Monday, April 20, 2009


Last Saturday I made a trip by train (with JR) to Hamamatsu to meet my friend Raul. The travel time was a bit more than an hour and all the trains were very punctual according to the timetables on the Internet.

Raul started to study Japanese at the same time as me some years ago in a Karate gym run by my teacher Hattori-sensei. At the time we both dreamed about coming to Japan so it was really funny to meet in Japan. Now he is married to a Japanese woman and probably he will stay in Japan for a long time.

Hamamatsu is mainly an industrial city so there wasn't too many touristic attractions. We just met there because he lives in Shizuoka city and Hamamatsu is half the way for both of us.

Probably the most important building is its castle built by Tokugawa Ieyasu, whose rule marks the beginning of the Edo Period.

Tokugawa Ieyasu lived here from 1571 to 1588 and I remember my sensei talking about him during our classes of Japanese. But I'm terrible with history, dates and so on..

There is a small museum inside with armors, a miniature city and relics of the period like katanas, arrows, etc.

From the top of the castle there were some nice views of the city. The main building is a skyscraper called Act City Tower Observatory which is close to the station. It was designed to resemble a harmonica. Unfortunately it was closed on Saturday but you can go up there and see the views.

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