Odawara castle is a five story castle built in the fifteenth century, although the building you see there today is certainly not the original. The compound has been torn down and rebuilt several times with 1960 being the most recent work on the current building. The castle is a quick walk from the station and has an interesting museum inside with scale models of the original compound as well as various artifacts and tools from the Hojo clan. There is also a rotating exhibit on the third floor. The small fee of 500 en is definitely worth the price, the view from the top alone is almost worth it.
There are some spectacular views from the fifth story observation deck from where you can see most of Odawara and Mt. Oyama among a number of smaller peaks in the range. After leaving the castle, we went down to the beach and discovered that it was wetsuit season. Summer has definitely left Japan, although temperatures are still sweat inducing every now and then. We ate kurage (Japanese fried chicken breast) at a Hawaiian restaurant with colossal portions attached to one of the everpresent pachinko parlors. I suppose if you lose all your en gambling at least you can get a good meal afterward.
Sadly this month is a rather tight one budget wise, so I didn’t get to check out the nightlife in Odowara, which looks quite lively. But we headed into Yokohama for a brief hoppy sochu or two at a favorite izekaya to round off the night.