Mountains blessed with snow, forest greenery, the pure running water, birdsong heard through the mist ... Anyone who comes into contact with these scenes will feel the windows to their hearts opening through their five senses. Nature not only provides the materials that are the foundation of our lives and industries, including our food and underground resources, but the presence of pure nature nurtures a variety of flora and fauna, and clean air and scenery brings richness and tranquility to our hearts.
These superior natural sites are designated as natural parks, some as national parks, and they are to be passed on to the future as "something we hold in custody for posterity" while providing those of us alive now with a place for tranquility, learning, and connectedness.
Popular natural parks are equipped with facilities for their large number of visitors to have contact with nature, but maintaining and cleaning public facilities, such as toilets and walking paths, carry a financial cost. The parking fees charged to park users is used as the cooperation funds for the beautification and maintenance projects of the area designated in the natural park.
The Natural Parks Foundation was established in 1979 and has 20 local offices in National Parks and Quasi-National Parks. The Foundation implements maintenance and management of park facilities, such as visitor centers and public toilets, beautification activities, natural environment conservation activities, such as vegetation restoration, and contact-with-nature activities, such as nature experience and observation projects. It is active in promoting comfortable park use in a beautiful, clean natural environment.
To reach these goals, the Foundation receives a cooperation fee (parking fee) as a user charge for using the public parking lot located in the park. The fees are allocated for expenses to maintain and manage the natural park.