Follow the Tokaido Highway
Highlights of the Area
GOSHA SHRINE, HAMAMATSU CASTLE & PARK, JAPANESE TEA ROOM & YAMAHA INNOVATION ROAD
The Old Tokaido Highway became firmly established in the early 17th century as the main thoroughfare for travelers between the new capital of Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto.
The 29th Post Town of Hamamatsu was the largest of the Post Stations in Shizuoka and remains the biggest city in the prefecture.
Famous Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu lived in Hamamatsu for 17 years of his life just before he unified the country under his rule and established the Tokugawa regime that continued for about 260 years.
Hamamatsu was also the birthplace of Ieyasu’s son Tokugawa Hidetada who would go on to succeed his father and become the 2nd Shogun of the Tokugawa regime.
Hamamatsu City today – like many of the bigger cities on the Old Tokaido Highway – does not have many remnants from the time but there is still enough to justify stopping at Hamamatsu Station as you travel along the modern Tokaido Bullet Train line.
For visitors interested in the Old Tokaido Highway the highlight of Hamamatsu City is undoubtedly Hamamatsu Castle.
The castle and its surrounding gardens are within walking distance of Hamamatsu Station and can be easily enjoyed by visitors that only have a couple of hours to spare.
For visitors with more time other attractions close to the station including the Yamaha Innovation Road and Suzuki Plaza are well worth a visit and there are plenty of reasons to stretch out your stay in Hamamatsu City – Learn More.
SUGGESTED HALF-DAY ITINERARY
Hamamatsu is an easy city to cycle around with large roads, ample footpaths, and a fairly straightforward layout to ensure you can never get too lost.
From Hamamatsu Station you can quickly meet up with part of the Old Tokaido Highway and visit ruins of old accommodation Honjin and Gosha Shrine.
The shrine is a replica of the original commissioned by Tokugawa Ieyasu to protect his son Hidetada and is now popular for new parents to receive blessings for their own children.
Hamamatsu Castle today is one part of the Hamamatsu Castle Park which also includes a Japanese Garden, tea room, and Museum of Art – the park is particularly lively during the cherry blossom season of late March to early April.
Close to the park, there is a beautifully designed Starbucks for visitors that need a coffee fix but if Japanese green tea and gardens are more your style be sure to visit the Shointei tea house in the park to find some Zen.
After a couple of hours exploring the Castle Park jump on the bike and cycle 10 minutes to the Yamaha Innovation Road (reservation necessary).
Yamaha is one of many successful companies that have strong roots in Hamamatsu (a list that also includes Suzuki, Honda, Kawai, and Roland) and Yamaha Innovation Road is a testament to nearly 140 years of the company’s innovation and technological development since its inception in 1887.
From Yamaha, it is a 10-minute cycle back to the station and a stop at one of the many gyoza restaurants in the area before continuing along the Tokaido to the next stop.
For more information on Tokaido related attractions in English check www.shizuoka-tokaido.biz