Hamamatsu Japan – The industrial city of Hamamatsu is best known for its production of musical instruments and motorcycles, as well as being filled with manufacturing industries. Since the city isn’t usually listed as a tourist city, many miss out on the opportunity to take advantage of the unique and interesting places to see and visit. Luckily for you, this article lists out how to get to Hamamatsu, where to stay, and what to do while you’re there!
Hamamatsu Japan – How to get there?
To get to Hamamatsu from Tokyo, you’ll want to take the Tokaido Shinkansen Line – either Hikari or Kodama service – from Tokyo Station to Hamamatsu Station. You can also utilize the JR Tokaido Line as well. Regardless, travel by train shouldn’t take more than three hours to get form Tokyo to Hamamatsu.The JR Tomei Liner buses run from Tokyo to Hamamatsu station in about four to five hours, though you can always opt to drive yourself the 263 kilometer distance, which takes about three and a half hours.
You can also get to Hamamatsu from Osaka via the Tokaido Shinkansen Line, which should take less than three hours in total for the trip. Night buses are readily available and take less than five hours one way. If you prefer to drive yourself, the 274 kilometer distance is easily transverse in a little over three hours depending on traffic.
Hamamatsu Japan – Where to stay?
Guesthouse Hamamatsu Japan – 365BASE Outdoor Hostel
Have you ever thought to yourself, “Man, I really wish that there was a rock climbing wall in my hotel”? If the answer is yes, than 365BASE Outdoor Hostel is perfect for you! Bringing the beauty of nature indoors, this hip hostel offers guests the use of a spacious living area with 150-inch projection screen, bouldering terrace, shared kitchen, shared tatami rom, and bike and car hire.
Why Guests Love It: Guests are over the moon about 365BASE’s cleanliness, attention to detail, and simple yet elegant interior stylings. The soft, welcoming ambience is hard to find anywhere else, and the open design allows guests to interact with one another and make lasting friendships and unique connections. If your Japanese is a bit rusty – or non-existent – don’t worry; the staff are able to communicate in your language!
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Hotel Hamamatsu Japan – Hamamatsu Hotel
The soft sounds of a classical song played on a Yamaha grand piano drift across the lobby of this hotel during the day; after all, Hamamatsu is at the forefront of musical instrument engineering! The hotel offers a complimentary breakfast buffet that includes vegetarian options – a real find for those traveling with dietary restrictions. The real gem of this hotel is the location, as it’s just a four minute walk away from Hamamatsu Station and less than half an hour away from Hamamatsu Castle and Lake Hamana.
Why Guests Love It: Those that book the Hamamatsu Hotel feel like they have a real peace of mind during their stay, mainly due to the safe and relaxing environment of the hotel and surrounding area. Staff are always at the ready to assist with requests for luggage store or massage services. Free video-on-demand programs can be viewed on flat-screen TVs available in every room, and nearby restaurants and onsite vending machines allow for comfortable access to food and beverages.
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Ryokan Hamamatsu Japan – Ryokan Nakaya
This ryokan has all the features of a traditional Japanese hotel: cultural decorations, tatami flooring, futon bedding, public baths, sliding paper screen doors, floor chairs, and hospitality that few countries can rival. Even with so many wonderful aspects of this ryokan, guests can’t get enough of the owner, who is a kindly grandfather figure that goes out of his way to make every stay a pleasant memory for his patrons.
Why Guests Love It: Being next to a gorgeous lake means waking up to beautiful reflective sunrises and watching stunningly golden sunsets. Each room has a private bathroom, and the ryokan is situated within driving distance to the Hamamatsu Train Station. Guests also have the option to rent bikes from Ryokan Nakaya, which many do to ride around the lake and enjoy the spectacular views.
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Hamamatsu Japan #1 – Hamamatsu Castle
Sometimes referred to as Shusse Castle, Hamamatsu Castle is a replica hirayama-style Japanese castle that sits in central Hamamatsu for all to see. Made of wood and stone and standing three stories tall, this lovely castle is surely a sight that needs to be seen. Even if you’re not one for ancient castles, a wonderful park that’s fit for visitors of any age!
Young couples, families with children, college students, elderly travelers, and just about anyone else who enjoys Japanese nature and beauty will enjoy a trip to Hamamatsu Castle and th Hamamatsu Castle Park. Thankfully for visitors, you can reach the castle easily by bus, taxi, or just by walking!
Hamamatsu Japan #2 – Hamamatsu Flower Park
This spectacular Japanese flower park is open to the public for free from July to September with prices as low as 1,000 yen in the spring and 500 yen in winter. Set on the edge of Lake Hamana, this park covers 30,000 square meters and have over 3,000 different species of plants. Though there are seasonal flowers that only bloom during certain times of the year, the park also has many plants that are at their peak throughout the year, and might be just as enjoyable to view!
The most popular time to come to the park every year is in spring when the cherry blossoms are in full swing. Other seasons provide just as many beautiful flowers and greenery to observe, however. During Autumn in Japan you can admire amethyst sage, roses, and chrysanthemum. In winter in Japan, the park goes into a full winter mode and features illuminations, Christmas trees, and red flowers set against green background. No matter when you go, there will always be something beautiful to see!
Hamamatsu Japan #3 – Lake Hamana
Sizing up as Japan’s tenth largest lake, this large body of water was once a fresh water lake. Unfortunately, due to earthquakes and tsunamis the lake has become brackish, though it still allows for many fun activities and delicious seafood. The lake itself is actually known for the delectable eel and oysters it produces, as well as blowfish and pike conger; be sure to try some while you’re in the area!
Visitors enjoy a trip to the number of hot springs near the lake, though for some just the sight of the cool, calm waters is enough to make them feel relaxed and refreshed. You can also see a beautiful red torii in the lake like the one in Miyajima Island near Hiroshima.
Hamamatsu Japan #4 – Nakatajima Sand Dunes
Though the spot is often overlooked as an enjoyable place, many people find that visiting the Nakatajima Sand Dunes yields wild excitement, unbridled fun, and fond memories. You can enjoy a brisk walk along the dunes while the wind pushes at your back, slide down the sandy hills using a plastic sled or cardboard, and watch the native wildlife in their natural habitat. If you’re lucky, you might even see a Loggerhead turtle or some terrific kites!
Aside from the enjoyment spent on the dunes, visitors can also find relaxation in the naturally forming art on the dunes. When the wind blows over the large bodies of sand, they create special patters call ‘fumon’. These patters are said to look like works of art, and can be admired for quite some time. The area is so beautiful that film crews are often in the area to use it in a movie or promotional video. If you play your cards right, you just might appear in the background of one!
Hamamatsu Japan #5 – Hamamatsu Fruit Park Tokinosumika
If you’re at all familiar with the size of Tokyo Dome, then you’ll understand just how big this park is; nine times the size of Tokyo Dome! This fruit-themed agricultural park allows visitors to choose between 15 different fruits throughout the year to pick by yourself! Due to the mild climate of Hamamatsu City, fruits can grow for longer than they would elsewhere in the country, allowing patrons an extended time frame to enjoy their favorite sweet foods!
There are also other activities to enjoy at the park, such as the winery for adults and dinosaur square for younger visitors. A large food court is perfect for digging into some of the fresh fruit you’ve just picked, as well as sampling other cuisine from the other. Make sure you come with an empty stomach, as you’ll likely fill it up on delicious hand-picked fruits!
Hamamatsu Japan #6 – Ryotanji Temple
If you’re thinking of sneaking into this temple, then think again! The floors were constructed using the “Ugisubari” method, meaning that the planks purposefully creak with each and every step to alert those who used to live inside to intruders. Another cool feature of this temple is the pond, Shinji Ike, found outside the temple that’s in the shape of the Chinese character for heart, or kokoro.
Though the inside of the temple is always entertaining and interesting to tour, the outside and surrounding areas can be just as intriguing to see. A garden outside displays rock formations that pay homage to those normally found in a Zen temple, and the garden changes its appearance every season. If you can come back more than once you’ll be surprised – it looks like a completely different place from one season to another!
Hamamatsu Japan #7 – Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments
Not only does this museum feature one of the most important commodities produced in Hamamatsu, it’s also the first municipal museum of musical instruments in all of Japan! The hope of the museum is to allow everyone who visits and unbiased look at the history and advancement of musical instruments from around the world.
The museum also hopes that through learning about different musical instruments used by various cultures worldwide, those that visit the museum will gain a deeper understanding of those outside of their own countries and feel more connected to the rest of the world. It seems to be a big dream, but after visiting the museum yourself you’ll come to realize that that dream is one step closer to fruition!
Hamamatsu Japan #8 – Ryugashido Cavern
This limestone cave is actually home to the largest stalactite in the entire Tokai region! The cavern itself stretches out for 1046 meters, but only 400 meters are available to the public to view. The main attraction of the cavern is a 30 meter high subterranean waterfall, Ogon no Otaki. After a long trek through the cavern, explores love to enjoy a Material Gelato from the nearby eatery. Make with local Inasa milk and seasonal fruits and vegetables, it’s as authentic as it is delicious!
No matter what season you decide to travel to Japan in, Ryugashido Cavern is always 18ºC, meaning that it’s comfortable in summer and warm in winter. If you’re feeling too hot while traveling through the cavern, you can always dip your feet into calcium rich waters at the free foot bathing station, or youkitadou!
Hamamatsu Japan #9 – Hamamatsu Air Base Museum
This spot is a place where those who are really into aviation will find the most joy. The best part about the museum? Entry is absolutely free! Upon entering the building you’ll be greeted with an entire fleet of unique and interesting aircrafts. Along with airplanes, there are also helicopters and flight simulators that you can actually attempt to pilot!
One of the highlights of these museum has to be the costume rental! You can dress up like a real pilot and take a ton of photographs to commemorate the event. This is great for those traveling with children, as the costumes can fit children as young as three! You don’t have to leave out any family members when you explore this awesome museum and make great memories!
Hamamatsu Japan #10 – Hamanako Pal Pal
Last, but certainly not least, is the Hamanako Pal Pal Amusement Park! This resort-style amusement park has about 30 different attractions to choose from, and the location next to Lake Hamana provides for fun times as well as great sights! No matter how old you or members of your party are, there are plenty of rides and attractions to satisfy thrill seekers and small children alike!
Along with all the things that make a great amusement park, Hamanako Pal Pal also has later hour seasons where the park is open even longer and accompanied by beautiful and exciting fireworks displays! There’s also a sister park called Pal Pool that’s open during the summer as a water park. If you’re in Hamamatsu during the summer and want to beat the heat, Pal Pool is the place to be!
Although Hamamatsu doesn’t present itself as a tourist city, there’s plenty for travelers to see and enjoy while visiting this historic and memorable city! No matter where your interests lie – museums, amusement parks, gardens, natural formations, or Japanese foliage and flowers – there’s always a little something for everyone. So take a chance on a city that’s just waiting to be discovered and find out what Hamamatsu has in store for you!