Land area: 174,323 ha
Designated on December 4, 1934
Large, steep rock walls, beautiful lakeside woods in plateaus and glacier-eroded U-shaped valleys – this national park has astonishingly diversified natural beauty. Many communities of alpine plants grow and large raptors live in mountainous areas. It is a park in the mountains which enjoys abundant nature.
Chubusangaku National Park is a mountainous park located in the center of the Hida Mountain Chain which is called the "Japan Alps", the highest mountain range in Japan towering over the central part of the main island. In the area, steep lofty mountains 3,000 m high and many sheer cliffs extend as a result of intense upheaval in the land.
The Hida Mountain Chain, which forms the backbone of the park, stretches a long way north to south. The mountains lie in two rows in the northern part and in three rows in the south.
Mt. Tateyama in the northern part of the park is characterized by heavy snowfall and large snowfields. The Kurobegawa River which flows between the Tateyama and the Ushirotateyama Mountain Chains forms one of the longest and deepest gorges in Japan with precipitous cliffs created by intensive erosion on both sides. The area from Mt. Tateyama to Mt. Yakushidake (2,926 m) contains many places of interest including two lava plateaus, Goshikigahara and Kumonotaira. A range of high mountains stretching to the south leads to Mt. Okuhotakadake (3,190 m), the highest peak of the mountain chain, and then a line of lower mountains runs to Mt. Yakedake (2,455 m), a campaniform active volcano. Taishoike Pond, a dammed pond formed by lava, is by the Azusagawa River which flows along the eastern foot of the mountain. The river together with Kamikochi, a basin on the plateau up the stream, presents beautiful scenery of the valley. Kamikochi has abundant natural beauty composed of the rocky mountains of Hotakadake, riverside forests and clear streams. As its subtle beauty is the finest example of Japanese natural scenery, this highland is loved by many people.
Mt. Norikuradake soaring at the southern tip of the park is a group of six volcanoes. A plateau extends at its eastern foot.
In the park area, many traces of the ice age, including some U-shaped valleys can be found.
The vegetation in the park area changes according to the altitude. In the lowland, there are broad-leaved deciduous forests and as the altitude becomes higher, they change to coniferous forests and then to woods of Erman's birches (Betula ermanii) and Japanese stone pines (Pinus pumila). The park enjoys beautiful and rare flora such as communities of alpine plants in the Shirouma Mountain Chain and other mountain areas. In Kamikochi, there are woods of keshoyanagi (Salix arbutifolia), which is unique in that this single species constitutes a genus.
As for the fauna, black bears and Japanese serows live in this area. Besides golden eagles and mountain hawk eagles, rock ptarmigans are noteworthy. Rare species of alpine butterflies can also be seen. The fact that the park is a habitat for large mammals and birds that are higher in the ecosystem indicates that a rich natural environment is well-conserved here.