We checked out just before 11am and headed to our last stop on our Japanese tour. We were heading to Hamamatsu which is north east of Osaka on the coast. Multiple trains involved (as per usual) – train to Osaka, change onto a train to Shinosaka and then shinkansen from Shinosaka to Hamamatsu. There are a number of things that amaze me about Japan and I have only ever seen in this country (and I have been to quite a few). For example, I have never seen an escalator that starts as stairs, goes flat in the middle for a bit and then goes back into stairs again. I tried to capture it in the picture. It basically matches the profile of the staircase.
We arrived at just after 1pm. The hotel we are staying is the Okura Act City Hotel (https://www.okura-nikko.com/japan/hamamatsu/okura-act-city-hotel-hamamatsu/). It is only a short walk from the train station and is the only high rise building in the area.
Hamamatsu is a musical city and the building is designed to resemble a harmonica. The building has a concert hall and there is a musical museum also attached to the building. The hotel only occupies from the 30th floor upwards and there is an observation deck on top floor (45th). We are staying on the 34th floor and have views over the area out to the ocean. I tried to take a photo from the room window but it is almost impossible to give you a sense of how densely populated the area is. My wife always says photos need to be 2/3rd sky and 1/3rd land – I went with 2/3rds land and 1/3rd sky to try give you an idea!
As I mentioned, it is a musical city and the home to Yamaha – both the motor company and the music company are headquartered here. It is also the home of Kawai who claim to be the leaders in innovation around pianos (they apparently invented the digital piano and also pioneered the move away from wood to carbon for grand pianos). The prefecture (Shizuoka) is also the home of Suzuki and Honda.
Once we had checked in we headed out to the shops to find some lunch. We felt like some fresh fruit and so found a local supermarket and bought fruit, cheese and biscuits and some chicken skewers for lunch. It was a low cost approach which we then blew over dinner. Neither of us felt like doing much yesterday and so I did some work and we watched some movies. We went for dinner in the hotel. They have a teppanyaki restaurant and we wanted to give that a try but when we arrived we were told it was ‘full’ (in very broken English) though M and I could see that there were only 3-4 people in the restaurant! No amount of asking how it could be ‘full’ when then were only a handful of people occupying the place made any difference and so we headed off and went to the Chinese restaurant instead.
We had some dim sum, sweet & sour chicken and beef with oyster sauce. It was very good (probably some of the best food we have had since we have been here) but it was also very pricey. We will try and find a cheaper alternative for the next few nights!
Until tomorrow …
P & M