Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park

Two years ago I was lucky enough to visit the wonderful country of Japan. Now Japan is not known for its National Parks. In fact if you are strictly after nature there are better countries to visit throughout Asia. Having said that, there is plenty of great National Parks to see in this wonderful country. My favorite is Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park.

Mt Fuji

Firstly Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park is the closest park to Tokyo. In fact, from some locations within Tokyo you can actually see the parks main attraction Mt Fuji on a clear day. This makes it the countries most accessible.  There are plenty of tours available either from the surrounding towns, or on day trips from Tokyo. My suggestion is to spend at least two or three days there. There are plenty of accommodation options to choose from ranging from roughing it to 5 stars. I also suggest trying to go during the week, as a lot of locals use this place as a weekend getaway.

At the heart of the park is the beautiful heritage listed Mt Fuji. Mt Fuji is actually an active volcano that last erupted in 1708. It is one of Japan’s Three Holy Mountains alongside Mount Tate and Mount Haku. The mountain is snow capped for the majority of the year, but if you want that great photo, it will definitely be better in the colder months.

While Mt Fuji is the main highlight, there is plenty of other things to see. Lake Ashi is one of of those. The lake is a crater that last erupted less than 1,000 years ago. On a fine day it will also give you one of your best photos – Mount Fuji against a blue sky with a water reflection (see photo above).

While visiting the park we had a tour guide who was speaking in Japanese. I love the Japanese Language and while I’m not fluent in it, I’m also not completely lost when people are speaking it. Hearing about the park in their native language was a wonderful experience.

Around the park you will also find what seem like endless hot springs. Hot springs are caused by the warming of spring water by the volcanic activity under the ground surface. Enjoy the hot bath!

I also suggest taking the cable car up the mountain for magical views with Hakone Ropeway. You won’t be disappointed.

Here’s a video on this wonderful National Park. Please enjoy…

 

If Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, a couple of the other National Parks I liked were Ise-Shima National Park and Daisetsuzan National Park.

Yellowstone National Park

In my opening post I told you that one of my favorite National Parks in the world is Yellowstone National Park, so I thought I would start there.

There is a reason that Yellowstone National Park is one of America’s favorite National Park. First a little history…

Sign

History

Yellowstone is known for being named the first National Park in the United States of America back in 1872. Yellowstone NP can be found in the North West corner of the state of Wyoming and spans an area of 3,468 square miles. It has many different features (including lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges) which makes it a popular destination to visit. Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest high-altitude lakes in North America and is centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest super-volcano in North America.

Now that the history lesson is over, let’s get into why you want to visit. To put it simply, it has everything you could possibly want in a park. Let’s run through the list…

Bison

Wildlife

Where do I start… Hundreds of species of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles can be found in Yellowstone National Park.  Grizzly bears, wolves, and bison and elk live in the park and are often spotted.

Natural Wonder

Natural Wonders

The most famous of all the wonders in the park is the Old Faithful Geyser. Old Faithful is a geyser that shoots hot water into the air. Amazingly they are able to predict exactly when it is going to go off, down to the second. While Old Faithful is the most popular, there are plenty of other places within the National Park to see. I loved the color of some of the other hydrothermal system scattered around the park.

Yellowstone Map

Perfect Setup

Above is a map I’ve ‘borrowed’ off the nps.gov website. As you can see the park is in a wonderful figure 8 shape. This means you can spend the day exploring without any back tracking. You can either complete the full figure 8 in a day, or if you want to take your time, just complete the top or bottom loop. There are so many wonderful things to see, all just a short walk from car parks located close to the road.

Park

Camping Grounds

It’s definitely on the easier side when it comes to camping (you won’t be roughing it here).  The campsites are set up really well, with all the amenities you could ask for. There are plenty of other campers around, so you will make friends in no time. There are no motels/hotels within the park itself, so if you want to stay in the confines of a building, you will need to leave the park.  But don’t worry there are plenty just outside of the park. There are also areas within the park if you have a camper-van.

Let me introduce myself and this website

Check out my “About” page to get some background.

My name is Ranger Davie and I like to educate people. Generally I like educating people about conservation, but that is not the limit of my expertise. I have had formal teaching training and taught for several years, so I love standing in front of an eager crowd waiting to here what I have to say. Because I’m a bit older now I don’t teach as much, so I thought I would try and spread my knowledge with this website.

In the posts that will follow I will talk about my favorite conservation methods I have seen and been involved in. I will also take you on a journey to some of my favorite places in the world. Some parts of the world you may not know much about, but have amazing wildlife to see and experience.

I will also look into some of my favorite teaching methods (both effective for conservation and teaching in general).

I try to make my lessons (and hence this website) fun and I find that to be a great way to get a message across to the class (or in this case the world!).

I’m not sure how often I will be able to update this, but am hoping for once a week.

Today I thought I would leave you with an old educational clip of one my favorite parks in the United States of America (and the world) Yellowstone National Park.  Enjoy…