Zip lines and more in a castle town with vast playgrounds for adventure seekers big and small
Located in the southwest of Kanagawa Prefecture, Odawara is a major transportation hub and the gateway to the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. It is particularly famous for Odawara Castle, making it a popular tourist destination in the prefecture.
Odawara Wanpaku Land (Kodomo no Mori Park) is a huge playground for children. It offers hills, grassy areas, slides, playground equipment, and even a miniature train. This park is perfect for kids to run, play, and have fun in a safe and enjoyable environment.
For adventure seekers, Forest Adventure Odawara is a wonderland. It offers wooden platforms, cables, zip lines, ropes, and nets, mostly 10 meters off the ground. This thrilling experience is perfect for those who seek adrenaline and excitement.
While Hakone is the main attraction for onsen lovers in the area, Yugawara, located on Sagami Bay nearby, is a well-known and less crowded hot spring resort. It offers the perfect opportunity to relax and rejuvenate in the healing waters of the hot springs.
To get to Odawara, it is easily accessible from Tokyo and Yokohama. The Tokaido Shinkansen or JR Tokaido Line can take you there from both cities in between 30 to 90 minutes. Nagoya, Kyoto, and Osaka are also just a couple of hours or less away on the Tokaido Shinkansen.
Odawara has a rich history. It initially flourished under the Hojo clan during the near-constant conflict of the Sengoku period. Odawara Castle served as a key stronghold during this time. Additionally, Odawara also served as an important post town along the Tokaido Highway, which linked Edo (old Tokyo) to Kyoto.
Aside from Odawara Castle, there are other attractions nearby. Enoura Observatory offers gorgeous views of the bay, while the Odawara Plum Festival in February showcases the area’s many plum trees in full bloom. Nearby locations, such as Hakone, Kamakura, and the Shonan beaches, also offer plenty of activities and festivals throughout the year.
In conclusion, Odawara is a must-visit destination in Kanagawa Prefecture. With its famous castle, vast playgrounds, thrilling adventure activities, and nearby attractions, it offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or an adventure seeker, Odawara has it all. So, plan your trip now and explore the wonders of this castle town with endless possibilities.
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