One place I had been meaning to check out in Shizuoka was Bentenjima. Bentenjima is just a few stops along the JR line from Hamamatsu, and I finally got around to going there at the end of August.
To be honest, there’s not much to do at Bentenjima, especially when you visit at the end of the season, as I did. They have a big fireworks display every year in July, and it’s a popular place for summer outings to the beach. I think you can also try digging for clams there. But on August 30th, it was hot and sunny, but pretty dead. So, I bought an ice cream and wandered along the beach to see the one sight I had come for…
I had first spotted this shrine out of the train window when I came to Hamamatsu the first time. I’m glad I had a chance to see it. It’s not a patch on the shrine at Miyajima, but still worth seeing if you’re in the area.
Incidentally, according to Wikipedia, “Bentenjima” is a really popular name for islands in Japan, and there are loads of them throughout the country! This is because “Benten” is the name of a certain goddess, and “jima” (sometimes “shima”) means “island”. Benten is the goddess of water, and other things.