The entrance to Fuji Hakone Izu National Park. A hub of the transportation system.
Odawara City is situated in the southwest of Kanagawa Prefecture, and is famous for Odawara Castle, where the Hojo family, rulers of the Kanto region during the Sengoku Period (the warring states period) resided. Now Odawara is the hub of the transportation system, where major railways such as the JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line, the Odakyu Line, and Hakone Tozan Line all meet. The Route 1 also passes through Odawara. It is also the entrance to Fuji Hakone Izu National Park and is always busy with visitors and traffic.
Odawara initially flourished around the castle of the Hojo family, who ruled the area during the 15th century; the city further prospered during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries as a post town on the Tokaido Highway, which was the main transport artery that linked Edo (now known as Tokyo) and Kyoto. Odawara Joshi-koen Park (Castle Ruins Park) is well-known for cherry and plum blossoms. At the Honmaru Hiroba (square) of the castle, you can rent samurai clothes or kimono.
Fresh seafood is brought into Odawara Harbor every day, and 'kamaboko,' steamed processed fish meat cleverly formed on a wooden block, is one of the representative marine products of Odawara. Other nationally famous special products of Odawara include pickled plums, paper lanterns, and lacquerware.