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.
Hamamatsu is a station on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen and Tōkaidō Main Line. As of 2005, this station is served by a small selection of Hikari services and all passing Kodama services. Hamamatsu is approximately halfway along the Tōkaidō line, as the journey time to both Tokyo and Shin-Osaka is approximately one and half hours with Hikari, and two hours with Kodama.
Tōkaidō Main Line stops at the following stations:
Iida Line stops at several stations in Sakuma area.
Enshu Railway Line, also known as Akaden (the red train), is a local line running north from Shin-Hamamatsu station through Nishikajima station.
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 trumpets. 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. (Naka-ku, Minami-ku - May)
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 Manyo period and presenting poetry readings. (Hamakita-ku, Hamamatsu - October)
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). (Hosoe, Kita-ku - April)
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 Enshu 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. (Saigagake Museum, Hamamatsu City - July 15)
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. (Inasa, Kita-ku - November)
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, and at the Akiha Temple a firewalking ceremony is performed where both believers and spectators celebrate the festival. (Haruno, Tenryu-ku - December)
Within Ryusui Garden there is a stream with 7 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. (Inasa, Kita-ku - Late February to Late March)
This festival is held in honor of Ryujin, the god of the Tenryu 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. (Hamakita-ku - June)
After the establishment of Suzuki Loom Works in Hamamatsu City in 1909, Suzuki kept expanding his business and, in 1929, invented a new type of weaving machine, which was exported overseas. Michio Suzuki filed as many as 120 patents and utility model rights. He started on a protocol of an automobile in 1939 and laid the foundation of Suzuki, the car maker, by releasing the Colleda motorcycle and a light-weight car called the Suzulight.
The founder of Honda is a pioneer of Hamamatsu as "the city of motorcycles". Born in Tenryu which was located north of Hamamatsu, Honda learned auto-repair skills in Tokyo before opening the Hamamatsu branch of Ahto Shokai. In 1948, he established Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and developed the motorcycle widely known as "Pon-Pon". Honda's extraordinary ideas kept laying new paths for the company, making Honda the world's leading motorcycle/automotive manufacturer.
In 1884, Yamaha first repaired an organ in an elementary school while still working as a repair engineer for medical equipment. He became fascinated by the organ and started developing them himself. After painstaking effort, Yamaha finally built his first reed organ, which was highly praised by experts in the field. In 1888, he established "Yamaha Fukin Seizoujo", which later became Yamaha, the world's leading musical instrument maker. Torakusu Yamaha laid the foundation of the musical instrument industry in the Hamamatsu area.
Born in Hamamatsu City. After becoming an assistant professor of engineering at what is now Shizuoka University in 1924, Takayanagi dedicated himself to the development of the television. After repeated mistakes, he successfully completed the first all-electronic TV system in the world. Takayanagi also succeeded in inventing the first domestic TV set, establishing the foundation of modern television. The growth of the optical technological industry in Hamamatsu is largely thanks to Takayanagi and his research.
Hamamatsu-born Kawai became an apprentice to Torakusu Yamaha at the young age of 11. The piano mechanism which Kawai helped design contributed greatly to the birth of the first piano made in Japan. He invented many mechanisms, such as the stop device for the organ, and was nicknamed "Koichi, the inventor". Kawai Gakki Kenkyujo, which was established in 1927, became Kawai Musical Instruments Mfg. Co., Ltd. in 1929, which has received over 20 patents on inventions like new types of mechanism and soundboard.