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Odawara City is situated in the southwest of Kanagawa Prefecture, 40 minutes away from Tokyo by Tokaido line, and is famous for Odawara Castle, where the Hojo family, rulers of the Kanto region during the Sengoku Period (the warring states period) resided. It is a fine three-tiered, five-storied donjon, the top floor of which is an observatory. The moat and stone wall remain as they were in olden times. During the early years of the Edo Period (1603-1868) Odawara became one of the most important stops on the Tokaido Highway which connected Edo with the capital Kyoto. Odawara initially flourished around the castle of the Hojo family as a post town on the Tokaido Highway. 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. Now Odawara is the hub of the transportation system, where major railways such as the JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line, the Odakyu Line, and Route 1 all meet. It also serves primarily as the access point for the Hakone National Park and is always busy with visitors and traffic. The shinkansen platforms at Odawara Station are also one of the best places to take pictures of the Bullet Train.
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 lacquer ware.
The residence of a feudal lord, the Odawara Hojo Family
Part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and famous for Hot Springs
One of the world's largest Chinatowns and preserves former Western residences
Hidden in the dense forest, but are well advertised by its huge torii gates
Famous crater in Hakone and active volcanic zone
Beautiful Scenery of Mt. Fuji from a different perspective
Mix of old and new, Many Historical Temples and Beautiful Gardens
The Largest China Town in Japan