If you’ve never had a chance to visit Odawara, you’re missing out. This town features a castle and aesthetic that seem to come straight out of a fairytale. With whimsical rides, romantic vibes, and many activities to do – this town is a perfect picturesque area to visit. Make sure to take a day trip to Odawara to experience some of the prettiest and most exciting attractions.
Japan Odawara Castle
The Odawara Castle is one of, if not the top attraction found in town, and it’s a perfect spot to check out on day trips. The outside of the castle is painted a bright white set atop stones and surrounded by cherry blossoms. If you can make it during cherry blossom season, you will not be disappointed by the scenery, as it only adds to the castle’s beauty. To see this, head here in March and April.
This castle, surprisingly, has a history filled with attacks and earthquakes, causing it to be rebuilt in the early 1700s and then again in 1960. It was originally built in the late 1500s. Odawara Castle is one of the closest historic sites with a fort to Tokyo. Since the final rebuild in the Edo Period-style, the castle has remained in its fixed condition.
You may be interested to know that there is a Ninja Museum also located on the castle property. If you’re heading here with children, it’s a fun stop to add to the itinerary. Inside, you’ll find a ninja training course that your whole family can participate in.
The castle can be explored from 9 am to 5 pm daily, with a few closed days each year. There is a 510 yen entry fee for this location.
The Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Natural History was built in 1995 and provides information on everything related to animals, plants, and nature. Some exhibits offer preserved dinosaur skeletons and some that educate about the earth and how it was formed.
There is even an oversized book exhibit with an encyclopedia-like appearance adding to the exciting things that can be seen here. The museum is open every day except Mondays from 9 am to 4:30 pm. General admission is 520 yen with student discounts available. Theres a free parking available on site.
Odawara Flower Garden
Nature lovers will highly enjoy the flower garden found in Odawara. A variety of flowers can be seen the whole year, making it an excellent attraction regardless of the season. This garden houses an outdoor flower area that can be explored leisurely or an indoor greenhouse with additional plants. On days where the weather is not ideal, you can stay in the greenhouse.
Water fountains “dance” during the summer, making an entertaining stop while walking through beautiful multicolored roses. There is no fee for the outdoor garden. However, entry to the greenhouse is an additional 200 yen. The garden is open from 9 am to 5 pm every day.
Odawara Restaurant Options
There is a good selection of restaurants in Odawara to choose from. Below you’ll find a few you can head to when you start getting hungry.
- Odawara Oden Main Store. Here you’ll find tasty stews filled with delicious veggies and a variety of meats.
- Royal Host. This spot is kid-friendly and offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Seasonal menu items and desserts are available, as well as Japanese steak options.
- Brunches. This is one of my favorite restaurants. Every time we head to Odawara, we make it a point to stop here. It is about a 15+ minute drive from Odawara. You’ll want to aim for this restaurant on the way out of the town.
When planning your Odawara travels, keep the above activities in mind. They’ll provide you with education and beautiful sights next time you spend a day here. Escape into the picturesque town of Odawara for the ultimate day trip. Don’t forget to try out the above restaurants in between attractions!