National Parks(国立公園,Kokuritsu Kōen?) and Quasi-National Parks(国定公園,Kokutei Kōen?) in Japan are places of scenic beauty designated for protection and sustainable usage by the Minister of the Environment under the Natural Parks Law (1957). National Parks are designated and in principle managed by the Ministry of the Environment. Quasi-National Parks, of a slightly lesser beauty, size, diversity, or state of preservation, are recommended for ministerial designation and managed by the Prefectures under the supervision of the Ministry.
The region is the widest part of Honshū and the central part is characterized by high, rugged mountains. The Japanese Alps divide the country into the Pacific side, known as the front of Japan, or Omote-Nihon(表日本?) sunny in winter, and the Sea of Japan side, or Ura-Nihon(裏日本?), the back of Japan, snowy in winter.