Unlike other garden parks I’ve seen in Tokyo or Yokohama area, Hamamatsu Garden Park (浜松ガーデンパーク) takes you on a journey through the different gardening styles of various countries (Nepal, China, Korea, Thailand and UK). It also includes a flower museum where you can learn about the foreign botanists who ventured into Japan during the Edo period. Short stories of how Japanese flowers and gardens sparked those foreign botanists’ interests, causing them to export the plants and cultivate them in other countries, especially in the UK.
In the photo below is a statuette of Robert Fortune who visited Japan in the 19th century. He was a Scottish botanist, plant hunter and a traveler. It was due to his successful discoveries that many rare flowers and plants were well-known to Europe.
The lake view tower in this park has a very unique point. As you can see in the photo below, there is a protruding area at the top of the tower. That particular area is surrounded only by transparent glass which means that all four corners (ceiling, floor, sides) will give you a panoramic view of the garden park. Imagine stepping onto a see-through glass floor and looking down through your feet at a landscape 50 meters below.
How to get there
From Tokyo to Hamamatsu station (浜松駅), you can take the bullet train to get there. A Hikari train will take about 1 hour 30 minutes while a Kodama train will take about 2 hours. A one-way ticket costs 8290 yen. A cheaper alternative to bullet trains is by regular trains on Tokaido Line which takes 4 to 5 hours for 4310 yen (one way).
From Hamamatsu station, you can take a bus on the Kanzanji bus line to Hamamatsu Garden Park. But I’d recommend going to Bentenjima station ( 弁天島駅 ) and take the bus from there which is a 10-minute ride to the park for 220 yen (one way). Buses are infrequent so be sure to check the bus schedule online in advance.