Tourist Information > Nature > Minami Alps National Park

Updated:August 31, 2016

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Minami Alps National Park 

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Minami Alps National Park, extending across Yamanashi, Nagano and Shizuoka, is one of the major mountain parks in Japan. Shirane-Sanzan, Hooh-Sanzan, Senjogatake and Kai-Komagatake--all with peaks of over 9,842 ft--entice many mountain enthusiasts to test their skills. Mt. Kitadake, at 10,492 ft, stands second highest only to Mt. Fuji. The magnetism of its dense forests and graceful beauty, all the more beautiful thanks to its sheer size, is irresistible to many a climber. Compared to the Kita (Northern) Alps, the Minami Alps are massive and wide. This ideal environment for alpine plants ensures a wealth of beech, hemlock and fir forests, which provide a beautiful setting for climbers. This area is also a special animal habitat. Ptarmigan, a bird whose feather color changes with the season, is protected as a national rare species. The plentiful water resources originating in the Minami Alps--such as the Fuji, Oi, and Tenryu rivers--give life to the industries of central Yamanashi.

Prefectural Minami Alps Koma National Park 

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This park lies in front of the Minami Alps National Park. Splendid waterfalls, including Shoji-ga-Taki with its 397 ft drop, are interspersed throughout the mountain ravines. The clear stream water in Ojirogawa ravine was selected to be among the hundred best natural waters in Japan.

Mt. Amari is known as the best place for a panoramic view of the Minami Alps. From mid-June to early July, azaleas start to bloom in abundance, making it a favorite spot for hikers. The field of irises growing naturally atop Mt. Kushigata--a rare botanical phenomenon --is the largest in Asia.

The white birch forest stretching over the foothills of the Alps is also the largest in Asia. The forest includes many hot springs, and those in rural surroundings, like Narada and Jukkoku, offer welcome relaxation after hiking.