Hamamatsu Castle Park is a huge park in downtown Hamamatsu with 10.28 ha in area. It has a castle keep reconstructured in 1958 and a Japanese garden, Shointei, tea houses with gardens, a museum, kiddie parks, a swimming pool. It is also one of the most popular cherry viewing sites in Hamamatsu.
HICE (pronounced "highs") is a great source of information for foreigners living or even visiting Hamamatsu. They provide daily living information and assistance, counselling, language assistance, and event information.
Just outside of the HICE office is their communication (bulletin) board. There are ads for jobs, sayonara (goodbye) sales, language lessons and exchanges, event listings, and more. It's free to post--all you need to do is show your ad to the staff to get if approved. If you are living or staying in Hamamatsu for a while, you should definitely check it out.
The Shizuoka International Garden and Horticulture Exhibition, also known as Pacific Flora 2004, is being held right next to Lake Hamana. Plants from all over the world are being displayed--over 5 million specimens of 6,000 varieties. There are also museums and other exhibits in addition to the gardens.
Check out their official web site (English version) to learn more about the park and attractions.
Tenryu-ku is one of the seven wards of the Greater Hamamatsu and the largest in area about half of that of Tokyo-to (944 square kilometers). It has only 34,000 people and most of them are in former Tenryu-city area so the rest of the area is one of the most sparsely populated areas in Japan. The most popular destination of this area is undoubtedly Akiha Shrine, enshrining the god of fire protection. Futamata area has lots of historical sites such as Tobayama castle and Futamata castle and Akino Fuku Art Museum is also one of the hottest destinations in Futamata. Misakubo area, far north part of Tenryu-ku is a remote town but is rich in culture, Takane Castle is the biggest draw of this place.
Futamata, about 20 kilometers north from downtown Hamamatsu, is the central part of former Tenryu city, now Tenryu-ku of metropolitan Hamamatsu. It is located at the rejoinder part of rapid-flow Tenryu river starting to meet the alluvial plain area. The place is rich in historical sites such as Tobayama and Futamata castle and recently known by superbly designed Akino Fuku Art Museum. Tenryu River Boat tour is one of the most popular attractions there.
See my Futamata page for detailed information.
The small ruins are more like a few huts and only take a few minutes to visit. There is also an excavation of shell midden that can add another few minutes. The attached Museum was small and dark and unremarkable.
Attached to Act Tower is the Musical Instrument Museum. Hamamatsu is an important area for the Music Instrument Industry, with Yamaha, Roland and Kawai all here. There is also a very famous piano competition held in Hamamatsu every year. The Musical Instrument is very nicely organized, and not just for the music enthusiast. You can listen to many examples of the various instruments, learn the history and development of each type of instrument and see many instruments from various cultures you may not be familiar with. The artwork and craftsmanship of the instruments is also presented wonderfully. And there is even a room where you can do some hands-on experimenting with a wide range of objects. I was pleasantly surprised with this little gem of a museum and highly recommend it.
The equivelant to an Air Force, this base has many fighter jets and radar planes coming and going. The attached museum was a pleasant surprise. There are audio headsets available in English to help explain the exhibits, as most the written captions are in Japanese. It's a well constructed, modern, spotlessly clean place and interesting. The highlight is to walk into the adjoining hangar full of various airplanes, including WWII zeros. You can even put on a pilot jumpsuit and helmet (both are optional) and jump into several of the planes to have your picture taken. The staff in this room were quite enthusiastic and made sure I knew exactly which planes had been made in America. I quite enjoyed this small museum and can recommend it.
Act Tower is one of my favorite places in the world. But then I work just next door...so it's very convenient. And I love the fact you can see it for miles and miles. Since Japanese cities rarely name their streets, it's easy to get lost. But in Hamamatsu I can always find my way home, due to the everpresent Act Tower. The tower has a large hotel, a dozen shops, restaurants, a bakery, a museum, exhibition hall, concert theatre, rooftop gardens and more. You can take the elevator to the top floor, some 50 floors up or so, pay a fee and look at the surrounding city. You can see the ocean and the hills and Lake Hamanako and every corner of the bustling city of Hamamatsu.
Nakatajima Sand Dunes are a pretty visually uninteresting. The surf at the beach is much too treacherous for swimming. The beach can be extremely littered, but it can be a nice place to take a walk. Be prepared for constant winds, which makes it usually cooler in the summer than intown. There is a nice adjoining park, where you will usually find several kites being flown. The Kite Festival Museum is also in the park. Further down the beach are some decent places for surfing, an good places for kiteboarding. If you are lucky you might see some hatchling turtles being released into the ocean, which is always a wonderful and humourous sight. I go to the beach quite often, but that's just to sunbathe and read and walk. But go with low expectations, and you won't be dissappointed.
Like most castles in Japan, this is a recreation, built at the spot of the original castle. Unfortunately it's not even a good recreation as it was mainly built with cement and not traditional materials. It's fairly small, like the original. It has some nice museum exhibits inside, and the view from the uppermost floor is very nice. The castle is surrounded by a large park where you can wander the gardens, see traditional bridges, play ball or frisbee or watch old people feed the ducks. It's a nice bit of sanctuary surrounded by the bustle of the city.
Nakatajima Dunes are one of the 3 largest dunes in Japan. .
Its also known for its beautiful wind pattern made on the sand...
The dunes are also famous for LOGGERHEAD SEA TURTLE, which is endangered species....
They migrate to the ENSHU NADA coast to lay its eggs between MAY and AUGUST every year...
Because they are endangered a few citizens group from the area has taken the lead to make effort to protect the turtle, moving the eggs to hatcheries and releasing the baby turtles.
The dunes are located infront of the Hamamatsu kite museum
These involve several hundred people pulling together on the 6mm thick twisted hemp kite line trying to saw through the line of other kites using the friction created by the speed of the kite soaring through the air.....
While on the ground team members blow bugles to create a riotous background....
There are two ways to be victorious in a kite battle....The 1 is to saw through a rival's kite's main kite line from above and the other is to saw though the rivals main kite line from underneath.....
There are also various techniques employed in the batlles, including letting the kite line out and winding it in at different speeds so the kite can dodge attack and make assaults..
The kites used in the kite battles range from 2jo to 10 jo...
Kites the size of 4 jo to 6 jo are considered the best size for the kite battles...
1jo being equal to 12 sheets of traditonal japanese mino paper....
1jo =1.25 square meters
4jo= 2.4 square meters
6jo= 2.9 square meters
10jo= 3.64 square meters
The patterns on the kites are said to be based on the origins of each community name and are intended to strengthen unity in the local community...
Normally the patterns represent historical events...Here is a list of all the kites design held in hamamatsu
If you get the chance go into the ACT TOWER....is the highest observation corridor in Tokai District..
....185m height. You can reach here in one minute from the 6th floor, by high-speed elevator (150m/min).
The top floor houses an observation deck, reception area, and wedding chapel...
The upper 17 floors are occupied by the Okura Act City Hotel, including three floors for guest services at levels 29-31.
You can see the horizon of the vast Enshu Coast in the south, and the grandeur South Alps in the north and even MT fuji on a clear day..
Adults: 500 yen
Junior-high and elementary school students: 300 yen.
Closing Days Wed (about twice a month)
Opening Days 10:00 - 9.00pm (Final entrance at 20:30)
HAMAMATSU CASTLE sits on the MIKATAHARA PLATEAU...It was built by TOKUGAWA IEYASU(click), whose rule founded the EDO PERIOD(1603-1867)..IEYASU was born in 1542, and spend 17 years at Hamamatsu Castle from the age of 29-45...
During this time many famous batlles took place, ncluding the BATTLE OF MIKATAGAHARA in 1572, which was one of the toughest battles fought by Ieyasu...Although Ieyasu's 17 year stay at Hamamatsu Castle endured many difficult years, it did commence 300 years of glorious Tokugawa history...
The battle of Mikatagahara
The Battle of Mikatagahara was fought in 1572.. .
Takeda Shingen was headed for Tokugawa Ieyasu 's castle at Hamamatsu . Among his men were Yamagata Masakage and Baba Nobuharu. Ieyasu took about 11,000 men (3,000 of them Oda Nobunaga 's troops) out to meet Shingen in battle. Shingen had as many as 30,000 men.
Shingen defeated Ieyasu but bad weather and Tokugawa cunning prevented him from following up on the victory. The cunning part is this: Ieyasu managed to retreat into his castle, but ordered the gates left open and bonfires lit, to help his scattered troops to find their way back.
Sakai Tadatsugu, in the castle, even went so far as to beat on a drum. In addition to helping morale, these efforts convinced Masakage and Nobuharu -- pursuing the retreating Tokugawa forces -- that there must be some trick. Instead of attacking the wide open castle, they camped outside for the night. The following day, the Takeda army left.
The lords of Hamamatsu castle after Ieyasu were always to be very influencial figures..In particular MIZUNO TADAKUMI one of the LORDS was credited with reforming the Tempo era....As a result, hamamatsu castle is known as the CASTLE OF SUCCESS.
open ..8:30 ~ 16:30pm
close..29th ~ 31st December
Fee..Adult (high school student and above) ?150
Elementary and junior high school student Free