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Lake Hamana 

A large brackish lake that stretches inland from the coast with a unique ecosystem that provides a wide variety of experiences & activities.

Lake Hamana



Lake Hamana was a freshwater lake until a 1498 earthquake connected it to the Pacific Ocean – so it is technically a lagoon.

The water in Lake Hamana is brackish meaning the water is a mix of salt water from the Pacific Ocean and fresh water that flows down from the Japanese Southern alps – the lake water does no have the same amount of salt content as the ocean.

Lake Hamana is the second largest brackish lake in Japan at 65km² with a total circumference of 114 km.

Due the size of the lake and the land formations there are many areas and districts around Lake Hamana ready to be explored.

It is difficult to define Lake Hamana and what each area provides – there are three ‘destinations’ that are worth checking out.

Oku-Hamana is the name used to describe the mountainous area North & West of the Tenhama Railway Line –See Map.  Highlights of this area include 1,350 year old Ryotanji Temple, Mandarin Orange Picking, Paragliding & the Ryugashido Cavern.

Central / Eastern Lake Area – a section of land on the East Coast in the middle of the lake that includes the famous hot spring resort town of Kanzanji, the Hamamatsu Flower Park and the Hamanako Garden Park.

Southern Coastal Area – Following along the Local JR Tokaido Line to access beaches, historic buildings, amazing sunsets and unique activities.

The options for things to do in Lake Hamana are endless and varied depending on which of the three areas you visit and which season you visit.

The Lake Hamana area is most famous for its Food, Activities and Onsen – More Information – PDF.


Hamamatsu is for artisans, musicians, craftsman, tinkerers and people who like to dig a little deeper to discover the hidden jems – and for anyone who likes gyoza.


If you are looking to get outdoors and get active the Hamamatsu area has a lot of great options.

Grab a rental bike and cruise around the city, head to Lake Hamana and get out on the water, or head for the hills and check out some of the great hiking and cycling options in the Tenryu Region.


Hamamatsu City is famous throughout Japan for its Gyoza (pan-fried Japanese dumpling). Try your hand at making your own Soy Sauce at a 100-year-old 'Shoyu' factory and take it with you to learn how to make your own handmade gyoza then pair it with some of the locally made award-winning Sake - DETAILS.


If you are looking for something a little more relaxing the Hot Springs in Kanzanji overlooking Lake Hamana have been soothing weary travelers for centuries.

Or visit the Yamaha Innovation Road, Suzuki Plaza or Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments to be inspired or try your hand at traditional Japanese tie dye or drum making for mental stimulation.



‘Oku’ in Japanese means ‘back’ or ‘behind’ and is a prefix that is often used to refer to areas that are off the beaten track and commonly describes a sparsely populated, forested or mountainous area.

 Oku-Hamana consists of the Northern Coastline of Lake Hamana and the mostly forested area at the foothills of Japan’s Southern Alps. 

Oku Hamana offers many great opportunities for adventurous travelers to enjoy lake activities, onsen, hiking and exploring the “5 temples North of the Lake” which have been designated as important cultural assets.


The Central and Eastern areas of the Lake are perhaps the most popular destination for visitors.

Kanzanji Hot Spring resort area which includes hot spring hotels, culturally significant Kanzanji temple, many great restaurants and other activities.

Just South of Kanzanji the Hamanako Garden Park and the Grand XIV Lakeside Resort and Golf course are popular destinations for visitors looking to relax and unwind.


The Southern Coast of Lake Hamana that primarily consists of 2 stations on the JR Local Tokaido train line – Bentenjima and Araimachi.

Within this area there are some unique experiences for the whole family that make it worth a stop.

Have a flutter at the local Boat Race, stop off in Arai-machi and visit the Tokaido Highway Checkpoint and museum, relax on Bentenjima beach or set out for some night fishing using traditional spears with local fishermen.


Hop off the Bullet Train at Hamamatsu Station and it is a 12 min local train ride to Bentenjima Station on the Southern Coast.

From Hamamatsu Station many of the Hotels in the Central / Eastern Lake Areas have free shuttle buses which are a great way to get there.

Oku – Hamana is a little more difficult to get to – taking the Tenryu Hamanako Line from Shinjohara Station (one stop from Hamamatsu Station on the JR Tokaido Line) will get you there in about an hour.

Lake Hamana prides itself on its cycling routes, aid stations and rental bike options it is a great destination for all levels of cyclists and bikes are a great way to explore the area.


For assistance, luggage storage and more information make the iN Hama Information Desk @ The Gate your first stop.

Check the Explore Shizuoka Lake Hamanako Model Course

Lake Hamanako Tourism Website

Lake Hamana Cycling Routes

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