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Odawara is a town of about 200,000 inhabitants located in the region of Kanagawa, about 70 km south of Tokyo, near the much more famous Hakone.

This is not a very touristy town, and actually there is almost nothing to visit.

The only reason for which Odawara can worth a visit is that it has the only japanese-style castle located in the vicinity of Tokyo (I mean the only one which can be visited by a day trip from the Japanese capital).

If the destination of your trip is just Tokyo and you want really want to see a Japanese castle, you can only go to Odawara.

Odawara Castle

(opening hours 9-17, admission 400 yen)
This castle was founded in 1447, and after passing over the centuries under the control of different clans, it was for a large part demolished during the Meiji period (end '800). The structure that you can see today is a reconstruction built mainly in the 1960s.
The castle is surrounded by a beautiful park which can be visited for free, the admission ticket is required just for the building of the castle.
Inside, there are various exhibitions of objects and weapons of the past, while from the top floor you can enjoy a view of the surrounding area with the sea in the background.
panorama from odawara castle view from the terrace of the castle (photo taken from here)

Eating in Odawara

Since Odawara is located on the sea, its most popular delicacies of Odawara are fish based. Other famous coulinary delights are kamaboko, ika no shiokara and the famous umeboshi, special salted plums prepared with the many plum trees grown in the surrounding countryside.

Pratical guide, how to get to Odawara and map

Download Odawara PDF map

The park surrounding the castle is located about 600 meters far from the East Exit of Odawara station.

From Tokyo

Tokyo is connected to Odawara station by two railway companies, Odakyu Railways and JR.
The cheapest option is the Odawara line of the private company Odakyu Railways, which connects Tokyo's Shinjuku station to Odawara station (95 minutes, 850 YEN).
JR connects Tokyo to Odawara by two different lines, the Tokaido Main Line from Tokyo station, Shinbashi, Shinagawa, Yokohama station, etc (about 90 minutes, 1450 YEN) and the Shonan-Shinjuku line from Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Yokohama station, etc (about 90 minutes, 1450 YEN).
Some high-speed trains (shinkansen) between Tokyo and Osaka also stop at Odawara station, but just that ones called Kodama (35 minutes, 3640 YEN).
I advise you to take into consideration JR lines only if you have a Japan Rail Pass e quindi potete viaggiare gratis, if you must buy the ticket the Odakyu line is definitely more convenient.

From Hakone

Odawara is located very close to the popular tourist destination of Hakone, the two towns are connected through the Hakone Tozan line (15 minuts, 300 YEN).

View Odawara in a larger map

Guided tours, activities and other things to do

If you are planning a trip to Japan and you want to add something special besides the visit of the different monuments and famous places, we suggest you to use the site Govoyagin. This is a very useful site to enrich your travel experience, especially if you are going solo or it's your first time in Japan and, for language barriers and more, and you will not have many opportunities to interact with the locals and to enjoy something different from the famous places marked in the tourist guides.

What Govoyagin is

Govoyagin is a website where you can find many particular activities all over Japan (and not only in Japan).
You can buy tickets online for some famous attractions, but also book tours and really special experiences with locals ready to guide you and take you to places outside the tourist circuits that you would hardly ever find by yourself. Last but not least, you can reserve a table in hundreds of restaurants.

Some examples

On Govoyagin you can buy tickets in advance to visit the Tokyo Tower or the Tokyo Sky Tree, but also book guided tours of Kyoto temples accompanied by a samurai, or to go around the streets of Osaka on a go-kart dressed as Super Mario, or even play videogames against an unbeatable Japanese otaku at his place.
Last but not least, if you need to reserve your table in some restaurants, such as the legendary 3-star Michelin, also in this case you can find this kind of service for sale on Govoyagin. Take a look at Govoyagin

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Do you need a Pocket WiFi Router for your trip to Japan? →

Facebook Instagram Google+ Youtube - unauthorized reproduction of content is prohibited

Author: Davide Lee