Hamamatsu City is situated on the coast of the Pacific ocean, its location giving good opportunity for residents to escape from the city and rest. However, the centre of Hamamatsu is itself very quiet. Approaching the city centre by train I thought it was quite a typical city of about average size. There were only a few modern a box-like buildings decorated with bright advertising. A little later though, my impressions started changing…
Right by the exit from Hamamatsu Station I came across a fountain surrounded by greenery and flowers. It immediately brought to mind a feeling of ‘home comfort’. I didn't expect this. Hamamatsu City is famous for producing musical instruments, and in the underground passage from the station there is a large musical instrument-themed relief along the walls. This felt comforting too and since I had a bit of time before I was to visit the Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments, I decided to go for a stroll.
Not far from the station I spotted a very tall building called ACT Tower. The building is 212 m in height and has 45 floors with shops, restaurants, a hotel and one of my favourite places, an observation deck! Of course, I didn’t miss the chance to look out over Hamamatsu from that height.
I then walked along the main street, meeting only a few people along the way. The street was very clean and neat, dotted with trees and azalea bushes. I saw a school with children drawings displayed on its windows - very nice work! Sitting down in a nearby garden, I enjoyed the late blooming sakura and noticed a very busy bird in its bushes. A few more birds were fussing around, but no people. In the middle of the city? Further on was a beautiful western church. The wide empty streets, very clean and silent, were definitely not like Tokyo or Osaka!
On the other side of the station there was a concrete reconstruction of the original Hamamatsu castle, once the residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu. I would like to have visited but with my limited time, I went to the Museum of Musical Instruments instead. The museum is very impressive and displays a great collection of historical musical instruments from all over the world.
The silence, well-ordered and spacious streets, western church and international musical instruments all left me asking myself, "Am I really in Japan?"
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I love Japan very much! I like small towns of Japan where I can watch people doing their business and talk to them carefully. They're always friendly. I like Japanese gardens where I can just sit or walk and take my time. Also I like Shinto Jinja as being there I feel in peace. I like to watch sunsets and then to dine in some small local places. I like to soak into onsen after a long day of wandering. I like Japanese crafts very much as all items are made with great taste and skill. Nihon wo daisuki desuyo!