Tuesday, 26th July 2016
In General Japan News,
Japan casts spotlight on 8 national parks
It may be National Park Week in the UK, but the Environment Ministry in Japan is also keen to highlight the beauty of its own natural spaces.
A panel has been put together to select eight of the nation’s 32 national parks for a groundbreaking project aimed at enticing more foreign tourists to explore them.
Special tour guides will then be trained in natural attractions and traditional culture to show off the parks.
In addition to this, accommodation options, such as hotels, in the national parks will also be improved in order to make stays more comfortable.
One of the eight parks that has been chosen is the Ise-Shima National Park in Mie Prefecture, home to the Ise Grand Shrine.
It was also the venue for the Group of Seven summit in May, which saw many world leaders descend on Japan to discuss economic policies.
The Nikko National Park, which crosses the prefectural boundaries of Fukushima, Tochigi and Gunma is also featured.
As are the Daisetsuzan and Akan national parks in Hokkaido, the Kirishima-Kinkowan and Aso-Kuju national parks in Kyushu, the Towada-Hachimantai national park in Tohoku, and the Keramashoto national park in Okinawa Prefecture.
The primary reason for selecting these parks was their evident natural beauty, but their proximity to sightseeing spots and the efforts of local governments to maintain them were also taken into consideration.
Funds for the project are expected to be secured in the supplementary budget for fiscal 2016, which is due to be made public in the autumn.
Failing this, there will be provision sought within the next fiscal budget in April next year.
Some 4.3 million people visited Japanese national parks in 2015, but the ministry aims to bring this annual figure up to ten million.