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Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park

Land area: 121,695 ha
Designated on February 1, 1936

Photo: Fuji-Hakone-Izu

When a Japanese is asked to give examples of beautiful places in the country, the first spot to be mentioned is always Mt. Fujisan. This national park has Mt. Fujisan as its center and is rich with beautiful landscapes such as Mt. Fujisan and surrounding volcanoes, the coastline, and islands in the ocean. These areas are all thriving tourist spots because of their mild climate and hot springs, and have been loved by many people since old times. The fact that the park is easily accessible by public transportation also contributes to its popularity.

Natural Environment of Mt. Fujisan, Hakone, the Izuhanto Peninsula and Seven Islands of Izu

Map: Fuji-Hakone-Izu

Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park consists of four regions: the Mt. Fujisan area which has the famous Mt. Fujisan and includes lakes and plateaus in its environs, the Hakone area in the east, the Izuhanto Peninsula in the south with mountains and a coastline, and the main parts of the Seven Islands of Izu in the ocean. It is a park of mountains and ocean, centered on a volcanic belt.
The core of this park is Mt. Fujisan (3,776 m), the highest mountain in Japan. It is an internationally known beautiful volcano with a conical shape. At Mt. Fujisan's northern foot, there are five lakes which were created by its volcanic activity. In this area, Aokigahara and other fields formed by lava flow, wind caves and spring water flows can be seen. The sea of trees in Aokigahara is believed to be on the lava flow caused by the eruption in 846. It is a new forest which was generated less than 1,200 years ago.
The Hakone Volcanic Group constitutes typical crater terrain with Mt. Kintokisan (1,213 m), its central peak, and sommas of around 1,000 m in height, Lake Ashinoko which is an atrio lake, and Mt. Kamiyama (1,438 m) located near the central cone. Steam spouts out in some places from the volcanoes. Hakone has been well-known since old times for its rich resource of hot springs. As the area is also noted for its superb views, it has been well-developed for tourism and enjoys popularity as one of the most prosperous tourist destinations in Japan.
The coastal area on the Izuhanto Peninsula forms a complex landform because of uplift and sinkage of the land, or wave erosion. From the south end of the peninsula to the west coast, a stretch of sea cliff soars. In the mountain area lies Mt. Amagisan which consists of a group of volcanoes. Amagitoge Pass is situated in the southwest of the highest part of Mt. Amagisan and in the east of the pass, beech (Fagus crenata) woods stretch out. Hacchoike Pond, a volcanic lake in Mt. Amagisan, is known as a habitat for forest green tree frogs (Rhacophorus arboreus) which are endemic to Japan.
The Seven Islands of Izu lie off the Izuhanto Peninsula to the southeast, extending in a chain for a distance of about 180 km. These islands are submarine volcanoes which have their base more than 2,000 m below sea level and show only their peaks above the sea surface. Among these islands, Oshima is famous as it has an active volcano.

Vegetation Unique to the Island and Some Endemic Birds

Regarding the vegetation of Aokigahara, a natural forest of mixed species including Japanese cypresses (Chamaecyparis obtusa), Japanese red pines (Pinus densiflora) and Japanese oaks (Quercus crispula) extends and forms a sea of trees. In Oshino Village in Minami-Tsuru County, Yamanashi Prefecture, there are pure forests of tiger tail spruces (Picea torano), a rare species of the pine family. As Mt. Fujisan is a relatively new volcano, few alpine plants grow on the mountain. In the Hakone area, woods of evergreen broad-leaved trees and planted forests of Japanese cedars (Cryptomeria japonica) extend in the low-altitude area, and areas at the altitude of 800 m or higher are dominated by beech woods. In Hakone and the Izuhanto Peninsula, mountains are covered with fields of bamboo grasses, and in Mt. Amagisan, natural forests of beeches and himeshara (Stewartia monadelpha) can be seen. The main vegetation in the coastal area on the Izuhanto Peninsula and Seven Islands of Izu is Japanese chinquapins and other evergreen broad-leaved trees. In the islands of the Seven Islands of Izu, subtropical plants such as ferns grow.
Aokigahara is known as a paradise for wild birds. The Seven Islands of Izu is a habitat for many seafowl. It serves as stopping points for migratory birds and also provides bleeding ground to the birds endemic to the islands.

Our Local Office at the Park:
Hakone Visitor Center, Kyu-Fudaba 164, Moto-Hakone, Hakone-machi, Ashigara-shimogun, Kanagawa

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