An important industrial hub, the city is home to many companies, including Honda Motor Company, Roland Corporation, Kawai Pianos, Yamaha, Sony, Suzuki Motor Company and Hamamatsu Photonics as well as a large air base for Japan's defense force. Consequently, the city is well known for producing motorcycles, musical instruments and optoelectronic sensors among other things.
For its population of just under a million people, Hamamatsu is a uniquely international city. It is home to almost 16,000 Brazilians, mostly from São Paulo, Paraná, and Belém, as well as 3000 immigrants from Peru, giving it the highest per-capita concentration of South Americans in Japan. The city also has sizable immigrant populations from Indonesia, South Korea, the Philippines, China, Nepal, and Bangladesh. The ethnic diversity here provides the city with a wide array of ethnic stores, restaurants, bars and clubs.
Geographically, the closest airport to Hamamatsu is in Shizuoka, about 30 minutes away by bus or car. However, flights there are very limited, with no service to Tokyo or Kansai and international services limited to Seoul and Shanghai.
From Chubu International Airport, Entetsu operates a bus called E-Wing, which runs directly to Hamamatsu. Buses depart the airport once per hour (00 minutes past in the morning, 45 minutes past in the afternoon) and reach Hamamatsu station in two hours (¥3000). Schedule in Japanese and in English.
From Narita International Airport, when exiting customs take the Airport Limousine Bus (¥3000) to Tokyo station and then purchase a ticket on the JR Tokeido Shinkansen line to Hamamatsu Station (about ¥8000). It is the 5th stop on the express train from Tokyo station and takes about 1 1/2 hours. Alternatively, take the Narita Express Train (NEX) from airport to Tokyo Station and transfer over to the Shinkansen. While slightly more expensive, the upside to this is that you can purchase both train tickets from the one vendor (located at the same counter as the Airport Limousine Bus), and the NEX puts you right into Tokyo Station.
There are a handful of Hikari and Kodama services that stop in Hamamatsu. From Tokyo, there are two all-stopping Kodama trains that depart every hour, making the run to Hamamatsu in about 2 hours. Faster Hikari trains depart once per hour, running to Hamamatsu in 90 minutes. The fare is the same for both, at ¥8070 for a reserved seat.
There are hourly departures to Hamamatsu from Osaka and Kyoto on either a Hikari (90 minutes from Osaka) or Kodama (2 hours from Osaka) service. The reserved seat fare is ¥8700 from Shin-Osaka and ¥8070 from Kyoto.
If you wish to sacrifice travel speed for savings, you can take advantage of the Puratto Kodama Ticket (in Japanese) , which offers a discount for Kodama services if you purchase at least one day in advance. You get a reserved seat and a free drink on board. With this ticket a trip to Hamamatsu costs ¥6300 from Tokyo (2 hours), ¥3500 from Nagoya (50 minutes), ¥6300 from Kyoto (1 3/4 hours) and ¥6800 from Shin-Osaka (2 hours). Kodama trains run once an hour from Shin-Osaka and Kyoto; twice per hour from the other cities. A few early-morning Kodama trains cannot be used with this ticket.
Regular local train services on the Tokaido Line will get you from Tokyo to Hamamatsu in approximately 4–5 hours for ¥4310 with at least one change of trains required. From Osaka, it takes around the same amount of time for ¥4940 with several train changes required.
All of the above train services are free with a Japan Rail Pass.
Japan's Windy City
Hamamatsu gets little snow in winter, but it often feels much colder than it really is, thanks to what is known as the enshu-no-karakkaze, a very strong and dry wind which blows across Lake Hamana and into the city. If you come here in winter, hold onto your hat because the enshuu-karakkaze is one of the strongest urban winds in the world.
The Tomei Expressway, the main artery through the Chubu region, also bisects the city.
Hamamatsu serves as a major stop for bus travel throughout the country, thanks in large part to its location near the Tomei Expressway artery. Through buses may stop at the Hamamatsu Kita interchange of the expressway, a good distance from Hamamatsu station.
There are six daily JR Tomei Liner buses that run from Tokyo to Hamamatsu Station (about 4 - 4 1/2 hours, ¥3770). Most of the runs are to Tokyo earlier in the day, and from Tokyo late in the day.
JR Tokai Bus runs one daily round-trip bus between Hamamatsu and Kyoto via the Meishin Expressway. The trip takes about 4 1/4 hours and costs ¥6200 one way. As of October 2006, the bus leaves Hamamatsu at 8:00, and the return bus leaves Kyoto at 16:30..
The city center is easily explored on foot, but Hamamatsu is a very sprawling place, and to visit places further out such as the Fruit Park or Kanzanji Hot Springs, you will need another form of transportation.
- Times Car RENTAL, (south of Hamamatsu station), tel. +81 53-454-5656.
Hamamatsu Bus Terminal is located just north of the main JR train station. Take a ticket from the machine inside the bus when you enter. The number on the ticket corresponds to the number lit up at the front of the bus, which displays the fare amount for the upcoming stop.
- The JR Tokaido main line has five stops within Hamamatsu city limits. They are, from west to east:
- Bentenjima (弁天島)
- Maisaka (舞阪)
- Takatsuka (高塚)
- Hamamatsu (浜松)
- Tenryugawa (天竜川)
- The JR Iida line cuts across the mountainous far northern edge of the city on its path between Toyohashi, Aichi and Tatsuno, Nagano. Useful stops include Misakubo and Sakuma.
- Entetsu runs a line popularly known as the Aka-den, after the red color of the train cars. It runs from Shin-Hamamatsu station (新浜松駅) northward to Nishikajima station (西鹿島), where it connects with the Tenryu-Hamanako line. To find Shin-Hamamatsu station from the regular JR station, walk westward from the JR North Exit about two minutes and you will find the station behind Entetsu department store.
- The Tenryuu-Hamanako line crosses Hamamatsu through the foothills and across the scenic north end of Lake Hamana. It connects with the JR Tokaido line at Shinjohara (新所原) at the western border of the prefecture, and again at Kakegawa to the east of town. In the center, it connects with the terminus of the Entetsu line at Nishikajima (西鹿島).
- Act City, Itaya-machi 111-1 - Naka-ku (east side of JR station), ☎ +81 53 451-1111, fax: +81 53 451-1123. Hamamatsu's only skyscraper is a symbol of the city, designed to resemble a harmonica, a reminder that Hamamatsu is sometimes known as the "City of Music". The building houses shopping and a food court, the Okura Hotel, and an observatory on the 45th floor from which you can see all of central Hamamatsu. The basement floor holds two theaters at which there are frequent concerts, musicals, plays, and seminars. On the west side there is a unique rooftop park complex, and on the north there is an outdoor "Sunken Garden" used at festival times for food stalls and cultural performances.
- Tower Observatory. Mon-Fri 10AM-6PM. From the observatory you can see down to the sand dunes at the shore and Lake Hamana to the west. If the weather is exceptionally clear, you can even glimpse Mount Fuji in the distance. Beneath the windows are labeled panoramic photos so you can identify the sights. Coin-operated telescopes. ￥500.
- Chopin Monument. Erected in the rooftop park beside the tower itself is an authentic two-third-scale replica of the famous Art Nouveau bronze statue of Chopin by the famed artist Wacław Szymanowski. The original is in Hamamatsu's sister city, Warsaw.
- Futamata Castle Ruins (二俣城跡, Futamata-jouseki), Futamata-cho Futamata - Tenryu-ku (from the northern Akaden terminus at Nishikajima, take the Tenryu-Hamanako line one stop north to Futamata Honmachi, walk 200m north to the main street, head left for about 300m and look for the sign). Many battles were fought over this castle in the mid-sixteenth century between Ieyasu Tokugawa and Shingen Takeda. In 1579, Tokugawa's wife was executed here and his son committed seppuku here as well. The castle was abandoned after 1600, and today nothing but the walls remain, surrounded by a beautiful park.
- Hamamatsu Castle (浜松城, Hamamatsu-jou), Motoshiro-cho 49-2 - Naka-ku (Take bus 36, 40, 41, or 50,to city hall (市役所前).), ☎ +81 53 453-3872. Hamamatsu Castle was built by Ieyasu Tokugawa, who is considered perhaps the greatest shogun and one of the three people most important to the unification of Japan. His rule marks the beginning of the Edo Period. Tokugawa lived here from 1571 to 1588. After the Edo Period, the castle was destroyed, and was restored to the original specifications in 1958. The foundation, which is original, is unique because it uses unhewn stones carefully selected and fitted to lean inward. There is a small museum inside the castle, which costs 200 yen to enter, and which houses some Tokugawa armor and relics, a preserved well moved from elsewhere on the grounds as well as a miniature model of how the city might have looked 400 years ago.
- Keta River (気田川, Ketagawa), Haruno-cho Tenryu-ku (take Route 152 north and turn onto 362 at Tenryu and drive about 18km). This beautiful mountain river flows for 66 kilometers before it joins the Tenryu southwest of Haruno. It's a relaxing place for swimming or kayaking.
- Kiga Sekisho (気賀関所), Hosoe-cho Kiga 4577 - Kita-ku (take a Kiga-Mikkawa bus from central bus station terminal 15 and get off at Kiga-ekimae: 気賀駅前), ☎ +81 53 523-2855. 9AM-4:30PM, closed Mondays. This restored checkpoint along the Princess Road was established by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1601. Now dressed with authentic props, visitors can get a glimpse of how tightly controlled travel in that era was. The gate is especially impressive. Adults ￥200, children ￥100.
- Mitake Castle Ruins (三岳城跡, Mitake Jouseki), Inasa-cho Mitake (near Iinoya busstop: 井伊谷), ☎ +81 53 542-1113. A somewhat strenuous hike will bring you to the ruins of a castle built atop 467-meter Mt. Mitake in 1340 by the Ii Clan.
- Nakatajima Sand Dunes (中田島砂丘), Nakatajima-cho - Minami-ku (take the Nakatajima bus from terminal 6 and get off at the Nakatajima Sakyu stop: 中田島砂丘), ☎ +81 53 452-1634. The second largest grouping of sand dunes in Japan makes a great place for a stroll or picnic. Be careful if swimming, as there is somewhat of an undertow.
- Ryugashi Cavern (竜ヶ岩洞, Ryugashidou), Inasa-cho Tabata 193 - Kita-ku (from the central bus station, take the bus for Okuyama and get off at Ryugashi-do Iriguchi: 竜ヶ岩洞入口), ☎ +81 53 543-0108. 9AM-5PM. One of the largest and most famous caves in Japan. The first 400m of the 1000m limestone cavern are open to the public. Stalactites and stalagmites abound, and the centerpiece is a 30m underground waterfall. This cave stays about 15°C year-round, making it a great place to cool off during the sweltering summer heat. Adults ￥650, children 13-15 ￥450, children ￥350.
- Takisawa Observation Platform (滝沢展望台, Takisawa Tenboudai) (from the north end of Miyakoda Techno Road, turn left on Route 299, after about 10 km turn left at the Fuuketsu Iriguchi busstop: 風穴入口, go straight past Takisawa Elementary, and look for the signs). This spot offers a beautiful vista of the city from which you can see all the way to Act City and all across Lake Hamana. Popular with local couples, the view is especially good at night when the city is lit up.
- Tenryu River (天竜川). One of Japan's largest rivers flows through the mountains of north Hamamatsu and along the edge of town from Tenryu-cho down to the coast. The meandering mountain portion and wide delta provide abundant opportunities for raftting, kayaking, and fishing, and there are many parks along its banks. The god of this river, Ryujin, is the guest of honor at many area festivals.
- Washizawa Wind Cave (鷲沢風穴, Washizawa Fuuketsu), Washizawa-cho 428 - Kita-ku, ☎ +81 53 428-2965. A less touristy alternative to Ryugashido, this limestone cave has cool winds blowing through it during the summertime. This is the only cave in Japan with a horizontal ceiling. The cave supposedly provided a refuge for warriors during the 1300s. ￥400.
- Akino Fuku Art Museum, Futamata-cho Futamata 130 Tenryu-ku (from Nishikajima station at the north end of the Akaden line, take a Futamata bus to Akino Fuku Bijyutsukan Iriguchi bus stop:秋野不矩美術館入り口. The museum is a 10 min walk from the bus stop), ☎ +81 53 922-0315. 9:30AM-5PM, closed Mondays. This museum is housed in an interesting building made mostly from local cedar and other products. The permanent collection has many pieces by the late artist Akino Fuku, as well as other pieces. Adults ￥300, students ￥150.
- Hamamatsu City Museum (浜松市博物館, Hamamatsu-shi Hakubutsukan), Shijimizuka 4-22-1 - Naka-ku, ☎ +81 53 456-2275, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 9AM-5PM, closed Mondays. This museum, located on the grounds of a pleasant park, is dedicated to the history of Hamamatsu and the surrounding area. Exhibits include locally-found pre-historic fossils, ancient pottery, old maps, and farming and domestic implements up through the Edo era. Also on the grounds are some shell mounds, evidence of pre-historic human life in the area. A reconstruction of a Jomon village has been installed among the mounds, giving the visitor an idea of what life was like here three to four thousand years ago. The name of the park and also the neighborhood, Shijimizuka, means "shell mound".
- Hamamatsu Festival Hall (浜松まつり会館, Hamamatsu Matsuri Kaikan), Nakatajima-cho 1313 - Minami-ku (take the Nakatajima bus from terminal 6 and get off at the Nakatajima Sakyu stop: 中田島砂丘), ☎ +81 53 441-6211. 9AM-4:30PM. This museum gives visitors a taste of the famous Hamamatsu Festival year round, with its huge kites, festival clothing, lanterns, and banners. Videos show how the kites are made, flown and fought. ￥400.
- Hamamatsu JASDF Air Park (航空自衛隊 浜松広報館, Koukuu Jieitai Hamamatsu Kouhoukan), Nishiyama-cho Nishi-ku, no number (on the Japan Self-Defense Force Airbase near Takaoka-cho), ☎ +81 53 472-1111. 9AM-4PM, closed Mondays. This museum displays many aircraft used or in former use by JASDF, and many other aviation-related items. It also has a flight simulator and a theater which runs informative documentaries every 30 minutes (Japanese only). Free.
- Hamamatsu Municipal Museum of Art (浜松市美術館, Hamamatsu-shi Bijutsukan), Matsushiro-cho 100-1 - Naka-ku, ☎ +81 53 454-6801. Just one stop up the road from city hall is Hamamatsu's art museum. Exhibits vary.
- Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments (浜松市楽器博物館, Hamamatsu-shi Gakki Hakubutsukan), 108-1 Itaya-machi - Naka-ku, ☎ +81 53 451-1128. 9AM-5PM, closed on the second Wednesday of each month. This museum, just northeast of Act City Tower, houses a collection of over 2,000 kinds of ethnic instruments from around the world. Each instrument has a display attached, with headphones so you can listen to the sound of the instrument. The museum also has a hands-on room, where you can play many types of instruments; drums, xylophones, sitars and native Japanese instruments. This is a child friendly museum. ￥400, high school students half-price, children free.
- Hamamatsu Science Museum (浜松科学館, Hamamatsu Kagakukan), Kitaterajima-cho 256-3 - Naka-ku (about 5 minutes' walk east of JR Hamamatsu on the south side of the tracks), ☎ +81 53 454-0178, e-mail: email@example.com. Open 9:30-18:00 during summer holidays (Jul 21 to Aug 31) and 9:30-17:00 (the rest of the year). A range of interactive exhibits divided into five zones: nature, space, sound, light, and electricity. The third floor holds a planetarium. Museum only:Adults ￥500, ages 15-18 ￥350, children free; With planetarium:Adults ￥900, ages 15-18 ￥500, children ￥100.
- Kitaouji Collection (北大路コレクション), Inasa-cho Okuyamaji Nanzan 653-280 - Kita-ku, ☎ +81 90-8421-7825. 10AM-6PM, closed Tuesdays. Visitors to this bizarre museum will be greeted by 3 enormous brightly-painted outdoor statues of mammoths. The privately-owned museum has a wild collection of items from all over Asia, including hundreds of Buddha statues from Indonesia and elsewhere, fossils, pottery, furniture, skulls, and assorted implements. ￥500.
- Lake Hamana Music Box Museum (浜名湖オルゴールミュージアム, Hamanako Orugoru Myujiamu), Kanzanji-cho 1891 - Nishi-ku (at the top of Mt. Okusa, at the end of the skyride from Pal-Pal Amusement Park), ☎ +81 53 487-2121. The collection includes dozens of self-playing orgels and music boxes from around the world. Performances begin hourly at 20 after the hour, and there is also a special hands-on exhibit. The view of Lake Hamana from outside the museum is spectacular as well.
Temples and shrines
- Choraku-ji Temple, Hosoe-chō Kiga 4578 - Kita-ku, ☎ +81 53 522-0478. This temple, built at the start of the Heian era, has a charming garden with plum trees, and is especially beautiful with the change of the leaves in the fall. ￥300, children free.
- Daifuku-ji Temple (大福寺), Mikkabi-chō Fukunaga 220 - Kita-ku, ☎ +81 53 525-0278. Mountain temple overlooking the small Inohana lake. Check out the Deva statues at the gate. This is an excellent place if you're in town during cherry blossom time, and if you miss it, check out the Hantoshi-zakura cherry blossoms which are in bloom from mid-autumn to early spring. ￥500, children free.
- Gosha and Suwa Shrines (五社神社, Gosha-jinja, and 諏訪神社, Suwa-jinja), Togi-machi 302-5 - Naka-ku (walk two blocks west of ZaZa City, turn right and head up the hill to find them on the left). Built originally in 1580 and 1556 respectively, these side-by-side shrines were reconstructed in the 1940s and serve downtown locals. Especially interesting at the shrine festival on May 4 or at Shichigosan on November 15 when local families wrap their small children in kimonos and come here to pray.
- Hōrin-ji Temple (寶林寺), Hosoe-chō Nakagawa 65-2, ☎ +81 53 542-1473. Established by an invited Chinese Zen master in 1667, this temple is a fine example of late Ming Dynasty Chinese architecture. The Buddha hall and the priest's residence are both designated National Important Cultural Properties. ￥300, children ￥150.
- Kamoe Kannon (鴨江観音), Kamoe 4-17-1 (up the hill about 1km west of ZaZa City). This bright-orange-and-white modern temple is one of the most important downtown temples. It is a good place to see the locals all dressed in kimonos on holidays such as New Years.
- Makaya-ji Temple, Mikkabi-chō Makaya 421 - Kita-ku. 9AM-4:30PM. Here you will find the oldest garden in the prefecture, reminiscent of Kyoto's Koke-dera. The temple was built in 726 and contains some important cultural artifacts. Especially impressive is the wooden statue of Senju-Kannon with one thousand arms. ￥300, students ￥200, children ￥100.
- Okuyama Hōkō-ji (方広寺), Inasa-chō Okuyama 1577-1 - Kita-ku (Bus Depot #15, take the #45 bus to the end), ☎ +81 53 543-0003. This Zen temple, nestled among pines, sakura, peach, and other things, was established in 1377 and is the home of the Rinsai Sect, housing three much-revered Buddha statues. With over sixty halls, it is one of the biggest temples in the Tokai area. The small Shichison Bosatsudo is the oldest wooden building in the prefecture and a fine example of 14th century Japanese architecture. Visitors can walk through the buildings- no shoes allowed. ￥300, students ￥150, children under 12 free.
- Ryōtan-ji Temple (龍潭寺), Inasa-chō Iinoya 1989 - Kita-ku, ☎ +81 53 542-0480. 9AM-4:30. The main hall here has "nightingale flooring" much like Nijo castle in Kyoto. When walked on, the flooring makes subtle bird sounds to warn of intruders. The garden here is a nationally designated scenic beauty. On the south side of the temple is a well which belonged to the founder of the Ii clan in the early 11th century. ￥400, children ￥150.
- Yamazumi Shrine (山住神社, Yamazumi-jinja), Misakubo-chō Yamazumi 230 - Tenryū-ku, ☎ +81 53 987-1179. This mountain shrine was built in 709 and is well-known for its cult of wolf-worship. The grounds also have two ancient cedars over 1200 years old.
- Bentenjima Kaihin Park (弁天島海浜公園, Bentenjima Kaihin Kōen), Maisaka-chō Bentenjima 3775-2 (three stops west of the central JR station; exit the station and go straight down the hill across the street), ☎ +81 53 592-0757. This beautiful spot has a beach and boardwalk, with a lovely view of a torii perched on an island in the middle of the bay. The fireworks display in late June is extremely popular, bringing in dozens of food stalls, and thousands of people.
- Hamamatsu Castle Park (浜松城公園, Hamamatsu-jō Kōen), Motoshiro-chō - Naka-ku (Take bus 36, 40, 41, or 50,to city hall (市役所前).). North of the castle is a very big park with a Japanese garden, a koi pond, a ceremonial teahouse (see Drink below), and some commons areas. This is the best downtown location to go to see cherry blossoms in the spring.
- Hamamatsu Flower Park (浜松フラワーパーク), Kanzanji-chō 195 - Nishi-ku (Take the Kanzanji bus line from terminal 1 at the main bus station.), ☎ +81 53 487-0511. 9AM-5PM. Closed Dec. 29 to Jan. 1. This beautiful park has many gardens full of 3000 types of flowers, with over 100,000 plants in all. There is also a restaurant and shopping area. ￥700.
- (浜松フルーツパーク), Miyakoda-chō 4263-1 - Kita-ku, ☎ +81 53 428-5211. Open 9AM to 5PM. Closed Dec. 29 to Jan. 1 (closes at 16:30 from October through April). This unique amusement park is a working fruit farm where you can see, touch, taste, and pick a variety of fruits. ￥700.
- Hamamatsu Municipal Zoo (浜松市動物園), Kanzanji 199 - Nishi-ku (Take the Kanzanji bus line from terminal 1 at the main bus station.), ☎ +81 53 487-1122, fax: +81 53 487-1125, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Well worth stopping if you are in Kanzanji. In the autumn, special evening hours allow to you visit the zoo after dark.
- Hamanako Garden Park (浜名湖ガーデンパーク), Murakushi-chō 5475-1 - Nishi-ku (between Kanzanji and Bentenjima), ☎ +81 53 488-1500, fax: +81 53 488-0009, e-mail: email@example.com. A big green park at the end of a peninsula on Lake Hamana. Features include a 5-hectare lawn, a waterworks plaza that encourages you to get wet, an exhibit hall, an observation tower, children's playground, a restaurant, and diverse flower gardens.
- Observation tower. 9AM-4:30PM (5PM in summer). This 50-meter tower has a covered observation deck with a nice view of the park and lake. Adults ￥300, children ￥100.
- Pal-Pal Amusement Park (浜名湖パルパル), Kanzanji-chō 1891 - Nishi-ku (take the Kanzanji bus from central bus station terminal 1), ☎ +81 53 487-2121. Rollercoasters, Japan's longest raft ride, and a cable car ride over Lake Hamana are among the attractions at this park in Kanzanji. ￥1000.
- Torch Fishing (Takiya-ryo), Yūtō-chō 9985-3 (at Yuto Fishing Co-op), ☎ +81 53 592-2260, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. May to October. This method of spear fishing at night is unique to the Lake Hamana area. You can rent a boat for up to 4 people, including an experienced fisherman, for ￥27,000 yen. For a little extra you can have your catch cooked and served.
- Wotto Hamanako Aquatic Experience Center (浜名湖体験学習施設ウォット, Hamanako Taiken Gakushuu Shisetsu Wotto), Maisaka-chō Maisaka 5005-1 - Nishi-ku (about a 15 minute walk north from JR Bentenjima station), ☎ +81 53 592-2880. 9AM-4:30PM, closed Mondays. At this hands-on aquarium, you can see, touch, and learn about aquatic life in Lake Hamana. ￥300.
- Hamanako Pleasure Boat (浜名湖遊覧船, Hamanako Yūransen), Mikkabi-chō Oosaki 1899, ☎ +81 53 526-7066. 9AM-4PM. This ferry runs between Kanzanji Hot Spring and Mikkabi-cho, giving some nice views of Lake Hamana. The round trip takes about an hour. Round trip ￥1150.
- Miyakoda Hiking Course (都田 ハイキング コース) (Take the Akaden to Nishikajima station and transfer to the Tenryu-Hamanko line to Miyakoda station, then look for a signpost showing the hiking route, these will be at most major intersections on the route.). This "19 km hiking trail" is actually a route on the roads through the area. While quite confusing to the non-Japanese speaker, it does take one past Washizawa Cave, winds up in the mountains a temple, bridges,a waterfall, and finally to Takisawa Observation Platform. A new highway being built across this area seems to have altered some roads and creates for a challenge in route-finding. Be prepared to trek 25–30 km as the 19 km length assumes one does not get lost.
- Tenryu River Boat Tour, Minazawa Tenryū-ku (take the Tenryu-Hamanako from the north end of the Akaden line to Tenryu-Futamata station, buy a ticket and take the shuttle bus to the departure point near Funagira Dam), ☎ +81 53 457-2111. Late March through November; Mon-Fri 11AM and 1:30PM, Sat., Sun., and holidays 11AM, 1:30PM, and 3:30PM. 50-minute guided boat ride through a picturesque section of the river with cliffs and trees lining both banks. Also a good place to put in your own raft or canoe.(Due to a boating accident in the summer of 2011 resulting in multiple fatalities, this company has closed operations.) Adults ￥2300, children ￥1150.
- Yu Fukei Shiori (湯風景しおり), Takabayashi 1-chome 13-13 - Naka-ku (off Route 152 about 1.5 km north of City Hall, behind the Circle K), ☎ +81 53 478-2626. A nice bathhouse not so far from the city center
- Watch a movie in Toho Cinemas, in the Zaza City Complex or at Sun Street Shopping Center in Hamakita.
- Get a Thai massage at Celeb, located near Lake Hamana. Phone number is +81 53-449-0478 (but use +81 53-448-7178 for your navigation system, which is the number of the bakery shop cafe "marutaya" at the first floor of same building). The manager of the place obtained her license in Thailand, and speaks little English. Warm atmosphere, and professional service.
- Hamamatsu Racetrack (浜松オートレース場, Hamamatsu Ootoresuba), Wago-cho 936-19 (free 20-minute shuttle bus from the central bus station), ☎ +81 53 471-0311. National auto and motorcycle racing events. ￥100.
- Shoryu Weeping Plum Blossom Festival (昇竜しだれ梅まつり, Shoryuu Shidare-ume Matsuri), Kurematsu-chou 1476-1, Nishi-ku (near Kanzanji). Late February to late March. Trees are pruned to look like dragons on clouds in the sky. ￥500.
- Princess Road Procession (姫様道中, Hime-sama Dōchū), Hosoe-cho, Kita-ku (along the Toda River), ☎ +81 53-523-0713. first Saturday and Sunday of April, early afternoon. During the Edo Period this road was a popular excursion spot for princesses. This matsuri re-enacts what the procession was like, with actors in full authentic dress of samurai, maids, servants and, of course, the princess with her palanquin.
- Hamamatsu Festival (浜松祭り, Hamamatsu Matsuri), downtown and Nakatajima (shuttle buses to the kite-flying grounds leave from the south side of Act Tower). At Golden Week in early May. This 450-year-old festival is one of the most famous Golden Week festivals in Japan. In what is known as the Takoage Gassen, every neighborhood in the city and even some from other cities design and make their own kites to fly and to fight near at the festival grounds near Nakatajima Sand Dunes, with each kite representing a son born to a family of the neighborhood within the last year. The kite-fighting takes place on the third day of the 3-day festival and results entertainingly in downed kites in trees and on rooftops all over the neighborhood. In the Sunken Garden space on the north side of Act City, there is an international food court with many exotic stalls, and a stage for all kinds of music and cultural performances from around the world, including taiko drumming, local yaramaika music, Thai kickboxing, Brazilian batucada and samba dancing performances, jazz acts, jugglers, and traditional dances. There are also parades all over the city well into the night, in which children playing various instruments are carried in 70 large ornate parade floats. Everywhere there are groups marching and chanting to the sound of trumpets, and the sake flows freely. Free.
- Hamakita Hiryū Festival (浜北飛龍まつり, Hamakita Hiryū Matsuri), various locations around Hamakita: Tenryu Nakase Ryokuchi (park along the river), Hamakita Culture Center (west of the Akaden Hamakita stop), Nayuta (in front of Hama-kita station). First weekend of June. In honor of Ryūjin, god of the Tenryuu River, various events are held including kite-flying, a gyoza competition, and a special event celebrating fire, water, and sound.
- Hamamatsu Yukata Festival (in the plaza on the north side of Entetsu Department Store, west of JR Hamamatsu), ☎ +81 53 460-1996. First weekend of July. Hamamatsu is one of Japan's leading producers of the patterned, dyed fabric used to make yukata, and this small festival celebrates the beauty of this colored "summer kimono" with musical performances, food stalls, a yukata contest, and other exhibitions.
- Enshu Buddhist Chanting Ritual (遠州大念仏, Enshuu Dainenbutsu), All across town, ☎ +81 53 586-6201. Around July 14. In this local traditional performance, a procession of chanters and people with flutes, drums, cymbals and lanterns visit the homes of families who have lost a loved one in the last year.
- Misakubo Festival (水窪祭り, Misakubo Matsuri), Misakubo-cho (take the JR Iida line from Toyohashi to Misakubo station, or drive Route 152 all the way to Misakubo-cho, about 65km from downtown), ☎ +81 53 987-0432. Second Saturday in September. This mountain festival features a costume contest in the afternoon and parades of costumed men carrying elaborate floats in the evening. Free.
- Hamakita Man'yō Festival (浜北万葉まつり, hamakita man'yō matsuri), Hiraguchi 5051-1, Hamakita-ku (in Manyo no Mori Park), ☎ +81 53 586-8700. Third weekend of October. Features re-enactments of life in the Nara and early Heian periods with people dressed in authentic period clothing and dramatic Manyo poetry readings.
- Sakuma Dam Festival (佐久間ダムまつり, Sakuma Damu Matsuri), Sakuma-cho Sakuma - Tenryu-ku (at Sakuma Dam Lake Park), ☎ +81 53 965-1651. Last Sunday of October. This festival pays tribute to Ryujin, god of the Tenryu River, and commemorates the 1956 opening of Sakuma Dam, a great engineering feat of its time. Highlights include a colorful dragon god dance, taiko drumming, fireworks over the lake, and many vendors displaying local products. Free.
- Inasa Puppet Festival (いなさ人形劇まつり, Inasa ningyōgeki Matsuri), various locations in Inasa-cho - Kita-ku (take a bus from central bus station terminal 15 to the Iinoya stop: 井伊谷), ☎ +81 53 542-1111. Third weekend of November. A rarity in Japan, this festival brings puppeteers from across the country for three full days of over 60 performances. Great for kids.
- Akiba Fire Festival (秋葉山火祭り, Akiba-san Hi-matsuri), Haruno-cho Ryouke 841 - Tenryu-ku, ☎ +81 53 985-0111. December 15. Celebrating the supposed fire-prevention powers of Mt. Akiba, this festival is held at Akiba Temple and Shrine atop the famous mountain, with fire-walking, fire dances, and various weapon dances.
- Hanabi Taikai - There are many fireworks displays in the area during the summer. The largest of these is Fukuroi Enshu no Hanabi held in Fukuroi, a small town a few stops east on the JR line. This celebration in early August is one of the largest fireworks displays in Japan, with over 30,000 fireworks. Within Hamamatsu city limits, there are also impressive hanabi taikais in Bentenjima (late June), Kanzanji (late July), and Tenryu (early August).
- There are also various festivals and performance to celebrate the Japanese-Brazilian heritage that is so prevalent in this area.
If you need to buy omiyage from Hamamatsu to give to Japanese friends or co-workers, the typical gift here is called unagi pai (うなぎパイ), or "eel pie". Actually more of a cookie made with eel bones, these individually-wrapped treats can be purchased at a store next to the south exit of the JR station, or at any number of pastry shops around town.
It is also possible to tour the factory where these are made, though it is necessary to make a reservation.
- Entetsu Department Store (遠鉄百貨店), Sunayama-cho 320-2 - Naka-ku (Just west of the JR station), ☎ +81 53 457-0001. High quality clothing and other items. The basement contains a wonderful grocery and deli.
- Aeon/Jusco Shopping Malls - Hamamatsu has three of these somewhat western-style shopping malls. You'll have to catch a bus to these. The largest is in Ichino-cho (市野町).
- Ichino Jusco (イオンショッピングモール市野), Tennou-cho 1981-3. The largest shopping mall in the area. A free shuttle bus runs to the mall from Kamijima and Saginomiya stations on the Akaden line.
- Irino Jusco (イオンショッピングモール入野), Irino-cho 6244-1 - Nishi-ku (Take bus 8-22 or 9-22 to Jusco Iriguchi - ジャスコ入口), ☎ +81 449-2611. Smallest yet closer to downtown, this location is bit more like a large department store.
- Shitoro Jusco (イオンショッピングモール志都呂), Shitoro-cho 5605 - Nishi-ku (Take bus 20 to AEON Mall Shitoro Iriguchi - イオンモール志都呂入口. You will pass Irino Jusco along the way-- don't be fooled.), ☎ +81 53-415-1200.
- May One, Sunayama-cho 6-1 - Naka-ku (inside the central JR station), ☎ +81 53 457-4000. Clothing shops, a bookstore, a CD shop, a Muji (top quality generic items), and an import store called Sony Plaza, among other things. There is a food court at the top and a high-quality grocery store in the basement.
- Sun Street Hamakita (サンストリート浜北), Hiraguchi 2861 - Hamakita-ku (take bus 61 from central bus terminal 12), ☎ +81 53 585-8333. 10AM-9PM. This shopping center contains a bathhouse, a Toho Cinema, arcades, a food court, a 24-hour Seiyu, and dozens of clothing stores.
- ZaZa City, Kaji-machi 150 - Naka-ku (up Kajimachi-dori かじ町通り from the JR station), ☎ +81 53 413-3333. 10AM-8PM. Amongst varied clothing shops, ZaZa City has a musical instrument store, a movie theater, a supermarket, a manga store, a video arcade, Toys'R'Us, Starbucks, MosBurger, Baskin Robbins, Uniqlo and more. The bookstore in the basement lever has a decent selection of English books.
Food-wise, Hamamatsu is most famous for eel from Lake Hamana, and unagi (うなぎ) restaurants can be found all over the city. Perhaps the most famous ones are Yaotoku, popular with tourists, and Atsumi, the locals' favorite. Fresh seafood from Lake Hamana is always available. In the Maisaka/Bentenjima districts, another famous local delicacy is suppon (すっぽん), or snapping turtle. Hamamatsu has Japan's second-highest per-capita sales of gyoza as well (first prize goes to Utsunomiya). Prized locally-produced seasonal produce items include mikans, melons, persimmons, white onions, and strawberries.
- Arisan (阿里山), Tamachi 330-1, Mabii Bldg. B1 (across the corner from the Circle K on Daiichi-dori), ☎ +81 53-466-0207. 11:30AM-2PM, 5:30PM-2AM. Taiwanese restaurant with a fairly wide selections of tasty dishes with good portion sizes for the price.
- Chambord (シャンボール), various locations. This bakery chain serves a variety of fresh-baked breads and pastries. There is a location with a deli inside the JR station, an another bakery is across the street from Shin-Hamamatsu station.
- Gyoza no Kiyo (餃子のきよ), Kamoe 1-chome 33-5 - Naka-ku (go up the hill west from ZaZa City and take a left after Kamoe Kannon), ☎ +81 53 454-1931. Famous gyoza not far from downtown.
- Ishimatsu Gyoza (石松餃子店, Ishimatsu Gyouza-ten), Komatsu 2192-1 - Hamakita-ku, ☎ +81 53 586-8522, fax: +81 53 587-2993, e-mail: email@example.com. 4:30PM-9PM, closed Wed. and Thurs. Arguably the most famous place to get Hamamatsu gyoza. Some of the area's other famous shops are owned by former pupils of the head chef here.
- Kibori (喜慕里), Zoura-cho 563-3 - Minami-ku (off Route 257 behind the Hamashin Bank), ☎ +81 53 447-5737. 11:30AM-2:30PM, 4:30PM-9PM. A very old establishment known for its lighter, less meaty gyoza. Ramen is also served.
- Kunma Suisha no Sato (くんま水車の里), Kuma 1976-1 - Tenryu-ku (from the north end of the Akaden at Nishikajima, take a bus for Kuma), ☎ +81 53 929-0636. 9AM-5PM, closed Thursdays. Named after the large old-fashioned waterwheel that turns outside, this spot serves the local specialties nihachi soba (buckwheat noodles) and gohei mochi. Visitors can also try making their own soba or konyaku.
- Las Chillonas (about 4 blocks west of Hachiman station). The only full-fledged Mexican restaurant in town, run by a hard-working Mexican woman and her daughter. The chimichangas are spectacular, but the menu also includes a variety of appetizers, tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and even a chicken molé. They also serve Mexican beer and frequently have cheap margarita specials. ¥1000-1600.
- Okonomiyaki Honpo (お好み焼き本舗), Nakazawa-cho 23-1 - Naka-ku (on the east side of 152 just south of the Miyakoda Techno Road intersection), ☎ +81 53 478-2200. Very large and popular Kansai-style chain okonomiyaki restaurant.
- Pronto Cafe, Sunayama-cho 320-2 - Naka-ku (directly beneath Shin-Hamamatsu station), ☎ +81 53 457-5851. Closes at 10PM. Good coffee, pizza and pasta in a sophisticated atmosphere. Full bar. There is plenty of outdoor seating, and the inside shares space with the DJ booth for FM Haro, a popular local radio station. ¥600-1200.
- Toraya (とらや), Sakana-machi 316-36 Kawaimaruki Bldg, ☎ +81 53 454-1710. On the second floor above a fruit stand at Daiichi-dori and Yūraku-gai, this mom-and-pop shop has some of the best cook-it-yourself okonomiyaki in town.
- Ani&Ivan, 414-2, Kanda-cho, Naka-ku (From Hamamatsu bus terminal takes Bus no.10/12 and get off at Yoroi-bashi - よろい橋, it's a couple seconds walk from there), ☎ +81 53-545-9161. Satisfying yet cheap Indonesian food, including Halal. The ¥1000 set is a surprisingly good deal for a lunch set—try the Gurame. Indonesian, Japanese, and limited English is spoken. ¥700-1000.
- Arena Grill, Tennou-cho 1237-1 - Higashi-ku (near Ichino Jusco on Route 45), ☎ +81 53 421-9112. An all-you-can-eat Brazilian rodizio. A salad bar and a variety of fine cuts of meat served until you feel as if you will explode. ¥2000-3000.
- Binchou Oogiya (備長扇屋). A chain of yakitori shops, with some of the cheapest beer in town. Of the 7 stores, there are three within walking distance of the central JR station:
- Kaji-machi 319-23 - Naka-ku (across from ZaZa City), ☎ +81 53 450-7517.
- Sunayama-cho 326-1 - Naka-ku (across from the southeast corner of the central JR station), ☎ +81 53 450-8870.
- Chitose-cho 104-2 - Naka-ku (next to Plaza Mall Sago on Mall-gai), ☎ +81 53 459-1788. This location has a popular patio, good for people-watching.
- Choupana, Sumiyoshi 3-chome 23-23 - Naka-ku (on Miyakoda Techno Road), ☎ +81 53-472-0777. Mon.-Fri. 18-24:00/Sat.-Sun.12:00-24:00. Popular Brazilian all-you-can-eat rodizio with salad bar, rice and beans, salgados, feijoada and a wide selection of cuts served tableside, including various beef cuts, chicken, chicken hearts, lamb, and pork. ¥2000-3000.
- Garuda (ガルーダ), Ike-machi 225-32 - Naka-ku (Yūraku-gai about two blocks north of Hunters), ☎ +81 53 454-7524. The menu here is about half Indonesian and half Nepalese. There is also a import grocery store attached, with items from various Asian countries.
- Gris-Gris (グリグリ), Chuo 1-chome 2-102 - Naka-ku (in the E-Stage Hamamatsu building on Hirokoji about 5 blocks directly north of the station), ☎ +81 53 413-2500, fax: +81 53 413-2501. French-Vietnamese restaurant, very popular at lunch.
- Hoji Pass Soba (そば処ほうじ峠, Soba-sho Houji Touge), Sakuma-cho Sakuma 1832-1 - Tenryu-ku (about 20 minutes' drive north on state route 290 from the JR Iida line's Sakuma station; part of Sakuma Folk Culture Center), ☎ +81 53 987-1888. 10AM-4PM. The simple hand-made soba noodles made at this beautiful remote mountain spot draw visitors from across the Tokai region. It is also possible to try your hand at making the noodles yourself. ¥1300.
- Inakaya, 315-31 Nakaku tamachi. Good selection of local dishes. Basic décor.
- Kanerin, 731 Irinocho, ☎ +81 53-448-9335. Excellent selection of eel dishes. Need someone with knowledge of Japanese to order.
- Payaka (パヤカ), Kamoe 4-chome 19-12 - Naka-ku, ☎ +81 53 451 6906. 12PM-10PM. Mixture of Indonesian, and Thai food. Theme is "island life". Located a little bit out of the center (5 minutes by taxi), but truly a hidden pearl. Large terrace for summer nights, and very cozy/loungy interior. There is also a little shop selling jewelry and the like.
- Servitu, Sunayama-cho 323-5 - Naka-ku (one block west of the station on the south side of the rail tracks), ☎ +81 53 458-8577. Servitu is part Brazilian buffet restaurant and part import grocery store.
- Surabaya (スラバヤ), Chitose-cho 108 - Naka-ku (on Yūraku-gai, in the basement of the Sago Hotel), ☎ +81 53 413-2723. Slightly over-priced but satisfying Indonesian cuisine.
- Yaotoku (八百徳), Itaya-machi 655 - Naka-ku (on the north side of the Meitetsu hotel, look for the black façade with the corner entrance), ☎ +81 53 452-5687. 11AM-8:15PM (last order). Hamamatsu's most famous unagi restaurant, this place has been featured on national television programs many times in the past.
- Chez Moriya (Walk northeast along the big road from the bus station), Hamamatsu-shi, Naka-ku, Itaya-machi 2-banchi, ☎ +81 53 454-0888. 11:30AM-2PM, 6AM-8:30PM. Now in a new location just north of the central train station, Chez Moriya features a chef who has worked in several top restaurants in Europe (including Belgian "Comme Chez Soi" and Paris "L'Arpege" ). The chef who is by the way very friendly, speaks French plus English. Dinner courses ¥4000-5000.
- The Oriental Terrace, 6 Chome-8-30 Sanarudai, ☎ +81 53-447-3241. Overlooking Lake Sanaru. Well layout out and decorated building, suited for small functions.
- Shokudo-en (食道園), 1 Chome-3-26 Kamiasada, ☎ +81 53 454-3050. This somewhat upscale Korean-style barbecue restaurant is very popular. Try the ishiyaki bibimbap. Dinner ¥3000-4000.
- Tensuguri (天すぐり), Chuo 1-4-15 - Naka-ku (near Yamada Denki), ☎ +81 53 450-9117. Mon-Fri 11:30AM-2PM, 6PM-10PM; Weekends/Holidays 11:30AM-2PM, 5PM-9:30. Closed Mondays.. A fantastic, stylish tempura restaurant. Lunch ¥2000-3000; Dinner ¥7000-10000.
- Toukai Saikan (東海菜館), Tokiwa-cho 143-28 - Naka-ku (just west of Enshubyoin station on the Akaden line), ☎ +81 53 453-0625. A downtown institution for over 70 years, this Chinese restaurant serves great crab fried rice and Peking duck. Lunch ¥1500, dinner ¥2500-6000.
- Shointei Tea Ceremony House (松韻亭), Shikatani-cho 11-4 (take a bus from central bus station terminal 15 to the Shikatanicho stop: 鹿谷町, then head into the park), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 9:30AM-5PM, closed Mondays. At this pleasant teahouse you can experience a traditional tea ceremony while taking in a nice garden view. ¥400.
Bars and pubs
Many of the drinking establishments in town can be found on or around Yūraku-gai (有楽街), which runs vaguely north-south about 4 blocks west-northwest of the JR station. At ZaZa City shopping complex, it intersects Kajimachi-dōri (かじ町通り), which is the main street leading northwest from the station.
- Bar Mar, Naka-ku Chitose-cho 203 (north of Sago Hotel), ☎ +81 53-482-8700, e-mail: email@example.com. 5PM-2AM. Spanish tapas bar with a decent wine selection. Mostly Japanese clientèle.
- Big Fire, Naka-ku Shinmei-cho 218-17 Shinmei Bld. 3F, ☎ +81 53-441-0670. Relaxed bar run by a Brazilian and his Russian wife.
- Entetsu Beer Garden, Sunayama-cho 320-2 - Naka-ku (just west of the JR station, on the roof of the Entetsu department store), ☎ +81 53 457-0001. A fairly standard Japanese-style beer garden: mediocre food, cold beer, fresh air. June through the end of August.
- Hambolt, Sakana-machi, Chambord Bldg. B1 (at the corner of Yūraku-gai and Daiichi-dori 第一通り). This small club/bar hosts frequent reggae events. On Fridays they charge only 3000 yen for all-you-can-drink highballs, all night long.
- Mein Schloss (マインシュロス), Chuo 3-8-1 - Naka-ku (a couple of blocks northeast of the JR station), ☎ +81 120-63-1146. A very large German beer hall which brews its own beer. A good spot if you have a big group.
- Motion (モーション), Naka-ku, Daiku-machi 15, Daichi Bldg. 3rd Floor (west of ZaZa city, past the 7-11, about a 3 minute walk), ☎ +81 90-3449-6885. Open Friday & Saturday from 8:30PM. Specializes in premium alcohols, liquors, beers and juices. Ask the bartender to make you one of his original cocktails. Also serves some light foods. Bartender speaks English, Japanese, Tagalog and Cebuano. The DJ plays various kinds of music. No table charge. Most drinks around 500 yen.
- No Name Bar, Kaji-machi 318-45 (across from ZaZa City), ☎ +81 53 456-8218. An interesting mix of Japanese and foreigners come here to drink, but they also offer authentic kebabs and other Turkish cuisine. Televised sports events on occasion. Free darts upstairs.
- There are of course a large number of karaoke places along Yūraku-gai as well.
Hamamatsu has a lot of options for clubbing for a city its size, though most of these are open only on the weekends. Most places do not start getting busy until after midnight.
- Klan Klub, Itaya-machi 102-14, B1 - Naka-ku (On Daiichi-dori a block east of the Akaden line). From 10PM. This recently-remodeled club plays a mix of Brazilian music, rock, and house. Drinks are in the 500-yen-range. This place can be quite happening on weekends. Cover usually around 1000 yen.
- K'noas, Sunayama-higashi (on Ekinan Odori 2 blocks east of Nakatajima-kaido), ☎ +81 53 449-2204. Medium-sized Peruvian-owned club. The music ranges from salsa and forró to rock to house, sometimes all in one night. This place can get very crowded on weekend nights. The crowd is typically about half Peruvian and half Brazilian. To find it, go south of the JR station and take a left on the first main street. Cover ¥1000.
- Planet Cafe (プラネットカフェ), Motoshiro-cho 223-1 (on a sidestreet that runs behind the Viola Building at the corner of Yuuraku-gai and Yurinoki-dori), ☎ +81 53 451-3477. A medium-sized club with a mostly Japanese crowd which has DJ events that are often really good. Cover ¥2000-3000.
- Second, Tenma-cho 312-22 Kanaiya Daini Bldg. 8F - Naka-ku, ☎ +81 53 455-3530. A small Japanese dance club on an upper floor across from the Toys'R'Us store in ZaZa City. Plays house or hip-hop. Cover is usually 2000 yen.
- Young Adult, Naka-ku Tamachi 315-34, ☎ +81 53-415-8256. Dance club with frequent DJ events, both Japanese and Brazilian.
- Force, Ta-machi 315-31 - Naka-ku (Yuuraku-gai half a block south of Yurinoki-dori, on the second and third floors above the Quest Music guitar specialty shop), ☎ +81 53 4503-3403. A good ol' rock-n-roll venue that features rock and punk bands, both Japanese and Brazilian, with the occasional road show coming through. Open at least every Fri.,Sat., sometimes other days. Cover varies.
- G-Side, Ta-machi 327-27 - Naka-ku, ☎ +81 53 541-5067. Local and national acts.
- Madowaku (窓枠), Itaya-machi 102-10 - Naka-ku (on the west side of Hirokoji near the intersection with Daiichi-dori), ☎ +81 53 451-3035, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Concerts usually starts between 6:30PM and 7:30PM, with the doors opening half an hour before. This venue attracts a primarily young Japanese indie crowd for local, national, and occasional international acts. Cover ¥2000-4500, drinks ¥500.
- Mescaline Drive, Asahi-cho 10-23 - Naka-ku (one block north of Shin-Hamamatsu station), ☎ +81 53 454-7363. A tiny hole-in-the-wall live venue with mostly ska bands. Cover ¥2000-3000.
- Rock Bar Lucretia, Tenma-cho 310-8, Daiichi Kanai Bldg. 5f - Naka-ku (on the west side of the main road between ZaZa City and City Hall), ☎ +81 53 451-5838. From 7PM. Closed Mondays.. This bar has frequent live rock and DJ events with cheap drinks and an almost entirely Japanese clientèle.
- The circular performance space between the two ZaZa City buildings also has frequent live performances on weekend afternoons.
- Schedules for the concert hall at Act City can be obtained at the HICE information center. See below.
- Business Hotel Tsujiume Honkan, Sunayama-cho 355-2, ☎ +81 53 453-1712, fax: +81 53 453-1712.
- Hotel Villa Kuretake (ホテル・ヴィラくれたけ), 1-1-26 Higashi Iba (down the hill from the Grand Hotel), ☎ +81 53 453-0880, fax: +81 53-453-2988, e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 1PM, check-out: 11AM. Relatively spacious rooms with room service from 5 on-site restaurants, a laundry service and in-room broadband connections. Single ￥8,000. Twin/double ￥15,000.
- Nagisa Park Campground (渚園キャンプ場, Nagisa-en Kyampu-jou), Maisaka-cho Bentenjima 5005-1 - Nishi-ku (about 10 minutes walk north from JR Bentenjima station, next to the Wotto center), ☎ +81 53 592-7544, fax: +81 53 592-1525. Check-in: 10AM-10PM. Lakeside camping with barbecue grill rental, bicycle rentals and sporting facilities. Per person charge: Adults ￥400, children ￥200.
- Ryokan Nakaya (旅館仲屋), Kanzanji-cho 2214 - Nishi-ku (On Kanzanji-kaido about 100 meters south of the temple), ☎ +81 53 487-0159, fax: +81 53 487-2607, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A small ryokan with a hot spring bath with a lake view. Breakfast is included—note that dinner is not included here. ￥6000.
- Toyoko Inn Hamamatsu-eki Kita-guchi (東横イン浜松駅北口), 103-1 Itaya-machi (5 minute walk from JR Hamamatsu Station North Exit, 1 minute walk from Enshu Railway Daiichi-dori Station), ☎ +81 53-457-1045, fax: +81 53-457-1048. Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 10:00. Part of the popular no-frills Toyoko Inn chain of hotels. Toyoko Inn Club members can check in from 15:00. Singles ¥5715-6000, Twins/Doubles ¥8000.
- Urakawa Campground (浦川キャンプ場村, Urakawa Kyampumura), Sakuma-cho Urakawa 3454-12 - Tenryu-ku (take the JR Iida line from Toyohashi to Urakawa Station, or take Route 152 to Sakuma-cho Toguchi and then 463 a few kilometers past Sakuma and turn left at state road 1), ☎ +81 53 967-2449. Campsites and simple lodgings on an beautiful green island at the convergence of two mountain rivers. Campfire pits, showers, and shared toilets. The locale is good for swimming in summertime. Tent ￥2500; bungalows for 3, ￥3500; log houses for 5, ￥16,000.
- Bentenjima Village (べんてんじまヴぃれっじ), Haruno-cho Kawakami 383-2 - Tenryu-ku, ☎ +81 53 437-0601, +81 53 984-0114. Log cabins for up to 5 in a quiet spot in the woods. Cabins have television but share a (separate) bath/shower. Campsites are also available, as is a log house for up to 15. Despite the name, this is nowhere near Bentenjima—you will likely need a car to get here. House ￥40,000; Cabin ￥10,000; Campsite ￥3000.
- Bentenkan, Maisaka-cho Bentenjima 2669-151 - Nishi-ku (4 minutes' walk from JR Bentenjima station), ☎ +81 53 592-8000, fax: +81 53 592-8508. Seaside rooms at this relatively new hotel have a fantastic view of the torii in the bay and the Bentenjima bridge with the ocean in the background. A restaurant on site serves fresh seafood caught in the lake. Singles from ￥11500 (lake view only); Twin/Double ￥16170/18480 (ocean view) or ￥11550 (lake view).
- Fitness Hotel 330, ☎ +81 53-454-0330, fax: +81 53-452-0047. 353-1, Sunayama-cho,
- Hotel Bouquet Tokai, ☎ +81 53-456-8111, fax: +81 53-452-9022. 353-7 Sunayama-cho,
- Hamanako Royal Hotel (浜名湖ロイヤルホテル), Yuto-cho Yamazaki 4396-1 - Nishi-ku, ☎ +81 53 592-2222, fax: +81 53 592-5522. Part of Hamanako Lakeside Plaza, which includes Yuto onsen, outdoor pool, tennis courts, gym, park, and several restaurants. Most rooms have a good view of Lake Hamana. Package deals of one night's stay, dinner, and breakfast buffet start at ￥15950.
- Hotel Concorde, Motoshiro-cho 109-18 (on Route 152 next to Hamamatsu Castle Park), ☎ +81 53-457-1111. Check-in: 12PM, check-out: 11AM. Formerly the city's main conference venue, this older hotel is now a fairly good bargain for good sized rooms with a nice view of the castle park. 6 on-site restaurants, broadband service, and on-site car rentals are available. Singles from ￥7350, doubles from ￥15,750.
- Hotel LeMonde, 335-14 Sunayama-cho, ☎ +81 53-455-1188, fax: +81 53-455-1028.
- Hotel Yonekyu, 94 Tenma-cho Hamamatsu-shi, ☎ +81 53-455-3131, fax: +81 53-455-0531.
- Maruko Inn, 324-15 Sunayama-cho, ☎ +81 53-457-0505, fax: +81 53-454-8083.
- Meijiya Hotel, 1-1-30 Sato, ☎ +81 53-465-8111, fax: +81 53-461-1308.
- Meitetsu Hotel, ☎ +81 53-452-5111. 110-17 Itaya-Machi (板屋町). Singles ￥12,100/Doubles ￥21,000
- Roynet Hotel, 218-1 Motoshiro-cho (元城町). This hotel is 2 minutes walk from city hall and Hamamatsu Castle Park. Excellent breakfast buffet.
- Sago Inn, 2-3-1 Ebizuka, ☎ +81 53-456-3511, fax: +81 53-456-1460.
- Sago Terminal Hotel, 322-7 Sunayama-cho, ☎ +81 53-453-3515, fax: +81 53-453-5954.
- South Garden Hotel, 325-30 Sunayama-cho, ☎ +81 53-451-1800, fax: +81 53-451-1801. Just south of the central train station on the left.
- Grand Hotel, 1-3-1 Higashi Iba (東井場)., ☎ +81 53-452-2114. large hotel containing a number of restaurants, bars and function rooms. Some rooms starting to show their age.
- Okura Hotel. Inside Act Tower.
- Tourist information center, inside the JR station.
- HICE (Hamamatsu Foundation for International Communications and Exchanges), Naka-ku, Sunayama-cho 324-8, Daiichi Ito Building 9F (south side of the main train station, on the 9th floor of the building next to the Mos Burger), tel. +81 53 458-2170, . This center has a native English speaking employee and a lot of information in English regarding local events and culture.
- Popeye Media Cafe, Chitose-cho 70-1 Fun Bldg. 3F - Naka-ku (on Mall-gai near ZaZa City), ☎ +81 53 413-2727, e-mail: email@example.com. 24-hour internet and manga café. Showers and massage chairs are available. Around ￥350/hour. Shower ￥320.
- Fujiyama Land, Sakana-machi 322-20 Poporo Bldg. 3F - Naka-ku (on Yuraku-gai about two blocks north from ZaZa City on the right), ☎ +81 53 413-2470. Internet/manga café with showers. one time member fee ￥315; ￥210 first half-hour + ￥105 each additional half hour.
- U-Lowc, Kaji-machi 320-23 Q:Face Bldg. 1F - Naka-ku (across from the small Inari Shrine on Yuraku-gai, on the first floor of the U-Style Karaoke building), ☎ +81 53 450-2700. Sun-Thurs 7AM-11:30PM, Fri-Sat 7AM-5AM. This coffeeshop has free wireless internet as well as decent food and drinks, with a full bar to boot.
- Yu-Yu, on the City Hall road about 10 blocks south of City Hall. Internet cafe with pool tables.
- Arai Sekisho and Hatago-Kinokuniya Archives (新井関所), Arai-chō Hamana-gun Arai 1227-5 (across the lake from Bentenjima), ☎ +81 53 594-3615. 9AM-4:30PM, closed Mondays. This important travel checkpoint on the Tokaido highway was established in 1600 by Ieyasu Tokugawa, and is the only surviving original building of such a checkpoint. The checkpoint enforced strict regulations to keep guns out of Totomi precinct, and to keep women in. The archives hall next door contains old checkpoint records. Adults ￥300, children ￥100, add ￥100/50 to enter the archives as well.
- Hamanako Boat Races (浜名湖競艇場, Hamanako Kyōteiba), Arai-chō Nakanogō 3727-7 (just across the bridge from Bentenjima), ☎ +81 53 594-7111. One of Japan's only venues to watch boat racing.
- Honkō-ji Temple (本興寺), Washizu 384 - Kosai-shi (across the lake from Bentenjima), ☎ +81 53 576-0054. The main hall is designated as a National Important Cultural Property. There is also a park here, a nice place to picnic. ￥300, children ￥200.
- Kakegawa (掛川), half an hour east, has a better castle and park.
- Acty Mori (アクティ森), Mori-machi Shuchi-gun Toizume 1115-1, ☎ +81 53 885-0115, fax: +81 53 885-0117. 9AM-5:30PM, closed Wednesdays. This hand-on center offers visitors a chance to try their hands at several traditional Japanese crafts, including Tōgei pottery, roof-tile making, paper-making, and traditional cloth-dyeing using local plants. The center also provides for some outdoor activities like cycling and canoeing.
- Okuni Shrine (小国神社, Okuni Jinja), Mori-machi Shuchi-gun Ichimiya 3956-1, ☎ +81 53 524-1112. 9AM-5PM. Construction on this beautiful shrine began in 555. The shrine is dedicated to the god Okuninushi no Mikoto, a benevolent god involved in the mythical creation of the archipelago, and a key figure in the famous story of the White Rabbit of Inaba (see Tottori). Very popular with Ieyasu Tokugawa and other members of his clan, this is still the most popular shrine in the ancient Totomi region. It is an especially popular place to pray for good luck, good marriages, or simply to view the autumn foliage. ￥300.
- Omaezaki (御前崎) is a beautiful little beach town.
|Routes through Hamamatsu|
|Nagoya ← Toyohashi ←||W E||→ Kakegawa → Tokyo|
|Nagoya ← Toyohashi ←||W E||→ Iwata → Shizuoka|
|W Junction ←||W E||→ Shimada → Shizuoka|
|Nagoya ← Okazaki ←||W E||→ Iwata → Shizuoka|
|Nagoya ← Toyohashi ←||W E||→ Iwata → Shizuoka|