Road Trip on Enshu Line (Part 2)

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Road Trip on Enshu Line (Part 2)


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Road Trip on Enshu Line (Part 2)

We continue our two-day trip on the Enshu Railway Line, which runs through Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture. We end our first day at Jidosha-Gakko-Mae Station and check into Kanzanjiso for the night. As we did not book a room in advance, dinner is not provided. So we ask the hotel staff to recommend a restaurant. They tell us to try the dinner buffet at the Whale Season Hamanako Hotel. It is a 10-minute drive away and a Kanzanjiso staff member offers to drive us there. The buffet boasts more than 40 dishes such as tempura, salad, sashimi, beef steak, bamboo-grilled eel, crab, shrimp, mushrooms, soba, green Thai curry, pudding and mochi.

Early the next morning, we relax in Kanzanjiso’s bath which commands a splendid view of Lake Hamano. We then have breakfast, after which somebody from the hotel drives us to Jidosha-Gakko-Mae Station. We catch the 9.50am train to the very next stop, Saginomiya. Once we arrive at the station, we start asking people for recommended spots. A resident mentions a shop called Sunako, which sells Hamamatsu’s famous gyoza. It only opens at 11.30am, so we decide to search for other popular spots first. One of the locals suggests we try the pumpkin manju at Aoi. It has been making this sweet treat for 30 years, using Ebisu pumpkins from Hokkaido. So we head to Aoi and buy some pumpkin manju to snack on later.


We then go to Sunako, a family-run gyoza shop which opened 26 years ago. Hamamatsu gyoza is known for having lots of cabbage and bean sprouts in the filling. However, Sunako’s owner wanted the flavour of the gyoza to stand out on its own, so he doesn’t add bean sprouts. On a busy day, over 2,000 gyozas are made at Sunako.  

We return to Saginomiya Station and munch on some pumpkin manju while waiting for the 12.15pm train to Hamakita Station, four stops away. At Hamakita, we come across some ladies who tell us about Aratama Baths, a well-known spot with indoor and outdoor hot spring baths. However, we have missed the 12.35pm bus which goes there and it would take us about 1.5 hours to walk there. So we decide not to go there after all. We instead drop by a salon near the station to ask about another recommended spot. The owner mentions Haru, which sells scones. He also suggests we visit Misono-Chuo Park, which is near the next station, Misono-Chuo-Koen.


So we first head to Haru, which opened three years ago. It offers several flavours of scones such as chocolate, matcha and cranberry yoghurt. They are made using wheat and butter from Hokkaido and are free of additives.

We walk back at the station and take the 2.45pm train to Misono-Chuo-Koen Station. We walk to Misono-Chuo Park, which has plum, cherry blossom and sudajii trees. The park hosts several events such as field trips and marathons and draws large crowds of people. After taking a stroll around the park, we return to the station and head by train to the final stop, Nishi-Kajima. We go to a cafe near the station to have some coffee. We end our two-day journey along the Enshu Railway Line by going to Tenryu River. It is known for its scenic views and rapid waters. It starts in Nagano Prefecture, and passes through Aichi and Shizuoka, before ending at the Pacific Ocean. It is also a famous spot for viewing beautiful sunsets.

1) Do try Hamamatsu’s famous gyoza when visiting the city
2) Check out Tenryu River for its scenic views and beautiful sunsets