Optional Spots (Odawara Area)
There are many attractive places worth visiting near Odawara. If you have extra time, an OHSGG guide can take you to these spots. Some sites require a reservation in advance. Please discuss with our guide if you have an interest.
(1) Odawara Castle
Odawara Castle is only 10 minutes' walk from Odawara station. The current castle tower was rebuilt in 1959 as a commemorative project of the 20 years anniversary of Odawara City.
During 16 century, Hojo family stationed in Odawara Castle for over 5 generations, 100years, and continued to expand its territory to all over the Kanto area, including Tokyo. However, in 1590, Hojo in Odawara castle was surrounded by vast troops with 180,000 solders of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Hojo family chose to surrender and opened Odawara Castle without a war.
Throughout Edo period (1603~1867) Odawara Castle had been used as a strategic defense position on the Old Tokaido road.
(2) Ishigaki-yama Ichiyajyo Fort
On the top of the hill surrounded by Mikan (Japanese Orange) Orchards, Toyotomi Hideyoshi built a fort to attack Odawara castle in 1590. From there you can see the entire Odawara city, Odawara castle as well as Sagami bay. Currently the stone walls remain and the area is preserved as the historical park.
Just next to the Ichiyajyo Fort, you can find the pastry shop and cafe run by a famous Japanese pastry chef.3D recreation of Ichiyajyo Fort by City of Odawara using Google Earth.
(3) Japanese Sake Brewery
Japanese Sake is the most traditional alcohol beverage originated in Japan. As you know in Dec. 2013, “Washoku”, Traditional Japanese cuisine has been added to the intangible heritage list of UNESCO. Without doubt, Japanese Sake fits very well to Washoke, but also the harmony of Japanese Sake with Western style dishes has been well recognized among European countries. This is the results of continuous improvements of the taste and the quality of Japanese Sake by various Sake breweries.
There are several Japanese Sake breweries in Odawara area. The OHSGG guide can take you to one of the breweries, then you can taste few kinds of Japanese Sake made in the brewery. If available, you can see the inside of the brewery and the guide explains you the sake making process. (Note: Advanced reservation is required for the inside tour.) See also here.
(4) Daiyu-zan Saijyo-ji Temple
Daiyu-zan Saijyo-ji Temple is one of Soto-syu sect temples of Zen Buddhism and having 4,000 related temples all over Japan. It is located on the outer side slope of Hakone mountains, 9km northwest of Odawara station. The line with tall and aged 20,000 cedar trees that can be found on the way to the Main Hall of Saijyoji, and it takes you in a quiet atmosphere.
A superhuman Buddhist monk "Tengu", driving away evil spirits and supporting for coming pilgrim, stands at the gate of the temple. He will navigate a way to enlightenment, on the way to the deep inner sanctuary "Okuno-in" after climbing 350 stairs.
In Zen Buddhism, Zazen is a meditative discipline that is typically the
primary practice. Zazen is performed while seated with the legs crossed
and each foot resting on the opposite thigh.
(5) Soga Plum Tree Farmland
The area named Soga is located northeast of Odawara station. This area is famous for the concentration of plum tree farmlands for Umeboshi (salty pickles of Ume (Japanese plum or Japanese apricot)) making.
The plum trees bloom in February. This area is covered with full bloomed plum trees, white and red.
(6) Seto Yashiki (Old Thatched Farm House)
Seto Yashiki is 300years old thatched farm house where the leader of local farmers had lived. Seto Yashiki was donated to the town of Kaisei-machi and opened to public in 2005. Enjoy the farmer's lifestyle during Samurai period, thatched roof, fantastic wood structures, and old water wheel.
Various events are held in this house and surrounding area.