Hamamatsu   浜松市

Date of publication :

Hamamatsu station

Hamamatsu Flower Park

Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments

Nakatajima dunes

The city of music

Hamamatsu is a city in Shizuoka prefecture, along the Pacific coast. Slightly isolated between the major cities of Tokyo and Nagoya, and located about 100 kilometers west of Shizuoka, the city is also the industrial cradle of large companies like Suzuki and Honda.

A musical center

Hamamatsu is often called "the city of music" in Japan, because of its long tradition of producing musical instruments.

For example, during a period in Japanese history, it had the monopoly on making pianos.

This legacy can be seen in the city's Act Tower, a 213-meter skyscraper (the largest in Japan outside of Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya) that was designed to be shaped like a harmonica.

There is also the Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments, the only one of its kind in the country, where nearly 1,300 different instruments are on display. World renowned, the museum includes exhibition halls and an experiment room, where it is possible to try out rare instruments.

Act Tower, Hamamatsu

Hamamatsu Castle

Hamamatsu also has a castle, built by Japan's first Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa. The castle was his headquarters from 1570 for 17 years, at the time of his alliance with Oda Nobunaga.

Located in the southeast of the city, it contains a small museum, with armor and various objects belonging to the Tokugawa clan on display. In addition, a bronze statue of Ieyasu can also be seen in the castle park.

Learn more: Hamamatsu castle

City of nature

Hamamatsu is a city with a beautiful natural environment. To the north, the city is bordered by mountains and crossed by large rivers such as the Keta River and the Tenryu River, one of the longest rivers in Japan.

To the west is the beautiful Lake Hamana, the tenth largest lake in the country, with the unusual trait of having transformed from a freshwater lake to a brackish water lake following an earthquake in 1498 that connected it to the ocean.

Visitors can swim, windsurf, or cycle on a 48km bike trail around the lake.

The lake is a great eel fishing spot, of which Hamamatsu has been a specialist for over a century now.

Lake Hamana

Getting a kite ready to fly at Hamamatsu Festival

Hamamatsu is also home to the Nakatajima sand dunes, located to the south of the city, and considered one of the three largest in Japan.

They stretch for 4 kilometers along the Enshu Sea coast, and are a popular spot for kite enthusiasts, especially at the annual Hamamatsu Festival between May 3rd and May 5th, during which 160 kites are deployed to the sound of trumpets.

The Hamamatsu Flower Park is another must-see for nature lovers. More than 3,000 species grow in a botanical garden of 300,000 m2, including irises, azaleas and more... It's also a very good place to enjoy sakura during the hanami period.

Comments Read comments from our travellers