Release | nobu Kawashima
You should definitely experience canoeing in Onuma Park!
You can experience canoeing in Onuma Park from spring to autumn (from April to November) The canoe moves slowly on Lake Konuma aside Mt. Komagatake. In this activity, you can fully enjoy the beautiful scenic view and move a canoe by yourself.
Exander Onuma Canoe House provides activities such as canoeing in Onuma Park. Their office is located on the bank of Lake Konuma, near JR Onuma Station.
▲They inherited the popular optional tour at the youth hostel used to be here. Now they offer activities for day visitors.
There are three lakes in Onuma Park; Lake Onuma, Lake Konuma and Lake Junsai, but only Lake Konuma allows us to do the canoeing. Not only that, the place where visitors can move with canoes depend on the weather such as wind direction and wave motion.
The day I participated had a little strong wave motion near the canoe house, so we drove to the other side of the lake to start canoeing.
You don’t have to be an expert! The guide will give you a lecture first
After you change to rental clothes and life jackets, we moved to the starting point by car.
▲I was with a family from Aomori Prefecture and a couple from Kanagawa Prefecture.
The canoe is for two people. The person sits in front paddles on the right side and the other one in the back paddles the left side.
“Don’t stand on the canoe.”
“Don’t put too much weight on a single side to avoid being overthrown.”
“Don’t use your arms to paddle, imagine the principle of leverage.”
After we finish the lecture about how to ride and how to paddle, we practice paddling on the lake near the shore.
▲We practiced moving forward slowly first. We soon became able to do clockwise and counterclockwise turning.
As soon as we got used to paddle, we moved on!
▲We started with five boats; two boats for the family, one boat for the couple, one boat for the guide, and one boat for the second guide and me.
Feel nature on the canoe! But you must take care!
I participated in the activity in early May. The trees had just started to have fresh greens, so most of the trees had only a few leaves. However, because there are fewer leaves, I could enjoy the view at far!
▲We went under the tree stretching out to the lake. It was like an attraction in an amusement park!
We enjoyed canoeing near the shore and played with the tree tunnels for a while; we moved on to offshore. Then, the Mt. Komagatake, which was covered by the shore of the lake appeared!
▲Mt. Komagatake was huge!
▲We moved along as we view Mt. Komagatake on the left.
When we were enjoying the scenery, something happened!
The canoe which children of the family rode was overthrown! Did they put too much weight on one side?
You don’t have to be panicked from such emergency; guides come near to you immediately. We were all wearing life jackets, so the guide made two children floating hold the guide’s canoe, while the guide flipped the overthrown canoe.
▲The method is called “cross rescue”. The two children were not hurt luckily. Phew!
During this, the other guide called the office, and soon a boat came. The boat picked up wet children and flipped canoe and went back to the office.
By the way, the guides said that canoes get sometimes overthrown in the activity. This was the first time in 2017.
You must take care, but the guides support fully. You do not have to be even you are a beginner, or you can’t swim.
Take a coffee break at the shore!
As it was all settled, we went back to canoeing. However, we did not continue paddling. We went up to the shore and took a break.
▲The guide made coffee with camping equipment!
▲A coffee break with the view of the lake. We had a calm, relaxing moment. It would warm us up even if it were a cold day.
▲Relaxing at the swing put on the thick branch.
▲The guide takes pictures for the group, too.
It was a magical coffee time, and I spent a calm, relaxing moment!
We went back on the canoe and enjoyed time on a lake for a while with the view of Mt. Komagatake, then went back to the starting point.
I would love to visit again to enjoy the different sceneries in the different season!
The activity lasted about two hours including the time to move from the office to the starting point. I enjoyed the early spring scenery with a nice breeze on a canoe which moves slowly and quietly.
▲Mt. Komagatake leaves a little snow; it is the limited scenery in spring!
Early summer with fresh green, mid-summer with dark green, autumn with colored leaves, each season has different attractions. I would like to participate in this activity again!
If you have a chance to visit Onuma Park, you should definitely participate in this activity!
Text, photo / Hokkaido Likers photo writer nobu Kawashima