Shizuoka Prefecture is one of the wonderful places not to miss in Japan. Hidden inside this prefecture is lovely Hamamatsu City where the scenic Lake Hamanako is located. Lake Hamanako(浜名湖) is one of the gems of Pacific Coast in western Shizuoka Prefecture. Once a fresh water lake separated from the ocean, an earthquake in 1498 caused huge changes to the lake since Hamanako then connected to the Pacific as we see it nowadays.
Lake Hamanako is renowned for its beautiful scenery and as a hot spring town, especially for its Kansanji Onsen. Kansanji Onsen is a small spa town taken its name from ancient Kansanji temple which sources believed it was founded in 810 during Heian era by the monk Kukai, also known as Kobo Daishi. Though its namesake was founded far in the past, you will be surprised that Kansanji Onsen town is actually relatively new with around 19 inns and hotels to choose. You will undoubtedly enjoy relaxing in hot spring while looking over the panoramic view of Lake Hamanako.
For those day tripper, do not worry that you will miss a chance to dip yourself in one of an outstanding onsens. Many of the baths, though built in the hotels, can be accessed by day trippers with some fee depending on each hotel. We would like to recommend some hotels to fulfill your invaluable relaxation experience around Lake Hamanako.
If you love to spend your nights in a full-scale resort near Lake Hamanako, be sure to book a room at Kansanji Saga Royal Hotel, where your time freezes while you enjoy the incomparable view overlooking Lake Hamanako from your room. Saga Royal Hotel also offers a Rotemburo(rooftop open air pool) which is famous for its majestic sunset scenery with 360 degree panoramic view of Lake Hamanako.
Or do you want to taste some more of Japanese atmosphere? Hokiwatore Kaikatei is definitely your best choice. At this hot-spring hotel, you will be welcomed with Japanese-style interior that will leave you breathless. With 6 types of baths, you can endlessly choose which type of sensation you want to experience first. Also Hokiwatore Kaikatei serves homemade delicious meal using fresh seasonal ingredients from Lake Hamanako so you can enjoy true taste of Hamanako. Please note that this hotel does not only provide beautiful Japanese-style rooms for guests, it also offers you the Lake Hamanako Kansanji Art Mesuem which is quite rare for hotels. This museum showcases precious antiques from Edo period. Some are from Tokugawa clan, so you can be sure to enjoy exploring Japanese history through the masterpieces of Japanese art and craft.
Overall, Lake Hamanako is not a place you can enjoy only heavenly lakeside sceneryand relaxing experience. Your all five senses, as well as your body, heart and mind, can be totally pampered here, close to Lake Hamanako.
If you feel an urge to come here, you can easily travel from Tokyo by JR Tokaido Shinkansen to Hamamatsu Station (approx. 90 minutes) the take a 40 minutes bus ride to Kanzanji Onsen. Or you could take highway buses from Tokyo and get off at Tomei Kanzanji bus stop. This method takes more travelling time so please check the schedule and number of buses available.