Elementary & junior high students get free entry to 12 national parks

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced Tuesday that the entrance fees to 12 of 17 national parks in Japan for elementary and junior high school students would be eliminated starting from Apr. 2018.

However, the entrance fees for high school students and adults will be raised to ¥450 from the current ¥410. The changes will be in effect through March 2019, by when the future entrance fees will be determined.

Entrance to four of the remaining five parks, including Asuka/Heijoukyou Rekishi Park in Nara Prefecture will be free for everyone. The entrance fee to the Yoshinogasato Rekishi Park, managed jointly by the government and Saga Prefecture, will be studied with an ye towards making the entrance free in the future. In Okinawa, the entrance to Nettai Dream Center and Kaiyou Bunkakan in the Ocean Expo Park will become free.

Setting the new fee structure is one of the tourism strategies of the Government of Japan, which has set a goal to increase the number of visitors to national parks from 39 million in 2016 to 48 million by 2020.