- This article is about the city in Shizuoka Prefecture. For the area in eastern Tōkyō, see Hamamatsuchō
|— Designated city —|
|• Mayor||Yasutomo Suzuki|
|• Total||1,558.04 km2 (601.56 sq mi)|
|Population (July 1, 2012)|
|• Density||512/km2 (1,330/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|- Bird||Japanese Bush Warbler|
|Address||103-2 Motoshiro-chō, Naka-ku, Hamamatsu-shi, Shizuoka-ken 430-8652|
Hamamatsu (浜松市 Hamamatsu-shi , i.e. “Coast Pine Tree [Grove]”) is a city located in western Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. On July 1, 2005, the city merged with 11 surrounding cities and towns. It became a city designated by government ordinance on April 1, 2007.
The area now comprising Hamamatsu has been settled since prehistoric times, with numerous remains from the Jomon period and Kofun period having been discovered within the present city limits, including the Shijimizuka site shell mound and the Akamonue Kofun ancient tomb. In the Nara period, it became the capital of Tōtōmi Province. During the Sengoku period, Hamamatsu Castle was the home of future Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Hamamatsu flourished during the Edo period under a succession of daimyo rulers as a castle town, and as a post town on the Tōkaidō. After the Meiji Restoration, Hamamatsu became a short-lived prefecture from 1871–1876, after which it was united with Shizuoka Prefecture. The Tōkaidō Main Line railway opened Hamamatsu Station in 1889. The same year, in a cadastal reform of Japan, Hamamatsu became a town.
- July 1, 1911: Hamamatsu is upgraded from a town to a city
- 1918: Rice Riots of 1918 affect Hamamatsu
- 1921: The village of Tenjinchō merges with Hamamatsu
- 1926: Imperial Japanese Army Hamamatsu Air Base opens
- 1933: Imperial Japanese Army Flight School opens
- 1936: The villages of Hikuma and Fujizuka merge with Hamamatsu
- December 7, 1944: Tonankai Earthquake causes much damage
- June 1945: Hamamatsu largely destroyed by US air raids
- 1948: Hamamatsu Incident, ethnic rioting of Zainichi Korean residents.
- 1951: The villages of Aratsu, Goto, and Kawarin merge with Hamamatsu
- 1954: Eight villages in Hamana District merge with Hamamatsu
- 1955: The village of Miyakoda merges with Hamamatsu
- 1957: The village of Irino merges with Hamamatsu
- 1960: The village of Seto merges with Hamamatsu
- 1961: The village of Shinohara merges with Hamamatsu
- 1965: The village of Shonai merges with Hamamatsu
- May 1, 1990: Hamamatsu Arena opened
- January 1, 1991: The village of Kami in Hamana District merges with Hamamatsu.
- April 1, 1991: The first Hamamatsu International Piano Competition was held.
- May 1, 1994: Act City Hamamatsu opened.
- October 1, 1995: Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments opened.
- April 1, 1996: Hamamatsu is designated a core city by the central government.
- June 1, 1996: Hamamatsu City Fruit Park opened.
- January 1, 1997: Started separated collection of garbage in residential areas.
- April 1, 1997: Hamamatsu is designated as an Omnibus Town.
- April 1, 1998: Act City Musical School opened.
- April 3, 2000: Shizuoka University of Art and Culture opened.
- July 1, 2001: The city's 90th anniversary is commemorated
- August 1, 2002: Launched the conference on Pan-Hamanako Designated City Simulation.
- April 1, 2003: Shizuoka New Kawafuji National High School Competition was held.
- June 1, 2003: Launched Tenryūgawa-Hamanako Region Merger Conference.
- April 8 – October 11, 2004: Pacific Flora 2004 (Shizuoka International Garden and Horticulture Exhibition) was held at Hamanako Garden Park.
- July 1, 2005: Hamamatsu merged with Hamakita and Tenryū; Inasa, Hosoe, and Mikkabi in Inasa District (resulting in the district's dissolution); Yūtō and Maisaka in Hamana District; Sakuma, Misakubo, and Tatsuyama in Iwata District (also dissolved as a result); and Haruno in Shūchi District.
- April 1, 2007: Hamamatsu became a city designated by government ordinance by the central government.
Hamamatsu consists of a flat plain and the Mikatahara Plateau in the south, and a mountainous area in the north. It is roughly bordered by Lake Hamana to the west, the Tenryū River to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the south.
Hamamatsu is administratively divided into seven wards:
- Hamakita-ku (浜北区)
- Higashi-ku (東区)
- Kita-ku (北区)
- Minami-ku (南区)
- Naka-ku (中区)—administrative center
- Nishi-ku (西区)
- Tenryū-ku (天竜区)
The climate in southern Hamamatsu is mild with little snowfall in the winter; however, it is windy in winter because of the dry monsoon called Enshū no Karakaze, which is unique to the region. The climate in northern Hamamatsu is much harsher because of foehn winds. In summers, the highest temperature often exceeds 35 degrees in the Tenryu-ku area, while it snows in winter.
|Climate data for Hamamatsu Averages (1981–2010), Records (1883–2012)|
|Record high °C (°F)||20.7
|Average high °C (°F)||10.1
|Daily mean °C (°F)||5.9
|Average low °C (°F)||2.5
|Record low °C (°F)||−6
|Precipitation mm (inches)||57.0
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||196.5||184.2||191.0||195.6||195.8||148.3||177.5||222.6||161.0||165.9||170.0||199.5||2,207.9|
Tourist attractions 
- Act City Tower Observatory: Hamamatsu's only skyscraper, situated next to JR Hamamatsu Station, is a symbol of the city. It was designed to resemble a harmonica, a reminder that Hamamatsu is sometimes known as the "City of Music". The building houses shopping and a food court, the Okura Hotel, and an observatory on the 45th floor overlooking all of central Hamamatsu, even down to the sand dunes at the shore.
- Chopin Monument This is a 1:1-scale replica of the famous Art Nouveau bronze statue of Chopin by the famed artist Wacław Szymanowski. The original is in Hamamatsu's sister city, Warsaw.
- Hamamatsu Castle: Hamamatsu Castle Park stretches from the modern city hall building to the north. The castle is located on a hill in the southeast corner of the park, near city hall. It was built by Tokugawa Ieyasu. His rule marks the beginning of the Edo Period. Tokugawa Ieyasu lived here from 1571 to 1588. There is a small museum inside, which houses some armor and other relics of the period, as well as a miniature model of how the city might have looked 400 years ago. North of the castle is a large park with a Japanese garden, a koi pond, a ceremonial teahouse, and some commons areas.
- Nakatajima Sand Dunes: one of the three largest sand dune areas in Japan
- Hamamatsu Flower Park
- Hamamatsu Fruit Park
- Hamamatsu Municipal Zoo
Hamamatsu has been famous as an industrial city, especially for musical instruments and motorcycles. It also has been known for fabric industry, but most of those companies and factories went out of business in the 1990s. Of the 274,700 Japanese Brazilians working in Japan, currently 19,000 work in Hamamatsu.
Companies headquartered in Hamamatsu 
- Hamamatsu Photonics K.K.
- Kawai Musical Instruments Mfg.
- Roland Corporation
- Suzuki Motor Co.
- Tōkai Gakki (also known as Tokai Guitars Company Ltd.)
- Yamaha Corporation
Companies founded in Hamamatsu 
- Central Japan Railway Company: Tōkaidō Main Line
- Central Japan Railway Company: Iida Line
- Enshū Railway: Enshū Railway Line
- Tenryū Hamanako Railroad: Tenryū Hamanako Line
- Hamamatsu Bypass
- Hamana Bypass
- National Highways
Akiha Fire Festival 
- Haruno, Tenryu-ku: December
Ever since long ago, Mount Akiha was believed to have supernatural powers to prevent fires. Bow and arrow, sword, and fire dances are performed at the Akiha Shrine. At the Akiha Temple, a firewalking ceremony is performed where both believers and spectators celebrate the festival.
Enshu Dainenbutsu 
- Saigagake Museum, Hamamatsu City: July 15
When a family commemorates the first Obon holidays after the death of a loved one, they may request that a dainenbutsu (Buddhist chanting ritual) be performed outside their house. This is one of the local performing arts of the region. The group always forms a procession in front of the house led by a person carrying a lantern and marches to the sound of flutes, Japanese drums and cymbals.
Hamamatsu Festival 
- Naka-ku, Minami-ku: May
Hamamatsu Festival, held from May 3 through May 5 each year, is well known for Takoage Gassen, or the kite fight, and luxuriously decorated palace-like floats. The festival originated about 430 years ago, when the lord of Hamamatsu Castle celebrated the birth of his first son by flying kites. In the Meiji Era, the celebration of the birth of a first son by flying Hatsu Dako, or the first kite, became popular, and this tradition has survived in the form of Hamamatsu Festival. It is extremely exciting to see over 160 large kites flying in the sky to the sound of bugles. Those who visit Hamamatsu at this time of the year can experience the city at its most exciting time.
During the nights of Hamamatsu Festival, people parade downtown carrying over 70 yatai, or palace-lake floats, that are beautifully decorated while playing Japanese traditional festival music. The festival reaches its peak when groups of people compete by violently marching across town.
Hamakita Hiryu Festival 
- Hamakita-ku: June
This festival is held in honor of Ryujin, the god of the Tenryū River, and features a wide variety of events such as the Hamakita takoage (kite flying) event and the Hiryu himatsuri (flying dragon fire festival) which celebrates water, sound, and flame.
Hamamatsu International Piano Competition 
This festival celebrates Hamamatsu's history as a city of musical instruments and music, and brings dozens of the best young pianists from all over the world. It has been held triennially since 1991 at the Act City Concert Hall and Main Hall.
Hamakita Manyo Festival 
- Hamakita-ku, Hamamatsu: October
This event takes place in Manyo-no-Mori Park to commemorate the Manyo Period and introduce its culture. As part of the festival, people reenact the ancient past by wearing traditional clothes from the Heian period and presenting Japanese poetry readings.
Inasa Puppet Festival 
- Inasa, Kita-ku: November
One of the few puppet festivals held in Japan, featuring 60 performances of about 30 plays by puppet masters from all over the country. The shows provide a full day of enjoyment for both children and adults.
Princess Road Festival 
- Hosoe, Kita-ku: April
This reenactment of a procession made by the princess in her palanquin along with her entourage of over 100 people including maids, samurai, and servants makes for a splendid scene beneath the cherry blossoms along the Toda River. In the Edo period, princesses enjoyed traveling this road which came to be known as a hime kaidō (princess road).
Shoryu Weeping Ume Blossom Festival 
- Inasa, Kita-ku: late February to late March
In Ryusui Garden there is a stream with seven small waterfalls and about 80 weeping ume trees pruned to give the appearance of dragons riding on clouds to the heavens. There are also 200 young trees planted along the mountainside.
Notable people 
- Haruhi Aiso, singer, songwriter
- Barasui, manga artist
- Yuri Chinen, JPop talent, singer
- Yōsuke Fujigaya, professional football player
- Yuji Fujimoto, politician
- Ken Fujita, professional football player
- Hironoshin Furuhashi, Olympic swimmer
- Kazuhiro Furuhashi, anime movie director
- Tatsuya Furuhashi, professional football player
- Taketoshi Gotoh, professional baseball player
- Akari Hibino, voice actress
- Soichiro Honda, engineer, industrialist, founder of Honda Motor Company
- Yusuke Inuzuka, professional football player
- Yasuhide Ito, musician
- Toshio Kakei, actor
- Takeshi Kamo, Olympic football player
- Yoko Kando, Olympic swimmer
- Naoyuki Kato, illustrator
- Genichi Kawakami, former president of Yamaha
- Keisuke Kinoshita, movie director
- Naoyuki Kinoshita, art historian
- Sanae Kobayashi, voice actress
- Shigetatsu Matsunaga, professional football player
- Takuya Matsuura, professional football player
- Kiiti Morita, mathematician
- Ken Namba, composer
- Yuki Oshitani, professional football player
- Ken'ya Ōsumi, dancer
- Keisuke Ota, professional football player
- Yoshiaki Ota, professional football player
- Kentaro Sato, composer
- Shinichiro Sawai, movie director, screenwriter
- Goro Shimura, mathematician
- Ryu Shionoya, politician
- Hideto Suzuki, professional football player
- Koji Suzuki, science-fiction writer
- Michio Suzuki, founder of Suzuki Motors
- Yasutomo Suzuki, politician, mayor of Hamamatsu
- Saya Takagi, actress
- Kenjiro Takayanagi, engineer, pioneer in development of the television
- Nobuhiro Takeda, professional football player
- Kenji Tsuruta, manga artist
- Kōji Tsuruta, actor
- Azumi Uehara, Jpop singer
- Hiromi Uehara, Jazz composer, pianist
- Kosuke Yamamoto, professional football player
- Masaaki Yanagishita, professional football player
- Kisho Yano, professional football player
Radio stations 
- FM Haro! (JOZZ6AB FM, 76.1 MHz)
- K-MIX (JOKU FM, 78.4 MHz)
- NHK FM (JOPK FM, 82.1 MHz)
- (Portuguese) Radio Phoenix (internet)
Colleges and universities 
- Hamamatsu Gakuin University
- Hamamatsu University
- Hamamatsu University School of Medicine
- Seirei Christopher University
- Shizuoka University (Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Informatics)
- Shizuoka University of Art and Culture
Sports teams 
- Honda F.C. which plays Japan Football League (third division) games at their own Miyakoda Soccer Stadium. Honda competed in the Japan Soccer League's First Division from 1981 to 1991, but chose to relegate itself and not compete in the professional divisions due to parent company Honda's choice to retain team ownership. Many Hamamatsu football fans prefer to follow Júbilo Iwata, across the Tenryu River in Iwata. Júbilo maintains a club shop within Hamamatsu.
- Volare FC Hamamatsu, an autonomous club who competed in the Tokai Regional Football League Division 2 in 2011, flouted plans to either overtake Honda FC or merge with it, but it finished last in the Tokai League and was relegated. Hamamatsu University also keeps a team in the said division, but college teams cannot be promoted to the top three tiers.
International relations 
Hamamatsu has ratified Music Culture Exchange Treaty with the following cities (however, of the following Rochester is the only official sister city):
Twin towns and sister cities 
Hamamatsu is twinned with:
- Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil
- Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil
- Warsaw, Poland (since February 1, 1990)
- Camas, Washington, United States (since September 1981)
- Chehalis, Washington, United States (since October 1998)
- Porterville, California, United States (since October 1981)
- Rochester, New York, United States (since October 2006)
See also 
A bird's-eye view of downtown Hamamatsu
- "JMA". JMA. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
- Sanchanta, Mariko (July 19, 2007). "Signs betray ‘hidden workers’ of Japan". Financial Times.
- From Chūbu Centrair International Airport to Hamamatsu station (http://vldb.gsi.go.jp/sokuchi/surveycalc/bl2stf.html (Japanese))) (surveying
- "Radio Phoenix - CONECTOU...TÁ NA PHOENIX". Radiophoenix.jp. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
- (Polish) "Miasta partnerskie Warszawy". um.warszawa.pl. Biuro Promocji Miasta. 2005-05-04. Retrieved 2008-08-29.[dead link]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Hamamatsu, Shizuoka|
- Official website (Japanese)
- Official website (English)
- In Hamamatsu
- Hamamatsu travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments
- Hamamatsu Daisuki Net (I love Hamamatsu) (English)