The history of Odawara Castle actually began in the 15th century with a bhold built by the Omori Clan. After Hojo Soun conquered the area in 1495, he and his ancestors gradually expanded the castle as the Hojo clan gained power. At the height of their power, the Hojo controlled much of the Kanto area with support castles on the fringes in modern day Chiba, Ibaraki, Saitama, and Kanagawa prefectures.
Odawara Castle faced three major attacks by Uesugi Kenshin in 1561, Takeda Shingen in 1569 and Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1590. The last siege by Toyotomi Hideoyoshi was the end of the Hojo clan’s supremacy and the castle was turned over to Tokugawa Ieyasu.
In the final siege by Hideyoshi, he brought all his generals from around the country with about 200,000 troops to bear on Odawara Castle. In the leadup to the siege, the various generals took over Hojo castles and bholds on their way to Odawara. As Hideyoshi closed the net around Odawawa he flaunted his strength by creating an almost festival like atmosphere with performances and tea ceremonies and he even brought in his concubine (Yodo-dono) and tea master (Sen no Rikyu). Hojo eventually conceded his defeat and turned over the castle with little bloodshed.
Once Tokugawa Ieyasu took control of the castle, he stationed his vassal Okubo Tadayo as castle lord. Okubo reduced the size of the castle from the Hojo days because it representated a threat to the Tokugawa power. The Okubo family ruled over Odawara for the entire Edo Period except for a brief period in the 1700’s. The castle was dismantled in 1870.
Here, We introduce you the charms in Odawara Castle.
The castle-tower of Odawara Castle is at an altitude of 60 meters. You can see not only the premises of the castle, but also the city of Odawara and even Sagami bay from the castle-tower. Make sure to climb right up to the castle-tower on your visit.
Tokiwagi-mon is a gate situated in front of the castle. It was reconstructed in 1971 to reproduce the original design. It is bigger than other gates and its massive shape overwhelms visitors who stand in front of it.
The precincts of the castle and nearby park have a lot of trees such as cherry blossom trees, hydrangea, and plum trees. Various kinds of flowers bloom in each season and look gorgeous against the contrasting white walls of Odawara Castle. A lot of photo enthusiasts are attracted to this place.
Odawara Castle Address: 300 Ogikubo, Odawara, Kanagawa Phone : +81-465-23-1373 Access: 10-min walk from Odawara Station of JR Odakyu line Time Required: 60 minutes Opening Hours / Holidays: 9:00-17:00 Official Website: Odawara Castle Admission fee: Adults for castle-tower 410 yen, elementary and junior high school students 150 yen; adults for the history museum 300 yen, elementary and junior high school students 100 yen; joint ticket for the castle tower and the history museum for adults 600 yen, elementary school and junior high school students 200 yen Other Information: *Castle-tower is closed until the end of April of 2016 due to the renewal for earthquake resistance.