Tourist spot in Shizuoka Prefecture

Lake Hamana [浜名湖]

Lake Hamana
Lake Hamana

Broiled eel dish in Hamamatsu
Broiled eel dish in Hamamatsu

Map around Lake Hamana

Lake Hamana is located near the southwestern end of Shizuoka Prefecture.
It is located about 10 to 15 km west of the center of Hamamatsu city.

It is about 11 km from east to west and about 14 km from north to south, and it has complicated shoreline.

The southen end of the lake has a mouth to Pacific Ocean, so this lake has brackish water.

Originally, this lake was a bay in early times.
But shore current of Pacific Ocean carried sands, then the south part of the bay had been blocked from the sea and it became a lake thousands of years ago.

Since that, it had become a freshwater lake.

In 1498, the great earthquake occured around the southern coast of Honshu Island, particularly in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Great tsunami hit the southern coast of Honshu island widely, and the beach separating the lake from the sea was broken.
Then this lake was connected with the sea.

The water of lake has been brackish again.

Lake Hamana has been well-known for farm raised eels.
The eels are farmed in the ponds around Lake Hamana, and here had been the largest production center in Japan until the 1980s.

Now the production around this lake is decreasing because of worldwide decrease in the amount of young eels.
But there are many restaurants for eel dish around here.

Tomei Expressway connecting between Tokyo and Nagoya runs through the north part of the lake.
And Tokaido Shinkansen and JR Tokaido Line run through the southern part of the lake.

When we pass on this lake, we can see a broad view of the lake from the train or bus window.

Kanzanji Onsen (舘山寺温泉)

Kanzanji onsen town
Kanzanji onsen town
Photo by Shizuoka Prefectural Tourism

Hamamatsu Flower Park
Hamamatsu Flower Park
Photo by Shizuoka Prefectural Tourism

Kanzanji Onsen is a popular hot spring resort around Lake Hamana.
It is located near the northeast lakeside, and is about 15 km northwest of Hamamatsu station.

This onsen resort was opened in 1958, and there are more than a dozen hotels and ryokans.

There is a Buddhist temple Kanzanji at the north end of onsen town.
It was founded by high priest Kuukai in 810.
It is said that he visit here and founded this temple during a travel from Koyasan.

Around the hot spring resort, there are an amusement park "Hamanako Pal Pal", municipal zoo, and "Hamamatsu Flower Park".

Kanzanji Ropeway
Kanzanji Ropeway

Kanzanji temple
Kanzanji temple

And the ropeway to Mount Ookusa (113 m) is operated.
The mountain is on the opposite side of an inlet of the lake, so the ropeway runs over the lake.
The top of the mountain is an observatory.

The pleasure boat touring around Kanzanji is operated every an hour.
There are the tour for 30 minutes and 70 minutes.
The boarding points are near Kanzanji temple and Hamamatsu Flower Park.

Kanzanji Onsen

Bentenjima island (弁天島)

Red Torii neat Bentenjima
Red Torii neat Bentenjima

Bentenjima in winter
Bentenjima in winter

Bentenjima is a small island located at the south part of Lake Hamana.

This island was originally a small peninsula of the lakeside.
But it was formed by cutting off by the great earthquake in 1498.

Here is the popular spots for digging clams at the beach and playing marine sports.
There are some hotels are in this island.

Tokaido Shinkansen, JR Tokaido Line and National Route 1 run through this island.
Bentenjima station of JR Tokaido Line is set up on this island.

Most attractive spot is a big red Torii gate.
It stands about 200 meters off the island, and was built as a symbol of Bentenjima in 1973.

And we can see a large bridge beyond the Torii gate.
It is over the mouth of Hamana Lake to the Pacific Ocean.

Arai Checkpoint (新居関所)

Arai Checkpoint
Arai Checkpoint
Photo by Shizuoka Prefectural Tourism

Main building of Arai Checkpoint
Main building of Arai Checkpoint

Arai Checkpoint ("Arai Sekisho" in Japanese) is a checkpoint used in Edo Period (1603-1868).
It is located at the southwest lakeside and about 0.7 km west of JR Araimachi station.
And it is located about 3.5 km west of Bentenjima.

Tokaido connecting Tokyo and Kyoto, Osaka has been the most important route in Japan.
So, a few checkpoints were set up on the route in Edo Period.

Hakone was a well-known checkpoint, and this checkpoint also was important.
All travelers passing through here were checked their passports.

The original buildings of Arai checkpoint were destroyed by the great earthquake in 1854.
So, current buildings were rebuilt in 1855.

They are the only existing original ones in Japan.

How to get here

By Tokaido Shinkansen, about 1 hour and 35 minutes to Hamamatsu.
From Hamamatsu, by local train of JR Tokaido Line, about 12 minutes to Betenjima, about 15 minutes to Araimachi.

By route bus, from Hamamatsu station, about 50 minutes to Kanzanji, about 40 minutes to Bentenjima.
And, from Kanzanji, about 25 minutes to Bentenjima.

Other Tourist Attractions in Shizuoka Prefecture

Around Mount Fuji

Around Izu Peninsula

Around Shizuoka city

Western area

Return to Shizuoka Prefecture Return to Tokai Region