Just 29km north of the city, the serene Ōnuma Quasi National Park (大沼国定公園) can easily be visited in a day but is worth considering as an overnight stop. Of the park’s three lakes, the largest and most beautiful is Ōnuma, carpeted with water lilies and containing more than one hundred tiny islands, many linked by humpback bridges. The view from the lake towards the 1133m jagged peak of the dormant volcano of Komaga-take (駒ヶ岳) is rightly considered to be one of the most breathtaking in Japan.
Ōnuma is popular with tour groups, but they are usually herded into sightseeing boats, leaving the walking paths around the lake and islands quiet for strolls. Cycling is another good way of exploring; bikes can be rented from numerous shops around the station. Hikers can also tackle the volcano, which has two main routes, both taking around two and a half hours to complete.