April 2012, I went japan for two years & the destination was Hamamatsu in shizuoka, Japan. Hamamatsu is traditional, global, musical, natural, religious, historical and industrial center. Hamamatsu is not so famous as Tokyo, Kyoto or Nagoya, however I found 2 year less in completely exploring this city & nearby. I landed Tokyo on 20th Apr, courier my luggage separately and I took bullet train (Shinkansen) from Tokyo to Hamamatsu. It is amazing that passengers can courier luggage directly to hotel or home rather pulling it on crowed station and train. Tokyo to Hamamastu is three hour by Shinkansen & ticket costs around 10000 Yen. Our dormitory was hardly 400 meters but due to language dialect & tone issue we could not communicate and so hire a taxi, remember taxi is very costly.
Tokyo people understand english little bit, however in Hamamatsu, I realized people don’t know English phrases like “where is station”, “can you help me” etc.; this increases Japanese people’s respect in my heart. During my stay I visited many interesting festivals, beautiful places and shrines and I have listed here the most unforgettable reminiscence below.
I visited this almost every month just because I was designer there in Suzuki and have designed many global highest selling cars, I used to sit in 5th floor of above image. Opened in 2009 to commemorate the company’s 100th anniversary, “Suzuki Plaza gives visitors a unique look at its antiquity with exhibits ranging from early 20th century weaving looms and motorcycles to a collection of over 40 automobiles. And the factory of Suzuki was built in India, Taiwan, Philippine, Indonesia, Thai, Vietnam, Myanmar, China and so on. Suzuki is founded in 1909 as a loom maker in Japan. Now Suzuki has branched out into motorcycles, automobiles, and outboard motors, and so on.
Brazilian Samba in Japan
I didn’t expect but it was mesmerizing and wonderful to watch Samba on the street of Hamamatsu, Japan. Around 18,000 are Japanese Brazilians, many from the São Paulo area, drawn to work in the area’s manufacturing industries nearby Hamamatsu. Hamamatsu has unique nature as the city with the most Brazilian residents in Japan to promote Hamamatsu as an Intercultural City throughout the country and to increase the exchange between Japanese and foreign national residents.
It is all day all night festival, Kite battle in day and march in night. Hamamatsu Matsuri, world famous for its unusual kite-flying battle, in which people fly hulk kites and try to cut each other’s lines, sees more than a million tourists every year, and is one of Japan’s foremost carnivals. The festival has 500 years of history, and through it the tradition of flying a “hatsudako” (“first kite”) to rejoice the birth of a child has been preserved. In the daytime, a “takoage gassen”, or kite-flying encounter, unfolds at Nakatajima Takoage Kaijo (Nakatajima Kite-Flying Event Ground), and at magnificent night, festival-goers are enchanted by the exceptional sight of gorgeous floats being drawn through the streets downtown.
Late night is amazing and it became my habit to eat and roam around in these narrow streets. It is too closed to the Hamamatsu station and to the east of this station there stands Act tower that has been the symbol of this city. Walking around the area, the tourists can enjoy drinking, shopping and eating from a variety of shops. Moreover, the Act Tower itself is the biggest building in the region that must be visited. This 45 story building has an observation deck at the height of 185 meters from where you can enjoy a splendid view of the Pacific Ocean and Mt. Fuji.
The most astonishing experience of jets you can get here. If you are dreaming of riding a jet plane, well, this museum will really allow you to sit on the cockpit. For its free admission, you are getting your dream come true. There are planes, jets, helicopters and more planes to ogle.
It’s not a park, it is haven made of flower. Hamamatsu Flower Park is a botanical garden about 30,000 square meters wide and has plants from over 3,000 different species. I visited the flower park in early April during the Spring Festival. The botanical garden at Hamamatsu is primarily for flowers and plant-viewing, but the garden management authorities have endeavored to recreate the gardens into a haven for visitors with some quirky plant-displays, a play area, entertainment and restaurants all designed to appeal to families and groups.
This castle was destroyed by air bombs in World War 2 by terrorists. The refurbishment is at the original site and exhibits weapons, swords, Armour, a pair of wooden saddles, maps, stamps, family crests made of cloth, photos and a miniature model of historic Hamamatsu. There is a water-well downstairs and upstairs an observatory.
In a region known for innovative construction, Lake Hamana was its leading great innovation-created via natural phenomena that tore down the barrier between lake and sea. Lake Hamana has always been a hub of activity-a nexus between East and West Japan where cultures mix and people with their wares freely come and go. Lake Hamana itself reflects the charm of the region as a melting pot of fresh and salt water marine life, created when a great earthquake shook apart a barrier of land during the Muromachi period about 500 years ago.
Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instrument
Just five min walk from station; this is most outstanding music museum in world. Hamamatsu is a city where big music companies such as Yamaha and Kawai produce musical instruments. This museum has more than 1000 instruments from all around the world, categorized and displayed according to their geographic origin. You will get to see instruments from different parts of the world in sections representing Asia, Africa, America, Oceania, Europe and Japan. These include the piano, angklung, drum, violin, thumb piano and so on… the list goes on and on!
Large dogs which symbolize guardians are posted near the entrance. Deities attributed to Gosha and Suwa are the God to defend the land and the God of Parenting (babysitting). This shrine is popular on November 15th for Shichi Go San. Shichi Go San is a traditional event which celebrates healthy growth of children. Boys three (san) and five (go) years old and girls three and seven (shichi) years old are dressed in kimonos or dresses by their parents and taken to the shrine for a Shinto purification ritual.
Nakatajima Sand Dunes
I visited this every month by cycle and there was a field where we used to play cricket with local (non-Japanese) team. Covering an area of 4 km from east to west, this place is a perfect spot for locals and tourists. The patterns drawn by the winds on sands are simply fabulous. Moreover, the spot presents a beautiful relation between sea and sand. A number of visitors rush to the place for kite flying, playing with fun, riding bicycles and a lot more. The great Hamamatsu Kite Festival is held at this beach that creates a vibrant atmosphere with colorful flying kites.
Hamamatsu Fruit Park
It was amazing to 25 different kinds of fruits at same time usually around 15 to 20 fruits are present throughout the year. This park consists of an east area that comprises of a big orchard with different fruit plantations as well as dinosaur square and winery. While the west area has food courts that offers a dessert buffet, with amazing varieties and 300 persons’ seating capacity. And above all the mind blowing Tokinosumika night illumination is also available for the limited time.
Ryotan Ji temple
Magnanimous main hall enshrines Akasahagarbha Bodhisattva, a secret Buddhist image that imparts wisdom. This famous Rinzai temple has a history of 1,000 years, and is connected with the Ii family. This ancestral temple honors forty generations of the Ii family, including Ii Naomasa, the leader of the Four “Deva Kings” of the Tokugawa, and Ii Naosuke of the late Edo period. The hallways boards emit a birdlike chirping sound, and the dragon was carved by Hidari Jingoro. The entire Edo period structure has been designated as a Shizuoka Prefectural cultural property.
Interestingly this cave dates back 50 million years, Ryugashido Cavern stands as the largest stalactite cave in Japan. Around 400 m (1,312 ft) of space open to the public and 50 observation points draw visitors here year-round. Admire the stalagmites and stalactites of all shapes and sizes, limestone rooms, and colorful stone walls visually enhanced by tasteful lighting. Highlights include a 30 m (98 ft) high waterfall tumbling from the ancient rocks.
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