Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park is located in central Honshu, Japan. It is a collection of several natural parks with different isolated locations in Japan. This national park includes world famous Mount Fuji, the "Fuji Five Lakes", the Hakone Geopark, the Izu Peninsula, and the Izu Islands. The whole park adds up to 474 square miles in total area. Its geography presents a varied topography of mountainous terrains, hot springs, water bodies, miles of shoreline, and hundreds of volcanic islands. There are waterfalls, gardens and coral reefs there as well. The best time to visit for climbers of Mount Fuji is between July 1st and August 31st, while spring, summer, or fall are good times to see the rest of this national park, especially for nature lovers.
Tourists flock to Mount Fuji, and many consider it a sacred site. The other destinations in the park also offer secluded places to relax in and interesting sights to see. In springtime, the cherry blossoms are an added feature that shouldn't be missed. Although only about 100 kilometers from the bustling metropolis of Tokyo, the average tourist will find a diversity of natural sights and experiences to enjoy. There are five main destination points within the park, so the average tourist should have an itinerary before booking with a group tour, which is typically the best way to see the park. Nearby Tokyo is the main jump-off point for international visitors wishing to experience the park's many attractions.
The park was recently designated as a UNESCO Heritage site, and governed by the Japanese Minsitry of the Environment. It is the most visited national park in Japan, and as such is also one of the best destinations for tourists who travel to the "Land of the Rising Sun". Mount Fuji alone offers climbing, camping, fishing and diving. Nearby is the Fuji-Goko area, which has all year access and offers tourists venues for camping, hiking, boating, and scenic drives. The Hakone area has a botanical garden, a lake, and hot springs. The Izu Peninsula harbors an alligator garden, hot springs, tropical garden, and a coastline scenic drive. The Izu Islands have eight small islands that offer trekking, swimming and diving. Two other activities popular throughout the park is birdwatching and whale watching directly offshore.
Plants and animals in the park offer a biodiversity that includes a number of endemic species, one example being the Japanese clawed salamander. On the Izu Peninsula, Mount Amagisan has a volcanic lake that is home to endemic green tree frogs, while the Izu Islands harbor many seabirds and migratory birds. Plant diversity ii the park includes many indigenous flowers and plants that also count as being endemic to the area. The Izu Islands have many giant trees, and also the Pasania trees, besides the rich marine life offshore. Japanese Cypresses, Red Pines, Oaks, Tiger Tail Spruces, Cedars, Bamboo, Grasses, Beeches, and ferns all form a part of the islands' forests' biodiversity of flora.
Tourists visiting the many areas of the park should be aware that carelessness is often the cause of accidents, whether diving, just hiking, or partaking in other activities there. The park is essentially a wild area, and these wilds often present dangerous situations. Mount Fuji is a tedious climb for amateurs, and climbers should have the proper shoes and equipment to avoid accidents. Conversely, tourists who visit the park should only take out what they take in, and not disturb the local wildlife or environment. Hiking is allowed only on designated trails, and trampling upon wilderness areas goes against the park's rules. Fortunately, as a result of such rules and the park's conservation efforts, some bird species indigenous to the islands have made a comeback in terms of their numbers.