About us: Overview
Odawara and Hakone Systematized Goodwill Guide Club(OHSGG) provides voluntary sightseeing guide services in foreign languages around the area of Hakone and Odawara to assist visitors from outside of Japan and non-Japanese speaking residents. Our group is a non-profitable organization established in 1996 as one of the systematized goodwill guide groups under Japan National Tourism Organization(JNTO).
The followings are the basics of our guide group and the guide services.
Entire Hakone region.
Odawara area including Odawara castle, Ichiya-jyo castle, Odawara town, and surrounding area.
All members in our group are volunteers who have various backgrounds and are willing to introduce our area to the people from foreign countries. Since all members are local, you may be able to hear an interesting story that may not come across. We are highly motivated and waiting for you to make your travel fruitful and enjoyable.
≪Assigning your guide and customizing your travel≫
Once your guide request is accepted, the assigned guide helps you to plan where to visit and how to get in and out from this area. You may consult the guide for any kind of interests and questions of your travel. If the assigned guide does not have enough information to answer, she or he will ask our experienced members and return to you with satisfactory information. Now the travel is tailored for you.
≪The date of your travel≫
On the first day, the guide meets you at the train station, your hotel, or other mutually agreed location and starts to guide you based on the itinerary. The guide also helps you how to handle your luggage while traveling.
The guide explains the history and the background of this area and other related topics according to your interest. Not only for this area, but please do not hesitate to ask any questions you would like to know about Japan, such as Japanese food, cultures, Shinto and Buddhism, shrines and temples, art, nature, and even something cool in Japan. Then you will be more familiar to Japan.
≪Fees and expenses≫
We do not charge any guide fee to our services but you need to pay all expenses of the guide related to your travel. Expenses include transportations, meals and entrance fee of facilities.
Other languages may be available depending on the situation. Please ask when you request the service.
≪Communication beffore travel≫
The assigned guide communicates with you directly through e-mail. Telephone communication may be possible if necessary.
≪Guide request e-mail≫
Please send your request e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the "English" tab and the "Guide Request" page of this website for more details.
If you have any questions, or need any assistance to visit Odawara and Hakone area, please feel free to contact us. It is always our great pleasure to offer you warm hospitalities and comprehensive services.
Cherry blossom さくら
Cherry blossoms are in full bloom from late March to early April in Odawara. Events are held during the cherry blossom season.
In Hakone, cherry trees blossom later than Odawara, you can enjoy it until late April.
Odawara Hojo Godai Festival 小田原北條五代祭り
This festival is held on May third every year. It attracts a lot of spectators every year. During the parade, about 2000 participants including Samurai warriors and music bands etc walk through the city.
Odawara lantern Festival 小田原ちょうちん夏祭り
This festival is held in late July.
Events such as a drum competition, chochin (lanterns) dancing pumps up the festival.Chochin made by elementally school students in Odawara light up Ohoribata-dori Street.
Hakone Lake Festival 箱根湖水まつり
Susuki(Japanese pampas grass) すすき
Susuki(Japanese pampas grass) field extends in Sengokuhara Highland, which used be a bottom of lake Ashi, and is beautifully colored with ears from late September to middle of November. Noyaki(burning of susuki fields) in March is must-see.
Hakone Daimyo (Fuedal Lord) Procession 箱根大名行列
Autumn leaves 紅 葉
Hakone ekiden 箱根駅伝
Chinese New Year 春 節
Shunsetsu is an event held in Hakone in February, in which we celebrate Chinese new year. At Togendai station, there are lots of events held such as Japanese drums and dancing by Geisha.
Free Amasake,non-alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice, is served.
Plum trees 梅
Japanese plum trees are in full bloom from late January to February. They bring spring to us. Plum tree festivals take place in Odawara and Yugawara.
OHSGG GUIDE POLICY
Our services are provided free of charge. However, you are kindly requested to pay the actual expenses for the OHSGG guide(s) as listed below:
1) Admission fees to temples, shrines, museums, etc. (Note: Most of the facilities in Hakone and Odawara allow the guide to enter free of charge.)
2) Transportation charges during the services.
3) Lunch (only when the tour involves lunch time)
4) Round trip travel expenses between the Odawara station and the residence of the guide(s). If you request the guide(s) to meet you at other than the Odawara station, please pay entire amount of transportation fee between the agreed place and his/her residence.
5) Other actual tour-related expenses, if any
1) Neither OHSGG nor the guides accompanying you are responsible for any injuries, or theft, lost and/or damages to possessions that may occur during the services.
2) OHSGG may provide more than 2 guides for a large group.
3) OHSGG does not provide the following tours:
-Night or overnight tours.
-Tours using private or rental cars.
-Tours for commercial purposes.
4) The service you request may not be provided if OHSGG cannot find the appropriate guide(s) and/or if you do not accept this guide policy.
5) The information provided in the application will be used by OHSGG only for the purpose of providing the requested guide services.
Guide request is accepted by E-Mail
Please write the following information directly in your e-mail or in the application form (download) and send it to here or email@example.com. You may also copy and paste the contents of the application form in your e-mail and fill the required information.
1. Date and Time for the requesting guide service
2. Information of the applicant (Name/Mr/Ms/Age/Nationality)
3. Information of other members of your party (Sex/Total number/Age approx.）
.....(Ex.) Male/2 people/Age 60～70 Female/3 people/ Age 50～60
4. Contact information in Japan（Name of Hotel/Telephone）
5． Where do you want to visit and/or what do you like to do?
6．Do you have any particular request?
7. Please show your acceptance of our guide policy written in above.
Yes, I understand and accept the OHSGG guide policy.