Enjoy Odawara Castle Town

Welcome to Odawara, a picturesque town facing Sagami Bay. During the Edo Period (1603-1868), it flourished as the biggest post station town in the Tokaido, the route linking Edo with Kyoto. The area is also the castle town of Odawara Castle and has nurtured a diverse culture based on its prosperity. Recently, a commercial complex, adjacent to the station, has been opened in this post station town rich in history. Odawara has a lot to offer, so take a stroll and experience the unique blend of old and new in this city!

Experience Edo’s Castle Town at Odawara / Minaka Odawara

Odawara-Shin-Jokamachi is filled with a historical atmosphere as it reproduces the appearance of an Edo castle town, while Minaka Odawara is divided into two towers. With exceptionally easy access located right next to the station, the streets are recreated in a manner reminiscent of merchant houses and inns built with mud walls that even three centuries ago were earthquake and fire-proof, so it’s just like an Edo-style theme park.
There are over forty shops focused on food and drinks. The Seisho Food Stadium features a variety of popular local restaurants in the Odawara and Seisho areas. Please enjoy the taste of traditional and modern food, and while you’re there, take a look at the endless selection of souvenirs available.

On the top floor of the tower, there are restaurants with unrivaled views and at the adjacent “Minaka Odawara Observatory Footbath Garden”, you can enjoy this amazing scenery. Soak your feet in the natural hot springs in Hakone-Yumoto while enjoying a panoramic view of the city including Odawara Castle, the Manazuru Peninsula, and Sagami Bay.
Feel free to bring some food along with you to Kinjiro Plaza, as they allow visitors to take a break and enjoy take-out food while bathing in the atmosphere of the castle town that flourished in the middle of the 15th century.

Kimono rentals are also available inside Minaka Odawara.
Please enjoy your visit to a key travel destination from the Edo Period that contains historical and new spots to visit.

Enjoy History at an Impregnable Castle / Odawara Castle Ruins Park

During the Sengoku Period, Odawara Castle was the headquarters of the Hojo Clan, a clan of feudal lords who controlled the entire Kanto area. Considered a large and impregnable castle, it was destroyed by the forces of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. After the castle was abandoned in 1870, most of its buildings were dismantled, but in 1960, the castle tower was rebuilt, followed by the Tokiwagi Gate and Akagane Gate. Most of the current ruins are designated as a national historic site, including the Honmaru and Ninomaru areas (inner and outer citadel, respectively). From the top of the castle tower, there is an unbroken view of Sagami Bay.

Other than the museum shop inside the castle tower, where you can buy souvenirs and illustrated books of the castle tower, there are other facilities within the Castle Ruins Park to enjoy history while you learn, such as the Ninja Museum and Samurai Museum. Here you can experience wearing a kimono, armor, and helmet.

From sunset until 9.00 pm, the castle walls light up, creating a magical landscape. Also, you can enjoy many flowers blooming all year-round, such as the popular cherry trees, Japanese iris, and hydrangea. Next door, there’s the Hotoku Ninomiya Shrine, where Ninomiya Sontoku (1787-1856), a famous character born in Odawara during the late Edo Period, is worshiped, as well as a cafe.

Select Washi Paper at this 360-Year Old Shop / Odawara Ejima

Under the motto “good things from Japan,” the shop offers Japanese tea, Japanese paper, Japanese goods, gifts, and tea sweets. This multi-brand store offers a variety of "Made in Japan" products of reliable taste and quality, including fragrant and colorful deep-steamed sencha tea from Kakegawa, Shizuoka Prefecture; soft-tasting seaweed from the Ariake Sea; durable and beautiful handmade Japanese paper; and a wide range of easy-to-use ceramics and Nambu ironware from various regions of Japan.

It’s an old shop established in 1661, in the early Edo period. The shop was established by Ejima Gonbei, a government official at Hakone Checkpoint, was destroyed during the Great Kanto Earthquake and later rebuilt in 1928 at great expense. Even after more than 90 years of construction, the traditional Odawara merchant house architecture remains. In addition to ceremonial items and gifts for special occasions such as weddings and funerals, the store also offers a wide range of daily necessities for everyday life. Get a souvenir unique to Japan as a memory of your trip to Odawara.

A Specialty of Odawara: A Long-Established Pickled Plum Shop / Chinriu Honten

A specialty store specializing in pickled plums (umeboshi), a traditional food indispensable to Japanese cuisine and recently attracting attention overseas as a healthy food. A former ryotei (Japanese-style restaurant) established in 1871, since its establishment, high-quality pickled plums made from carefully selected quality plums have become Odawara's specialty. There is a wide variety of pickled plums, from those made traditionally with a salty taste, to modern-style ones, such as low-sodium, honey-flavored, and bonito-flavored, as well as the finest and most expensive plums.

Also popular are plum wines, plum jams, and Western sweets that utilize plums, such as "plum brownies," "plum galette," and "pickled plum pound cake" – and we can’t forget the delicious Japanese and Western sweets using ripe fruit pulp. The store also houses the Odawara Station Front Umeboshi Museum, which displays a barrel used to make pickled plums in 1868 and pickled plums from successive generations, including some made in 1834 and 1871. Experience the rare history of pickled plums as a preservative throughout the centuries.

Enjoy the Atmosphere of Modern Odawara / Hakoneguchi Garage Hotoku Square

At the entrance of the site, MOHA No. 202, a tram that once ran between Odawara and Hakone-Itabashi, is on display, creating a retro and comforting atmosphere. It’s also a popular photo spot.
Hotoku Ninomiya Shrine is a shrine dedicated to Ninomiya Sontoku (1787-1856), a famous person born in Odawara during the late Edo Period. This facility participates in the revitalization of the town, and a statue of Sontoku is its landmark. Kinjirou Cafe, an affiliated store within the shrine grounds, includes Kinjirou CAFE & GRILL, where you can spend a relaxing time; Patisserie HINNA, which offers delicious and cute cakes; and Hotoku Kaikan Design Studio FLOWER & GARDENS, which offers dried flowers and a variety of greenery.

Kinjirou was the name that Ninomiya Sontoku was called as a child, and the logo is a cute mark using the statue of Ninomiya Kinjirou as a motif. During lunch time at the café, you can enjoy grilled dishes using local ingredients, fresh fish landed at Odawara Fishing Port, bowls of rice topped with steaks made with Japanese beef, etc. During café time, you can enjoy sweets from the patisserie next door. Incidentally, the tram on display, MOHA No. 202, is available for exclusive reservations on an hourly basis. Enjoy the items you purchased at cafes and other places with your family and friends on the retro train and create great memories.