Lake Ashi is a caldera lake that was formed 3000 years ago from the last volcanic eruption of Mount Hakone.

photo of Fuji Five Lakes

Chubu | Yamanashi | Mt Fuji

Fuji Five Lakes

The Fuji Five Lakes can be found on the northern base of Mount Fuji and was formed by previous eruptions.

photo of Lake Suwa

Chubu | Nagano

Lake Suwa

Lake Suwa is situated almost right in the center of Nagano. Sitting at an altitude of 759 meters.

photo of Lake Shinji

Chugoku | Shimane | Matsue

Lake Shinji

Lake Shinji is situated in the northeast of Shimane, surrounded by the Shimane-hanto Peninsula on the north, the Izumo Plain on the west and the Matsue Plain on the east.

photo of Lake Mashu

Hokkaido | Akan National Park

Lake Mashu

Located in the Akan National Park and is known for having the clearest water in the world.

photo of Lake Chuzenji

Kanto | Tochigi | Nikko

Lake Chuzenji

Lake Chuzenji is located in the mountains near Nikko at the foot of Mount Nantai and is beautiful around the autumn season.

photo of Shiretoko Five Lakes

Hokkaido | Shiretoko

Shiretoko Five Lakes

A collection five small bodies of water that were formed long ago when Mount Io erupted.

photo of Lake Kussharo

Hokkaido | Akan National Park

Lake Kussharo

The largest caldera lake in the Akan National Park; a popular recreational area.