Haruno & tenryu River
Deep in the heart of Shizuoka at the foothills of the Southern Alps there is an adventure waiting along the Tenryu River.
Follow the Tenryu River to Haruno
Traveling North from Hamamatsu City to small rural towns, such as Haruno, dotted along the Tenryu River is a great way to Explore Shizuoka.
AKIHA SHRINE, FRIENDLY LOCALS, RIVERSIDE CAMPING
The Tenryu River is one of the most important waterways in Shizuoka.
Stretching 212 kilometers from its source, Lake Suwa in Nagano, the Tenryu River flows down between Japan’s Central and Southern Alps and down to coastal plains just North of Hamamatsu City.
As the Tenryu River flows through Shizuoka it is joined by tributary rivers such as the Keta River and Atago River.
Each of these tributary rivers offer a wide array of different adventures and experiences.
This part of Shizuoka interior is popular with hikers, cyclists, kayakers, fisherman, campers and other outdoor enthusiasts due to its abundant nature.
JOURNEY INTO THE WILDERNESS
Probably the most popular destination in the Tenryu area of Hamamatsu is the town of Haruno – Harunocho.
Located on the banks of the Keta River Haruno is a picturesque town that is well known as a river camping destination in Summer, famous for its Mt Akiha Hongu Akiba Shrine and boasts one of the biggest Tengu masks in Japan.
Tengu is a type of Japanese demon or deity that has taken many forms over the years but evolved to become symbol of forests and mountains and is said to protect from fire.
You won’t find the Tenryu Area on your typical tourist map of Japan – Even for many of the locals this area is relatively unknown and unexplored.
But that is the charm of this area – a relatively untouched nature and a secret spot not too far from the main highway between Tokyo and Osaka.
For the adventurous traveler and lovers of the outdoors and a bit of wilderness Haruno is a great travel option.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO
As with many other areas in Shizuoka, the Tenryu area of Hamamatsu has many green tea farms.
However, thanks to its higher elevation in the mountains and cooler climate that keeps away harmful insects, Haruno is one of only a few areas in Japan that produces organic green tea.
The heavily forested and mountainous areas around Haruno are home to a large number of deer, wild boar and other animals and for generations the local people hunting in Haruno has been a way of life.
By far the biggest attraction of the Tenryu area are the river and riverside actitivities – particularly camping, kayaking, SUP and other river activities are popular Summer activities for those wanting to escape the heat of Hamamatsu City.
Autumn Leaves Season is also a big attraction to the area – from Late October through November the mountains are a blaze with Red, Browns, Orange and Yellow as the season changes.
HOW TO GET THERE & AROUND
There are only two real options to explore the Tenryu Area of Hamamatsu – by car or by bike.
Camping cars are becoming more and more popular in Japan and this is a great place to explore if you have one.
Just 30 minutes off the Shin-Tomei Expressway Hamamatsu-Hamakita Interchange to the Akiha Shrine.