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  • Writer's pictureJW

Odawara surprises with versatility!

As I already mentioned in another post about Hakone, I stayed in accommodation in Odawara. For this reason, I would like to give you an overview of what else you can experience here (apart from looking for the perfect view of Mount Fuji).

Odawara Castle

The castle in Odawara is the seventh highest castle in Japan. There is a museum in the castle itself, which provides information about the history of the castle. The castle was built in the middle of the 15th century and soon fell into the hands of the Hojo clan (one of the most powerful samurai families in Japan), who used it as a base to control the surrounding regions. At the Battle of Odawara in 1590, Toyotomi Hideyoshi (also a powerful samurai and feudal lord) forced the Hojo clan to surrender after a three-month siege. Odawara was thus taken. In modern times, the Meji government of the time ordered the destruction of all former fortifications between 1870 and 1872. The castle was rebuilt in 1960.

The castle is located in the center of Odawara and is surrounded by a beautiful park that invites you to take a stroll. There is a viewing platform on the top floor, from which you have a 360-degree view of the city.

So it's definitely worth visiting the castle from the inside.

Take a walk by the sea

As Odawara is located by the sea, you should not miss out on a walk here. The sea is somewhat shielded from the town by tsunami protection facilities. You walk through a massive wall and security gates to reach a beautiful long beach.

I was the only tourist on the beach during my walk - I only met one fisherman on the whole beach. Apart from that, I had the whole stretch of beach to myself and walked around at sunset.

I found this lovely café online. It's totally rich in detail and lovingly decorated and I can highly recommend the lemon crêpe.

This was a very refreshing snack!

Hotel recommendation - 自遊人の宿

I don't know if I can even call it a hotel, it was more like a detached house that you share as a place to live. In any case, I can highly recommend my accommodation 自遊人の宿. The host is friendly, the house is clean, the room is large and towels, hairdryer and shower utensils are provided. WC and bathroom have to be shared. For the overall package, it's great value for money.

One last thing about Mount Fuji: On the last day on the train from Odawara Station towards Kyoto, I had the clearest view of Mount Fuji!

I really enjoyed my stay in Odawara and can highly recommend this place both as a starting point for exploring Mount Fuji and for the other activities described above! 😊

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