October 7-9, 2017
If you are taking the shinkansen (bullet train) to Hakone, a mountainous weekend getaway out of Tokyo, you might find yourself in Odawara. How about a castle and sushi before heading into the mountains?
Odawara Castle, a white wedding cake structure that glistens on its base, was recently renovated. The interior is a museum of the feudal Hojo family that ran this region, including around modern day Tokyo, in the 16th century. Most of the modern looking museum is in the form of informational exhibits, generally in Japanese with only few descriptions in English. There are a few artifacts – swords and armor – and a floor of pottery.
The draw here is the view from the top of the castle, the 7th tallest in Japan.
With an important fishing port, Odawara has some authentic sushi opportunities.
Lunch at the Eatery at the Fish Market. If you like fresh seafood this is the place to come. Located on the second floor inside of the main fishing port it’s a little hard to find. This sign marks the way.
The menu is only in Japanese. There are, however, pictures on the vending machine where you order your fish and pay. Exchange the paper ticket you get from the vending machine for a plastic number and wait for your number to be called.
The super fresh sashimi will be worth your effort.
On a second trip to the port we stopped at the sushi restaurant at the Odawara Fish Center located near the port, the Fish Center is marked on Google Maps. Although not much English is spoken the menu has pictures. We ordered a sushi selection and a sashimi plate.
Everything was excellent with larges pieces of super fresh fish. Note that the sushi bar is tucked inside the market across from a BBQ restaurant. You can order the same fresh fish at the BBQ restaurant.