We left Noboribetsu by train. On the way to Hakodate, we stopped by Onuma Park (exit Onuma Koen station). Here’s a huge park featuring a large and small lake and a view of Mt. Komagatake, an iconic mountain because of its shape. It’s just some 20kms north of Hakodate, so if you’re around the city it’s one park you can consider visiting for some winter action.
Surrounding the station is an information counter, where you can get leaflets about the park and souvenir shops.
On warmer days, the park is super gorgeous (at least according to the pictures on the leaflets that I brought home). Visitors can camp, hike, go fishing and walk on trails to experience the nature and landscape. Although the area is covered in snow during winter, there are still a lot of things that visitors can do, since it’s practically turned into a park for winter activity.
So what can you do at Onuma Park?
1. Ride on a sleigh
We signed up for a sleigh ride tour, which can accommodate about 10 people max, which I thought nothing of, at first. The ojisan dragged us around the large area covered with snow. The view was splendid and I had the chance to see a clearer view of Mt. Komagatake.
It wasn’t until later that we passed by a bridge, that it hit me that we were not on just any large snowy surface… we were riding on a frozen lake!!!
We stopped at one point to take pictures with the mountain as the backdrop. Such a strange looking mountain, like a wave frozen halfway, but so majestic.
At this stop point, too, there was a man-made hole in the ice and an indicator to show how deep the ice is. It was just a couple of inches thick.
There was also a huge thermometer indicating the temperature. -5°C son!
Here’s a picture of me and the oji-san’s snow mobile. The rest of us were leisurely sitting at the back. I omitted the pictures of everyone else because I’m not sure if they’re cool with me posting them… heh.
2. Ride a snowmobile
If you’re more adventurous, I suggest you ride the snowmobile instead of simple sitting on the sleigh. It’s only for ¥980 (about RM30). Think you need to follow a course (so cannot belasah go anywhere you want), however the lake is humongous — I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun exploring it. Like these ladies:
If you’re up for a more relaxing activity… try fishing at the frozen lake. They’ve prepared holes at the fishing spots for visitors. Of course there are no boats whatsoever, you’ll just be sitting on a chair on top of the lake and fish in the hole:
Although this looks weird and not very thrilling, it may be worth a try. The fish under the frozen lake in winter reportedly taste amazing. Not sure how you’re going to bring them back though.
Make a stop at the Onuma Koen station to head to Onuma Park if you’re in or near Hakodate — it’s just a 20-minute express train ride away! Estimate an hour or so here just for the winter activities or half a day if you want to go on the scenic walks during other seasons.
Read more about Onuma Park.