Odawara Castle

During my trip through Kanagawa Prefecture I did not only visit Kawasaki Daishi Temple, the rather interesting Kanamara Matsuri (aka The Phallus Festival) and the Sankeien Garden in Yokohama, but on my way to Shizuoka Prefecture I also stopped by at Odawara Castle.

Visited: April 3rd 2012

Odawara Castle

Exploring Odawara Castle during a typhoon

I spent the morning in Yokohama re-visiting China Town and some other spots. The weather got worse and worse. My plan was to travel to Shizuoka Prefecture later that day and stop in Odawara as it’s on the way. By that time a strong typhoon had hit the Kanto area which is really rare in early April! It was raining cats and dogs. Apart from me there was almost nobody outside, but because I came all the way, I went to see the castle nevertheless.

I apologize that the photos are of lower quality and generally a little bit dark.


Odawara Castle

As you can see the cherry blossoms were already blooming and so there was a “Sakura Festival” going on, but not when the typhoon hit. I was almost the only one on the castle grounds at that time. The wind was extremely strong and so was the rain.


Odawara Castle – A great Japanese Castle

Odawara Castle

Odawara Castle (小田原城) is located in Odawara City, Kanagawa Prefecture (map) and can easily be accessed by a short 10min. walk from JR Odawara Station.

Odawara Castle

Among the many Japanese castles I’ve visited thus far, Odawara Castle is certainly one that deserves to be in the list of my favorites.

The main tower is rather big and very beautiful. Inside you’ll find various exhibitions on 5 floors, so expect to spend at least 30 minutes there!

Odawara Castle

Built in the 15th century Odawara Castle was expanded in 1495 by the daimyo Hojo Soun. The Hojo Clan grew stronger and ruled the castle for many generations until it had to be surrendered to Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the latter half of the 16th century. Since then the castle has seen many different owners. It was destroyed in the latter half of the 19th century when the political power changed from the Edo shogunate to the Meiji government.

The main tower you see now is a reconstruction of 1960. There are 5 floors, but from the outside you cannot see all of them as one is underground. The castle moat and stone walls remained as they were.

Odawara Castle

The park surrounding the castle is also very beautiful, but I couldn’t explore it on that day due to the typhoon. As it is very spacious, so I suppose that you need to calculate another 30 minutes to see everything!

Odawara Castle Odawara Castle

I took a different path back to the JR Odawara Station. The Odawara Castle Park has more than just one entry as you can see on the map.

Odawara Castle

There were several cute pictures on the pavement that was leading to the castle park!

Although my experience wasn’t the best due to the typhoon, I really was impressed and can highly recommend Odawara Castle! It can be easily accessed from Yokohama or Tokyo in a 30-90 mins train ride (depending on what type of train you use).


Tourist Information:
Opening Hours:
9:00-17:00 (enter before 16:30); Jun-Aug (Sat, Sun and national holidays until 18:00, enter before 17:30)
December 31st – January 1st; 2nd Wed in December
Entrance fee:
400 yen (adult); 150 yen (children – jr. high)
Time required:
at least 30 mins
Jonai, Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture 250-0014 // (+81)0465-22-3818
About 10 mins walk from JR Odawara Station.
Please note: Prices as well as opening hours / holidays are subject to change. Please make sure to follow the provided link to the official website to check out the latest updates.


  • I like Odawara caste. It’s beautiful, not too large, not too small and very conveniently accessible. There’s also a very tasty sweet shop in the train station (hopefully it’s still there). I had a strawberry shortcake inside a mochi there. It was absolutely delightful.

    • Actually I had to spend MANY hours in the JR train station as the trains stopped running due to the typhoon.
      I could easily walk outside and take photos, but the heavy trains couldn’t move anymore? What???
      The only problem was that I already got my luggage out of the coin locker before knowing it, so I couldn’t move around too much. I remember staying in a coffee shop there. It might have been Starbucks, but I’m not sure.
      I can’t recall a sweet shop, but then again I had other problems at that time! ;)

      • The show was in an underpass below the station. That’s as much as I remember. Should I pass through there next time, I’ll be sure to take picture if it’s still there :)

  • It seems that because of the weather you had the whole castle to yourself. ^_^
    That happened to me when I visited Iga Ueno castle. The bad weather kept people away, and there were very few people there when I visited.
    I visited Odawara castle, and it is a great castle to visit.

    • I certainly did! ^__^
      Luckily when I visited Iga Ueno the weather was nice, but as it was during the week there weren’t many people. That’s the best combination you can get: not many people AND good weather!

      Sounds so nice! I’m thinking about visiting again with hopefully better weather and more time to explore the surroundings! ;)

      Thanks for your comment! :D

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