iN HAMAMATSU.COM | Recommend | Matthew No Me (eye)

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IN HAMAMATSU.COM Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan Visitor Guide

IN HAMAMATSU.COM Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan Visitor Guide Hamamatsu

Matthew No Me (eye)



[Title] The Nature of God

When I first came to Japan I was surprised at the efficiency of everything, the way the public transport ran on time - something that rarely happens in my hometown of Sydney. Everything just seemed to work, people arrived on time, food was presented the way it was displayed, toilets even flushed for you, even the seat bid you welcome, it was all so productive and orderly.
It took me a while for all this new found efficiency to wear me down, but inevitably it did, hence I realized all this convenient well kept schedule of technology and habit had programmed my mind, as if I was made for it rather than it was made for my convenience.
I was slowly losing touch with nature and the finer details of things as my world became a constant program and blur of flat walls, clean paved streets almost sterile type networks of transport and order i was losing touch with where I was and why I was here.

I'm fortunate in my job have time to myself during the daytime and I began to explore the smaller roads and narrow mountain trails that lead off into the unknown this is when I discovered temples, and shrines in their native, pure unadulterated state. They are often on the outskirts of towns or deep in the woods and here I could leave the world of order and chaos behind. Even in the city places such as Hachiman jingu can take you away with their authentic charm and calming presence.
As you venture further out, Okuyama, Inasa, Kanzanji, Mori and Iwata all have amazing shrines and temples. The intricate woodwork, Asian zodiac motifs、 sculptures of past monks with little red skulls caps on their heads and bibs around their neck looking like their just about to sit down and enjoy a meal. Often these areas have places where kids can play, community can unite and individuals can come to think or clear their mind while taking a stroll or climbing a considerable amount of stairs.

Unlike many other religious based structures in other cultures who tend to have their divinity and places of worship smack bang in the middle of town, in this area the person who is prepared to venture out and discover in nature is often the most rewarded.

So what are you waiting for, ditch the shopping mall and the streets and hit the hills, park the car and walk through tall red pines, towering cedar, native forests in their seasonal splendor wash your hands in a stone tub and discover a world buried in time with no schedule, you will walk out a better person.









[Places] Kirja

We are always looking for good stores and we asked one of our well read friends a few weeks ago where we can find one in city. To our surprise he mentioned a place we had never heard of before but instantly intrigued us. He said it was a kid`s bookstore and the owner`s husband had lived in America and could speak English very well.

Reading to your kids is without a doubt a proven way of giving them the best start to an education. Although Hamamatsu has its fair share of Yajimaya's and other chain bookstores, they either have too short of a collection or too many glittery, pinky, bling bling, kawaii character books that you feel you have to put on sunglasses to enter the kids section.

This is what makes キルヤ Kirja children's bookstore a classic place for you and your kids to enjoy. Inspired by tales from Finland and arranged like a mini classroom in some fairy tale it is the ultimate place to inspire you to purchase a good tale from a variety of countries, in more than just one language, English, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Finnish and Chinese picture books are all available on the shelves.

With two kids of her own and a husband who is an artist and printer and lived in L.A. for ten years, Noriko has great awareness of what makes a good picture book a pleasure to read. As a former potter here sense of design and style is organically inclined, she loves all things from Finland, and that is reflected in the crisp lines and simple colours of the the shop.

A great way to start you and your child`s literature adventures is by traveling to this little quaint bookstore on the west side of the by-pass going up the hill form Yurinoki street. The shop is well stocked with tales from small unknown as well as established writers and publishers so leave the Thomas and Kitty at home and go and grab a real adventure.






300-1 Kouyamachi, Chūō-ku, Hamamatsu-shi, Shizuoka, JAPAN



[Places] Swap Meet at Hamanako

Not many people outside Hamamatsu are aware it is the hometown of motorbikes, furthermore the birthplace of Soichiro Honda one of the motor worlds pioneers. On top of this is, it is the base for Suzuki motors and its racing teams and not to far away in Iwata the base for Yamaha motors and its racing team as well.

Racing bikes is part of the Hamamatsu's DNA not only is it an area where two of the worlds top racing teams are based, it has an auto race track, a recreational motor cross track by the river and various trail roads up in the mountains - where I hear one can spot dear and wild boar if your not lucky.

Hamamatsu's weather and natural landscape features and local respect for the motorcyclist make it a perfect place to experience by bike. Hamanako lake with 114km of shoreline is an ideal day ride, or you can hit any road heading North that twists and turns into the alps.

With a growing number of enthusiasts and a need to stand out form the crowd there is also a swap meet that occurs twice a year somewhere around Hamanako where you can find a treasure trove of trinkets and accessories for you and your bike. Hamanako Swap Meet has a festival flea market like atmosphere that is held at different times of the year. It's an absolute array of old bikes, collectors items, toys, live music and food stalls that those in the know from all over Japan flock to, in order to find that missing badge, old gas tank, classic speedometer, big blast horn or just some cool old American spark plugs.

A truly diverse array of stalls from vintage toys, fashion, motors, live music and food define this event that I highly recommend, for not only those who love bikes or hipster mods but families as well. The swap meet has a classic touch of nostalgia about it, mixed with one off parts that define Hamamatsu as motorbikes are a distinctive part of its history and culture.









[Places] Kakegawa Library

As spring is budding and the temptation to head further afield is upon you I suggest a trip to Kakegawa.Only 25 minutes by train from Hamamatsu station you will find a sleepy town that has a civic resource that is legant, well designed and a pleasure to spend time in, as well as being a place you can pick up a few books, CD`s and even a painting for free - for a few weeks.Five minutes walk north of Kakegawa station there is the unmistakable sight of Kakegawa castle where you can enjoy the blossoms of Spring as well as the colour of Autumn and history of the area.At the north end of the castle is Kakegawa library, perhaps one of the best libraries I have ever set foot in. It has all the things you expect from a regular library, reference section, fiction, non-fiction, magazines and so on.This library however offers a whole lot more, with regular reading events and readings for kids, listening booths for Cd`s, video watching booths and perhaps my favourite thing, you can borrow paintings to hang on your wall and rotate your them every month as if your house was a gallery.If your adventurous streak leads you further I suggest Pony's Toy for lunch, dinner or a drink. it`s only 10 minutes up the road if you drive or just at the South West exit of the next station Kikugawa if you take the train. Jun and his Mum and Dad always create special atmosphere and if you arrive in the evening there might even be a live show going on.

This place is a great place to grab a book or CD sit back and enjoy, unfortunately for those who live and work in Hamamatsu are not

able to obtain a library card, however if you work or reside east of the Tenryu River in Iwata, Fukuroi, Mori, Kakegawa, Kikugawa to Omaizaki you are eligible to borrow from the library.

春の到来はどこかに散策に出かけたい気持ちにさせます。そこで、私のお勧めする場所は掛川です。浜松から電車でわずか25分で静かな町を見つけられます。エレガントにうまく設計された地域資源をあるこの町は、楽しい時間を過ごすだけでなく、本やCD、さらに数週間に無料で絵画を借りることもできます。掛川駅から北に徒歩5分、春の花や紅葉が楽しめる史跡エリアの掛川城が見えてきます。その掛川城の北に、私が今まで行った中で最高の掛川市中央図書館があります。通常の図書館にあるもの、参考書、フィクション、ノンフィクション、雑誌なども、もちろんあります。さらに、子供や大人向けの定期的な読書イベント、CDのリスニングブース、ビデオを見られるブースがあります。その他に、私が一番好きなサービスは図書館の絵を借りることができます。毎月、絵を変えて自分の家をギャラリーに変身できるのです。さらに、探検の心があれば、Pony's Toyでランチ、ディナー、またドリンクを楽しんでください。車で10分、又は、電車で隣駅の菊川の西南出口にあります。ジュンと両親、家族で営業している店はいつも特別の雰囲気があり、夕方に行く場合はライブショーもあるかもしれません。




[Places] Kanzanji

As a long time resident in Hamamatsu it's great to share the area with friends who come from the big cities and discover its underrated treasures. Recently we had some friends down from Tokyo so we booked a night at the Well Seasons in Hamanako. My friend is the food and beverage manager at the Four Seasons in Tokyo so he was a little bemused by the name but pleasantly surprised by the courteous service, very palatable buffets and well designed rooms. Hamanako itself is a haven for exploration by car, bike, ferry, kayak or cruise but for those with young families the direct connection with the local amusement park Pal Pal (paru paru) from the hotel was a seamless idea.The kids can release all their energy on the rides while the non-designated adult can rejuvenate in an onsen or just relax. Easily adaptable for all seasons with the flower park for those blossoming seasons, zoo for all those who need to get in touch with the animals and endless shoreline walks nearby that offer great views of fireworks in summer, it's a weekender idea hard to resist.

Kanzanji area info >> CLICK




[Places] Books and Prints Blue East

If your looking for the latest in bilingual magazines, classic beatnik books and high-end photographic publications I suggest popping up to Books and Prints Blue East. Housed on the second floor of Kagiya building on the corner of Yurinoki street -next to the cat Karaoke- the shop is the second of famed Tokyo photographer Shingo Wakagi's ever expanding empire, the first just up the road opposite Viola. You can also stock up on wrapping paper from the bob foundation for Christmas and birthdays while enjoying a San Francisco style coffee from one of the friendly staff. The store holds regular events and I believe is a major contributor to the movement of creatives redefining the future direction of this post-industrial city.

バイリンガルの雑誌、古典的なビートの本、ハイエンドの写真出版物で最新のものをお探しなら、まず思いつくのはBooks and Prints Blue Eastです。この店は、ゆりの木通り角にあるKagiyaビル(キャットカラオケの隣)の2階にあります。また、いまでも拡張を続けており、東京在住の写真家 若木信吾ワールドの2番目の店です。最初の店はちょうど反対側の通りにあるViolaです。フレンドリーな雰囲気の店員からサンフランシスコスタイルの コーヒーを味わいつつ、クリスマスや誕生日向けのボブファンデーションの包装紙を買うこともできます。ここでは定期的にイベントが開催されていますが、私は、ポスト工業都市であるこの街の将来の方向性を再定義するクリエイティブな動きにこの店は大いに貢献していると思います。
2F KAGIYA BLDG. 229-13 Tamachi, Chūō-ku, Hamamatsu-shi, Shizuoka, JAPAN
OPEN:Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun, 1pm - 7pm  Closed:Tue,Thu

2016.4.7 update