On your way to Hakone or Mt. Fuji, stop by great spots in Odawara

Odawara Castle – “Ninja Castle”

Odawara city in Kanagawa Prefecture was once a center of politics, culture and administration overseeing the Kanto region back in the Sengoku period (the Age of Civil Wars) in Japan. Historically, Odawara Castle was governed by the feudal lords of five generations called “Hojo five generations” for about 100 years. The third siege of Odawara occurred in 1590, which was the primary action in Toyotomi Hideyoshi's campaign to eliminate the Hōjō clan as a threat to his power. Hojo surrendered to Hideyoshi after three months of staying in the castle.

Back then, Ninja soldiers were common and active in Odawara area. Today, you can enjoy Ninja costume and take many pictures with Odawara Castle in the background. You can try other types of costumes such as Samurai and Kimono. Also, if you can visit the Odawara Castle on weekends in October this year, you will meet with several Ninja staff within the castle. It would be a fun to take a picture with them and post it on your SNS channels.

Another attraction about Odawara Castle is you can go up to the castle tower. The castle is currently under renovation and you cannot go up to the donjon until May 2016. Once it’s finished, you can enjoy a beautiful castle both from inside and outside. Ninja goods and local Odawara handicrafts are exhibited and purchased at the castle tower.

Odawara Castle is actually the closest castle from Tokyo which allows access to the donjon. (35 minutes from Tokyo station by JR. 15 minutes from Hakoneyumoto station by Hakone Tozan line). If you have a big luggage, you can check them at the information center located inside HaRuNe within Odawara station. Why don’t you go and see Japanese Ninja?

<Odawara Castle>
Access: 10 minute walk from Odawara station, East exit
Address: Odawara city, Kanagawa prefecture 250-0014
Open from 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. (Castle tower entrance is allowed until 4:30p.m.)
Costume Experience: Adult- 300 yen, Children- 200 yen (for 10 minutes)
Castle tower entrance fee: Adult-410 yen, Elementary and junior high school children: 150 yen (group discount available)
Odawara City English Website: http://www.city.odawara.kanagawa.jp/kanko/kankoguide/language

<HaRuNe Odawara>

Access: Adjacent to Odawara station, East exit Business hour: 9:00a.m. to 8:00p.m.

Baggage Keeping Service:
Latest Check in by 7:30p.m.
Price: M size (A total of 3 sides are within 158cm, maximum weight 23kg) – 500 yen per day
LL size (A total of 3 sides are within 220cm, maximum weight 35kg) – 800 yen per day

Delicious Sea Food BBQ in Odawara

If you want to have lunch in Oadawara city but you want to try something different from Sashimi, I would highly recommend seafood BBQ! Get on a local train and get off at Hayakawa station, next to Oadawara station. The restaurants are located within 10 minute walk distance from Hayakawa station. Even you cannot eat raw fish, you can enjoy seafood BBQ in Hayakawa. They source fresh ingredients each day from local Hayakawa port of Sagami Bay and bring you tasty, healthy and memorable fare, grilled or smoked, for your lunch. They will serve a variety of fish such as Japanese horse mackerel, red snapper, true sardine, flounder, mackerel and squid to name a few. I would like to introduce two of the best local BBQ restaurants among many in the area.

First one is called “Odawara Hayakawa Gyoson ABURIYA”. If you want to eat a lot, this is the place you must go. They offer all-you-can-eat for 3,000 yen per adult and 1,700 yen for children. You can enjoy 40 to 50 kinds of seafood as much as you like for 80 minutes. They also offer all-you-can-eat course specifically for oyster lovers as well as several a-la-carte menus such as Kaisen donburi.

Second one is called “Odawara Sakana Center”. This is the one for those who wish to select your favorite dish and enjoy a little bit of local special dish at reasonable price. Their table charge is 1,000 yen for up to four people for 90 minutes. When you step into the restaurant, you should first tell them you wish to have BBQ course and you pick your favorite fish from their offerings. You pay first before you grill them. They are willing to cut fish for BBQ and also offer broiled fish on a skewer from 200 yen per skewer.

As Sashimi is very popular in Japan, you can enjoy it everywhere where including at hotel restaurants you are staying. But these local BBQ restaurants will serve up a wide variety of delicious seafood to help you refresh!

<Odawara Hayakawa Gyoson ABURIYA>
Access: 10 minute walk from Hayakawa station
Address: 1-9-6 Hayakawa, Odawara city, Kanagawa prefecture, 250-0021
Business hour: 10:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. (Last entry: 3:30p.m.)
<Odawara Sakana Center>
Access: 10 minute walk from Hayakawa station
Address: 1-6-1 Hayakawa, Odawara city, Kanagawa prefecture, 250-0021
Business hour: 9:30a.m. to 5:00p.m.

Access map to Hayakawa Port:

How to Enjoy Oadawara City: Trip Plan Example

From Tokyo to Hakone
10:00 Depart Tokyo
11:30 Arrive at Odawara /Check your baggage
11:45 Leave Odawara station
11:50 Arrive at Hayakawa station
12:00 Arrive at Hayakawa Port
12:15 BBQ lunch/ Explore the area
14:45 Depart Hayakawa station
14:50 Arrive at Odawara station
15:05 Visit Odawara Castle
16:30 Arrive at Odawara station
17:00 Arrive at Hakone

One-day trip from Tokyo
10:00 Leave your hotel in Tokyo
11:00 Arrive at Odawara station (JR)
11:10 Take a walk in Odawara
12:20 Leave Odawara station (*)
12:35 Arrive at Hayakawa
12:45 BBQ lunch /Explore the area
14:55 Leave Hayakawa station
15:10 Arrive at Odawara station
Move to your destination

*If you don’t have lunch in Odawara, you can leave for your destination around 13:15.

From Hakone to your destination
10:00 Depart Hakone
10:30 Arrive at Odawara Check your baggage
10:45 Leave Odawara station
10:50 Arrive at Hayakawa station
11:00 Arrive at Hayakawa Port
11:15 BBQ lunch/ Explore the area
13:15 Depart Hayakawa station
13:20 Arrive at Odawara station
13:35 Visit Odawara Castle
15:10 Arrive at Odawara station
Move to your destination

Event Information:
FUMA Festival
Traditional Ninja Festival in Odawara area. You can always wear Ninja costume when you visit Odawara Castle, but during this festival event, you can experience various Ninja actions such as throwing knives, blowpipe darts, bow and arrows and horse riding. There will be some food stalls and a variety of events such as Japanese taiko drums, kendo and Ninja performance shows. If you happen to be in Japan during festival time, it would be a fun to visit!
Venue: Odawara Castle grounds, 10 minutes from Odawara station. You will get to the venue when you cross the red Manabu bridge to the Caslte.
Address: Odawara city, Kanagawa prefecture, Within Odarwara Castle grounds 250-0014
Date and Time: Last weekend in August, Sunday and Saturday 10:30a.m. – 4:30p.m.
Price: Each attraction is 100 yen per person. 300 yen for horse riding Costume experience: 400 yen per adult, 300 yen per child (for 40 minutes) Photo is taken from http://ashigaranet.com/html/4/201408/2014083004.html


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