Odawara Castle is a very important historical castle in Kanagawa Prefecture. There are many historical sites there, including the castle tower, which stands as the main symbol of the castle now. The stability of the tower, along with the historical setting, earned it a spot on the list of 100 famous Japanese castles.
About Odawara Castle
Odawara Castle was built in the mid 15th century, and is Japan’s largest earthen castle. The outermost enclosure of the castle is 9km around, and has strong fortifications such as a moat and walls. Because of the strength of these defensive measures, it was known as an impenetrable castle. Later, it was abandoned and demolished, but from 1960, it has been rebuilt in the same image as the past. In the present day, the interior of the castle grounds are being maintained as the Odawara Castle Gardens, and there are tea rooms and shops to visit.
Things to do in Odawara Castle
Some of the highlights of Odawara Castle are the restored portions of the castle, such as the castle tower, the Tokiwagi Gate, and the Akagane Gate. Also, within the Odawara Castle Gardens, cherry blossoms, hydrangeas, and Japanese irises bloom in various seasons, so you can enjoy viewing the flowers while learning about the castle.
The Castle Tower
The Castle Tower is a definite must-see spot at Odawara Castle. It’s about 38m tall, and though it looks like it’s 3 stories tall, the first floor is actually split into 2, so it’s really a 4 story building. The interior has been made into an exhibition, so you can learn all about Odawara Castle. There is also an observation deck on the top floor, where you can look out over the town of Odawara and Sagami Bay.
The Tokiwagi Gate
The Tokiwagi Gate is the main gate of Odawara Castle, and it is much stronger and defensible than the other gates. The gate and the wall are a solid structure, and it includes a 2nd story area for an armory and a lookout post. On the 1st floor, you can try out wearing a helmet and armor or a kimono. We recommend taking pictures at the many spots around the grounds. In 2016, a Samurai Hall was opened on the 2nd floor. You can view helmets, armor, and swords, and a projection mapping recreating the world of the Samurai.
Odawara Castle Operation Times and Entrance Fees
The operation times of Odawara Castle vary by facility. The Castle Tower and Tokiwagi Gate are usually open from 9AM-5PM. During the summer, Golden Week, and festival periods, the Castle Tower stays open until 7PM.
The entrance fees are 500 yen for the Castle Tower, and 200 yen for the Tokiwagi Gate. If you buy tickets for both facilities, it only costs 600 yen, so you save 100 yen! (As of April, 2019)
How to Get to Odawara Castle
Odawara Castle is about a 10 minute walk from JR Odawara Station. We recommend heading to Odawara Station from Yokohama Station in Kanagawa, or Tokyo Station in Tokyo. From either station, you can get on the JR Tokaido Line and get to Odawara Station with no train changes. From Yokohama Station, it will take about 1 hour, and from Tokyo Station, it takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- Spot name：Odawara Castle
- Street address：6-1,Odawara-shi, Jounai, Kanagawa-ken, 〒250-0014
- Access：About a 10 minute walk from JR Odawara Station
- Ticket Purchase：At entrance
- Credit cards：No credit cards accepted