Remote Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture Japan Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture weather Published on: 04-04-2016
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Why Odawara is special ?
Odawara City is situated in the southwest of Kanagawa Prefecture, and is famous for Odawara Castle, where the Hojo family, rulers of the Kanto region during the Sengoku Period (the warring states period) resided. Now Odawara is the hub of the transportation system, where major railways such as the JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line, the Odakyu Line, and Hakone Tozan Line all meet. The Route 1 also passes through Odawara. It is also the entrance to Fuji Hakone Izu National Park and is always busy with visitors and traffic.
Odawara initially flourished around the castle of the Hojo family, who ruled the area during the 15th century; the city further prospered during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries as a post town on the Tokaido Highway, which was the main transport artery that linked Edo (now known as Tokyo) and Kyoto. Odawara Joshi-koen Park (Castle Ruins Park) is well-known for cherry and plum blossoms. At the Honmaru Hiroba (square) of the castle, you can rent samurai clothes or kimono.
Fresh seafood is brought into Odawara Harbor every day, and 'kamaboko,' steamed processed fish meat cleverly formed on a wooden block, is one of the representative marine products of Odawara. Other nationally famous special products of Odawara include pickled plums, paper lanterns, and lacquerware.
What to explore at Odawara?
Odawara is a town situated on Sagami Bay along the Tokaido Line coast, fairly close to Mt. Fuji. It is best know for the beautiful Odawara Castle, and for being the gateway to the Hakone hot springs resort area, and the Fuji-Hakone National Park. It is the western-most point of Kanagawa Prefecture. Odawara also has its own hot springs area: Yugawara.
The coastal waters here, and especially at Enoura, are beautiful and clean. In fact, the pristine sea is well known for its abundance of kumanomi, fish, which can thrive only in clean, clear waters. Enoura is also a favorite spot for scuba divers who come to see the occasional sea turtle, as well as an abundance of other beautiful undersea life.
Odawara is also know for its kamakoko (a popular processed fish), and its umeboshi (salted pickled plums).
Other things to do and see
But it is to view the castle that most visitors come here. Japan once had more than 1000 castles, but today the number of castles that still exist stands at about 100. Only a few remain in their original form, while most of the others have been rebuilt to varying degrees over the years. This castle was most recently rebuilt in the late 1950s but is well worth a visit.
The Odawara Plum Festival, held during the month of February is also popular and delightful. The area is blessed with some beautiful plum groves that are wonderful to photograph. Throughout the year, there are a number of other enjoyable festivals held in Odawara: The Lantern Summer Festival, the Fireworks Festival along the Sakawa River, and a Noh Performance and Chrysanthemum Flower Exhibition at the castle later in the year.
- Great hot spring
- Beautiful cherry and plum blossoms
- Sparkling paper lanterns
- Nice place to visit
- Wonderful landscapes
Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture Japan Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture weather