Onuma Quasi-National Park

Winter Wonderland: A Trip to Onuma Quasi-National Park

About Onuma Quasi-National Park

Nestled in the winter wonderland of Hokkaido, Onuma Quasi-National Park was on top of our bucket list this trip. Established in 1958, this scenic park boasts a captivating blend of volcanic peaks, serene lakes, and verdant forests. In winter, everything freezes over, including Onuma and Konuma, the two interconnected lakes that define the area. You can explore the walking trail on foot in about an hour, taking in the frozen beauty of the landscape as you go.

How to Get There

Getting to Onuma Quasi-National Park is easy too. From Hakodate Station, you’d take the limited express to Onuma Koen Station and you’ll get there in 45 mins. Tickets cost 1,270 yen for non-reserved seats one-way. Oh and for those who have a level 0 in Japanese, Koen literally means park, so Onuma Koen Station is what it is. Don’t forget to use the JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass if you are traveling around this area!

Psst! Just so you know, we do have affiliate links on the site. AWS is cheap but still costs a few bucks monthly. Clicking on them means we earn a little extra something, but don’t fret – it won’t cost you anything at all. So, yeah a beer or two would be greatly appreciated.

Smelt Ice Fishing on the Frozen Lake

As we arrived at Onuma Quasi-National Park, we were immediately greeted by the snow blanketed area. The air was cooling, and the morning sun is keeping us warm. It wasn’t that crowded on this day as well, maybe because we were early birds. What immediately caught our attention was the fishing tents right at the entrance of the park! This is it, we’ve been wanting to try smelt ice fishing but we couldn’t book any in advanced, how lucky to have it here!

Smelt Ice Fishing at Onuma Quasi-National Park
Tickets to Smelt Ice Fishing at Onuma Quasi-National Park

Fishing costs 1,600 yen per adult, so basically they’d rent you a short rod and some feed, and you’d get to try your luck in on of those tents. Within each tent, there were already holes drilled through the ice that’s formed on the lake. It’s kinda like prawning in Singapore, in which you’ll get to cook your catch. While we aren’t fans of fishing in general, this was really fun. Our guide patiently showed us how to set up our bait and how to reel them fishes in. (I said “patiently” because we were really slow in our actions as we tried our best not to “touch” the fish or bait so as to not have fishy fingers.)

We spent about an hour there, and we caught a grand total of 5 fish. What’s funnier was that this was way below the minimum threshold to even cook tempura; it’s gonna waste the owner’s time trying to set up his tempura wok for us. And so he donated some of his fish so we could have a decent amount of fish snack lol.

Our pathetic catch
Courtesy of the store owner

Exploring the Onuma Quasi-National Park in Winter

Onuma Quasi-National Park
Main entrance of Onuma Quasi-National Park covered in snow

After our pathetic breakfast, it is time to explore the park on foot. I mean this is the first time (trip rather) we’re in an actual snowy area, so we spent our time taking lots of photos. Not sure where the other tourists were but we didn’t see anyone else in the park. Which is nice.

To be frank we didn’t have any map with us, except Google Maps of course. We just followed the arrow signs, crossed whatever bridges in blind faith that we’ll end up in a loop back to Onuma Koen Station. Fortunately we made it on time back to the station for our next part. Onward to Goryokaku!

Information About Onuma Quasi-National Park

Address: Nanae, Kameda District, Hokkaido 041-1354, Japan
Opening Hours: 24 hours
Website: http://onumakouen.com/
Nearest Station: Onuma Koen Station