The vast Lake Hamana which is large enough to fill the area surrounded by the Yamanote Line looks different from the southern side that is connected to the Pacific Ocean from Imagireguchi (the area where the late and the Pacific meet), and the northern side that is enclosed by mountains, and this is a picturesque area with poems that have been composed about it since ancient times. In 1498 about 520 years ago, the land ruptured from a major earthquake and tsunami. Lake Hamana turned brackish when the saltwater entered from its connection with the Enshu Sea, and this lake was reborn as an area rich in 800 types of seafood including fish, shellfish, octopuses, shrimp, crabs, and more. Many people started to live around Lake Hamana for the blessings that it granted them, which later resulted in the nurturing of various cultures and industries.

Enjoy gourmet food from the bountiful lake

"Takiya fishing" is a traditional fishing method only seen at Lake Hamana that has over 100 years of history. It involves illuminating the bottom of the lake with underwater lights attached to boats. When the sea creatures gather around them, the fishermen spear them with harpoons, and scoop them up with nets. Freshly caught seafood is both flavorful and has a special taste. Additionally, Lake Hamana is known for being a breeding ground for eels and soft-shelled turtles, but oysters and nori seaweed have also been cultivated here since ancient times. The oysters that slowly grow over about a year and a half while moving along north and south in Lake Hamana absorb the minerals and organic matter deposited from the mountains, and they are both large and have a characteristically rich flavor. Around Bentenjima, you can often catch sight of branches jutting out from the lake surface that are orderly lined up. Below the surface, nori seaweed farming is taking place. Lake Hamana's nori has over 200 years of history, and its vivid green color and strong seashore aroma are utilized to produce delicious raw seaweed, seaweed sheets, and tsukudani (seaweed simmered in soy sauce). Be sure to enjoy the blessings of Lake Hamana that is overflowing with nutrients with your five senses.

Local specialties made from natural processes

The Enshu region around Lake Hamana is an area that is warm throughout the year and has a lot of clear days. The hilly area behind Lake Hamana that gets plenty of sunshine is the nation's leading mikan orange producing area. Mikan oranges have a balance of sweetness and sourness that also makes them a popular choice as a gift. There are also a variety of other fruits cultivated here including muskmelons, Jiro persimmons, and Pione grapes, and you can also try harvesting this fruit yourself. If you walk a little farther, there is Mikatahara plateau plain that is warm and gets plenty of sunshine where flavorful and aromatic Hamamatsu tea is grown. In the mountainous region that does not get much sunlight and has temperature swings, they grow the popular Tenryu tea and Haruno tea that have a moderate tartness and flavor, along with a refreshing scent. You should also try comparing these teas that have traits which make use of the terrain and climate. In addition, there are also a lot of flowers that are cultivated along the ridge of Lake Hamana, including Gerbera daisies, chrysanthemums, freesias, and sweat peas. In particular, this area boasts of having the highest output of Gerbera daisies in Japan, and they develop over 100 new types of cultivars every year. The various flowers that bloom throughout all four seasons are a feast for the eyes for anyone who visits.

Around Lake Hamana, there is also Kanzanji Onsen and Bentenjima that are known for their picturesque scenery, along with a bunch of farmhouse bed and breakfasts where you can stay to match what you are looking for, and this also allows you to experience the woodlands in the area. Taking a short trip away from the hustle and bustle of city life to a place where you can eat local cuisine and wild game, as well as view a sky full of stars, is sure to make your memories of the trip even more amazing.