Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Onuma - Quasi National Park

SEPTEMBER 18, 2007
After exploring the city of Hakodate the previous day, we decided to get away from the city and went to somewhere far which we could get closer to the nature. We went to 大沼 (Onuma), a small town about 40 kilometers from Hakodate. The journey there by train took us around 50 minutes.
Here, there was this place called Onuma Quasi - National Park.
Basically, there are 3 main lakes here, namely 大沼湖 (Lake Onuma), 小沼湖 (Lake Konuma) and じゅんさい沼 (Lake Junsainuma). There are a lot of activities that can be enjoyed in this national park. It ranges from canoeing, fishing, camping and also a ride on the boat around the lake; hiking, cycling and trekking; harvesting farm products and experiencing dairy farming; up until skiing and snowshoeing during the winter.
There were quite a number of variety of boats available there, with the large one being the most common one. There were even some boat that looked like ducks. We did not went for boating around the lake as it cost at least 1,000yen (RM33) just for a 30-minute ride.
Instead, we started off by trekking along the walking course. There were four course available - 大島の路 (big island route) - 15 min; 森の小路 (forest small route) - 20 min; 夕日の路 (sunset's route) - 25 min; and 島巡りの路 (round the island route) - 50 min. We took the last one as we got lots of time to kill.
Before we started our walk, we spotted a group of tourist, supposingly from Taiwan (based on their conversation) having fun at a chain bicycle. Instead of just the usual two or three person cycling together, there they were, 24 of them, cycling at once.
You got to see this to have a better idea what I am talking about.
I later found out that the complete chain can take up to 47 people. That must be something crazy.
Along the way, we were walking from one small island to another one.
This is the boat which I mentioned just now.
Unlike the previous day, the weather was kind enough to us. It was sunny throughout the day.
Blue sunny sky means it gave us the chance to take nice photos.
And of course, camwhoring.
Then we continued walking and see more small islands;
And small islands;
Well, besides just small island, at least there was other interesting stuff as well, such as flora as in water lilies.
We came across a spot were the waves was quite strong that it made us feel as if we were just by the seaside. This is my first time coming across waves in a lake.
Here is a short video of the waves.
This is one of my favourite shot of the day.
If you notice the background of the photo, there is a mountain. Something like this.
It looks familiar to the one I mentioned in this post. Take a closer look, and you will get to see Mount Komagatake.
This 1,131m high mountain is a volcanic mountain and the shape of it just say everything. As you can see, the upper part of the mountain looks flat as here was a major eruption happened long time ago. As a result, it made it having a unique shape.
It is quite rare to encounter a mountain with such an unusual shape and I did not want to miss the chance to have a shot with Mount Komagatake.
After almost more than an hour walking and taking photos, we rested before continuing the next activity. The weather was so hot and what else is better than having a stick of soft cream. This time, we had wine soft.
We later rented a bicycle each for 1,000yen (RM33) for one full day to get around the surroundings. It wasn't any high tech bike. It was just like what I used every time back in kosen - the ah pek bicycle, and just like the one in Nakafurano.
The first place we went was 山川牧場 (Yamakawa Stock Farm).
This was my second time seeing cows in Japan after my first time near my place. Just like the previous visit, the cows there were totally different from the cows in Malaysia.
#1: They have Dalmatians spots - just like the cows in New Zealand.
#2: They were freaking huge!
#3: They shaked their tails - something like how dogs do always.
Like this.
I heard before that if dogs shake their tails, it means they are happy to have us around. Does the same thing apply to cows, I am wondering.
Having came so far to this farm already, I tried the fresh milk produced there as well.

1.8L of fresh milk for 300yen (RM10) - which I finished them all by myself shared with Jonathan. After the milking experience, we decided to have our lunch before going for the cycling course. There wasn't much choice there. The food were just expensive. It was, until Jonathan spotted something - Jumbo Yakisoba. The name itself had prompted us to stop cycling, put our bicycle aside and head straight into that restaurant.
When we took a look at the menu, there was Jumbo Yakisoba and also Super Jumbo Yakisoba. The former cost 1,500yen (RM50) while the latter was 3,000yen (RM100). We went for the former. When it was served, guess what?
If you could not imagine how big the plate was, then see this.
To be honest, we were quite stunned to see such a big plate being served to us. But in the end, we managed to finished it - just barely though. I was relieved that we did not order the Super Jumbo Yakisoba, or we might end up having trouble even to take our asses from where we were sitting.
After filling our stomach with that Jumbo Yakisoba, we started our cycling along the course. The main aim is to catch the sunset at the spot we had asked earlier on. Before we reached that spot, we saw a farm.
Another farm, but no cows this time. Instead there were goats.
And of course, RABBITS.
In fact, there were tons of them and it was almost impossible to have an exact number on them. I estimated that there were at least 100 rabbits there. Even when I tried to get into the cage, they kept on running toward the door until I got to ask Jonathan to lure them at another door before I got in.
It was so hard to walk inside, as I was trying my best not to step on any rabbits as they kept on running and hopping all the time. They even stood up and pose when they saw me taking out my camera. Here is a video of those cute rabbits.
Even when I was taking the video, I felt some rabbits were biting my short pants. Those rabbits must be loving me a lot!
I took this photo of Mount Komagatake across the road from the farm.
We continued cycling, until we finally came to the spot. N42 they named it. I reckon it means we were 42 degrees north from 0 degree at the Equator. Something that got to do with Longitude and Latitude.
Forget about those geographical terms. Back to the story. It was the highlight of our trip to Onuma. If there is a thing I can say about the sunset there, it was just one word - AMAZING.
One thing you could not miss while sitting there enjoying the sunset must surely be like this.
This is not my usual self, but for this time, I will just let the pictures do the talking.
Almost there...
Sunset at N42


I like this shot a lot.
This one as well.
A platform with a boat.
After we spent almost an hour there, it was time to get back to where we started off. It was getting darker and we were just halfway of the 14km course. For the remaining 7km, we cycled almost in total darkness - with the only source of light coming from the moon.
To wrap up this entry, here is our self-timer camwhore pic taken earlier of the day.
My pair of Nike shoes is SHINING!


Anonymous said...

they're called the holstein breed... typical use for its milk

Anonymous said...

oh ya... and they wag (not shake) their tail to prevent calvin from touching its butt...haha..nola... to ward off flies...

calvin said...

@ kok hong:
this entry let you practise one of those "mari mengenal haiwan" lectures you have everyday, didn't it?

i don't simply touch people's butt la. but anyway, warding off flies aside, i guess they also wanted to protect their mammary glands from being attacked =P

Anonymous said...

wah ur last few pics damn prfessional! wat type of camera do u use? and do u tweak the pics abit b4 uploading or alr like that? the quality very good ^^

calvin said...

@ reena:
Sony DSC-T100. i have mention this so many times already that i sometimes feel that it's time for sony to hire me doing a part-time job promoting their cameras =P

i will be modest here. they were not the original ones as i had made some minor touch up on them already. not with photoshop though.

mg said...

omg rabbits biting ur shorts n loving u?? hahaha.. so funny!!! which is calbit? heheh..

beautiful shots. got emo? =P

mg said...

btw, why nike shoes? not adidas????

calvin said...

@ michelleg:
calbit is not in the photo. they seems to like me very much. but when i went out from the cage, i saw the worker went in and feed them. i guess the rabbits were asking me for food earlier on until i was bitten.

no, this time i choose not to emo ^.-

it is a pair of adidas shoe. i guess i have problem differentiating both of them. hehe =P

Eehui said...

very beautiful sunset pictures! the 'thick milk' looks delicious =p

calvin said...

@ lasilasi:
thanks =)