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Seasonal vegetables, fine food, and lake activities Hamamatsu and Lake Hamana, a lakeside community at an ancient crossroads

Region:

Lake Hamana is a lagoon connected to the ocean near the geographical center of Japan. Although originally a lake, more than five hundred years ago an earthquake connected the lagoon to the sea, turning the water brackish (slightly salty). For over a century, Lake Hamana has been a prime location for cultivating eels, soft-shell turtles, seaweed, and oysters. The Hamamatsu and Lake Hamana area is known for its unique fishing methods and fresh seafood.

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Regional foods: Eel

More than a century has passed since eel and soft-shell turtle farming was developed in the Hamamatsu and Lake Hamana area, and in that time over a hundred restaurants specializing in eel have sprung up. Because the area is situated halfway between Eastern and Western Japan, you can find the eel cuisine styles of both regions in Hamamatsu. In the Eastern style, the eel is slit along the back before broiling, and in the Western style, the cut is made along the belly.

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Regional foods: Mud Crab

The greatest appeal of the local seafood is its freshness. Some of the specialty seafoods from the region include the mud crab, known locally as the “phantom crab” for its rarity, and whitebait and blowfish caught off the coast of Enshu. Such local foods are prepared in a variety of ways found only in the area of Hamamatsu and Lake Hamana.

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Scenery: The Sunset of Bentenjima Island

The Eight Views of Totomi are themes often used in traditional art, such as haiku, ukiyo-e paintings, and 31-syllable poems known as tanka. One of these views is the sunset as seen from Bentenjima Island in Lake Hamana. Also, stunning views of Lake Hamana and the townscape of Kanzanji Onsen can be seen from an aerial tram that passes over the lake, the only such tram in Japan.

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Activities: Traditional “Takiya” Fishing

At night, the boat moves steadily over the pitch-black waters of Lake Hamana, steered by the steady hand of the boatman. He shines a light onto the surface of a lake, attracting prawns and crabs, which he spears or catches in his nets. This is takiya fishing, a traditional method which can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. When you’ve made your catch, the fisherman can cook it on a takiya-tei floating platform for you to enjoy along with other local foods.

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Sightseeing route: Lake Hamana Cycling Road

Why not take a bicycle ride along the Lake Hamana Cycling Road? Rental bikes are available at JR Hamamatsu, Bentenjima, and Araimichi Stations. While breathing the refreshing sea breeze, enjoy the views of nature and the Hamamatsu cityscape along Lake Hamana. You can also find meals made with fresh ingredients along the way.

Related Links

Inquiries

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Name Hamamatsu & Lake Hamana Food X Farm Project Council
URL http://hamamatsu-daisuki.net/lan/en/enjoy/gourmet.html