Attractions

Onuma Quasi-National Park

Onuma Quasi-National Park

Travel Guide

Located only 20 kilometers north of Hakodate, Onuma Quasi-National Park is known for its picturesque, island dotted lakes and majestic dormant volcano, Mt. Komagatake (1,131 m), as well as been loved by a number of people including the Meiji Emperor and foreign dignitaries since the Meiji era. The park, which was designated as quasi-national in 1958, is the major park in south of Hokkaido.

Onuma Quasi-National Park can be easily visited in either a day trip from Hakodate or on a stop over on a journey between Hakodate and Sapporo, since most limited express trains between the two cities stop at Onuma Koen Station, the central railway station.

The park includes Lake Onuma (large lake), Lake Konum (small lake) and Lake Junsainuma, of which the biggest being Lake Onuma with a 24 km perimeter.

Lake Onuma makes up the most of the tourism all year round. Lake Onuma has been chosen one of the New Three Views of Japan. There are more than 80 islets in the Lake Onuma and 18 bridges connecting a select few so visitors can enjoy walking on the trails, cycling, canoeing and cruising, promising visitors a fulfilling experience in Hokkaido's great outdoors. Besides, the lake are known for a spectacular sunset view in summer among a beautiful display of mizubasho (Japanese skunk cabbage) flowers, while the Higurashiyama Observation Deck gives an exceptional view. Further more, there are more tourists’ attractions such as a horse riding place, golf courses.

There are about 30 islets in the Lake Konuma. The swans that migrate here come from Siberia and are almost pure white, they apparently come here to escape the -40 degree weather.

The park's most attractive area is located between the Lake Onuma and Lake Konuma and can be explored entirely on foot. There is a water channel between Lake Onuma and Lake Konuma, visitors can have boat tourist between the lakes. Lake Junsainuma is located at the west side of Lake Konuma but there is a 303 meter-high Mount Higurashi-yama in between, visitors cannot see the lake from Lake Onuma and Lake Konuma.

Around these lakes, several hotels, minshukus, resort inns and lodges are dotted. There are also many hot springs scattered around the shores of the lakes.

The lakes were created when mudflows due to eruptions of Hokkaido Mount Komaga-take dammed up depressions at the base of the mountain. The lakes, which are dotted with water shields, are surrounded by birch and maple forests.

It is also possible to rent bicycles at Onuma Koen Station. Onuma Koen Station is about 0.7 km south of the water channel between Lake Onuma and Lake Konuma, and here is the starting point of the peripheral roads of both lakes. There is a cycling course leads around Lake Onuma (about 10 km), but follows the main road rather than the lakeshore for most of the distance. It is a nice way to explore the area, nevertheless.

The Onuma International Exchange Plaza (Tourist Information Center), located in front of Onuma Koen Station, is a great source of advice regarding the different types of outdoor activities available at Onuma Quasi-National Park.

Onuma Quasi-National Park turns into a snow-covered wonderland in winter. The lakes develop a thick layer of ice, offering visitors an array of winter-only activities. "Ice Fishing for Wakasagi (Smelt)" is a popular winter activity in which fishing enthusiasts make hole in the ice through which small fish can be reeled in. There is nothing quite like the taste of these little fish when they're deep-fried fresh out of the water. Snowmobiles, buggies and sleds can also be driven on top of the ice, making for an exhilarating experience. With skiing and cross-country skiing options also available, Onuma Quasi-National Park has got it all when it comes to winter fun. The lakes itself in winter is frozen up to 40 cm deep with about 25 cm of fresh snow powder gracing its top layers. This makes for very fun snow shoeing.

Onuma Quasi-National Park - Autumn Onuma Quasi-National Park - Winter Onuma Quasi-National Park - Boat tour
Autumn Winter Boat tour
 
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Travel Advice

New Three Views of Japan

In 1915, modeled on the old Three Views of Japan, Jitsugyo no Nihon Sha (株式会社実業之日本社) held a national election to determine a list of New Three Views of Japan. The New Three Views of Japan are Lake Onuma in Hokkaido, Miho no Matsubara in the Shimizu-ku area of Shizuoka and Yabakei in Nakatsu, Oita.

Onuma Beef

"Hakodate Onuma Beef" just has to be sampled if you're visiting Onuma Quasi-National Park. The red meat from the Onuma beef cattle that graze on Hokkaido’s luscious natural pastures is full-flavored, and the fat boasts a natural sweetness: the combined result is a delectable meat. The waterfront restaurants and hotels that line Lake Onuma serve up steaks and beef stews using this locally produced beef. The melt-in-the-mouth juiciness of this beef is sure to surprise and delight culinary enthusiasts.

Onuma Craft Beer

This small microbrewery was established in 1998 and has achieved a bit of a following amongst serious beer drinkers. It doesn’t have the scale or quality of the Otaru Beer brewery but as Onuma Quasi-National Park has become more of a tourist destination the brewery has expanded its line up to include an improved India Pale Ale and a Grolsch style brew. The pub is near the park entrance and is not a bad place to end up at the end of the day.

Mt. Komagatake

The last major eruption was in the year 2000 when ash covered nearby areas including Shikabe. At a height of about 1130 meters, this is not the largest volcano on the island but it is impressive. Even when on the top of Mount Hakodate-yama, Komagatake dominates the horizon. It is possible to hike to the top during the summer months. Ask a local guide for details regarding safety considerations.

Snow Mobiles

During the winter months Lake Onuma provides a good location for snow mobiles. It is usually easier to learn on flat open areas such as frozen lakes or snow covered pastures than in forested areas. Snow mobiles (and even ice ready Go Karts) can be rented from a shop near the park entrance.

Facilities

Higurashiyama Observation Deck
Activity From here you can enjoy a great view of Lake Onuma, Lake Konuma, Lake Junsainuma and Mount Komaga-take.
Getting there 10 minute walk or 5 minutes ride by car from Onuma Park Station on the JR Hakodate Honsen.

 

Events

Events in 2017
Onuma Lake Festival The event has been held for the repose of the souls of the dead in summer and worship of ancestors since 1906. There will be Toro Nagashi, to float paper lanterns on the water, accompanied by gorgeous fireworks, local food and other events. Jul 22(Sat) and 23(Sun)
 
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Visit

Address Onuma-cho, Nanae-cho, Kameda-gun, Hokkaido
Phone 0138-67-2170 (Onuma International Exchange Plaza)
Admission Free  
Hours Free time  
Closed Open 7 Days a Week
Required Time 30 minutes
Getting There By Train
10 minute walk from Onuma Park Station on the JR Hakodate Honsen to reach the park where is the start point of the hiking trail.

By Car
Take Hokkaido Expressway to Yagumo exit. It is approximately 47 kilometers 50 minutes from exit.
Parking Paid parking available
 
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Attractions in Japan

 
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