Odawara Townwalk in Kanagawa
Odawara city is not so huge and it’s easy to walk around. Politicians and business leaders in Meiji period, the modern era after the Edo period, built their second houses in Odawara. Odawara is a very popular place to build a second house due to its location near Hakone’s hot spring area, with great nature of both mountains and seaside within easy reach.
I took the route from Suzuhiro Kamaboko Museum to Seikantei, visiting Matsunaga Kinenkan Museum and Odawara Bungakukan.
1. Matsunaga Kinenkan Museum
Yasuzaemon Matsunaga was a businessman who played a significant role in the Electronics industry before and after World War Ⅱ. There is his old house and tea rooms in Matsunaga Kinenkan Museum. It takes less than one hour to look around, but it’s a nice drop-by on the way back to Odawara Station from Suzuhiro Kamaboko Museum.
Odawara Bungakukan features novelists from Odawara city and a children’s song writer, Hakushu Kitahara, who introduced Mother Goose to Japanese. It has cozy garden to take a rest.
Seikantei was built in 1906 as the second house of Nagashige Kuroda, a former member of the nobility. It’s near Odawara Castle and has a nice Cafe.
A friend of mine, who has lived in Odawara for more than 10 years, criticizes each temple and old house in Odawara city for being so small for tourists, as compared to Kamakura or Kyoto. I partly agree, but Odawara city has a long history as a health resort, so it is unique from other traditional tourist areas. A one-night stay in a nice guest house, while enjoying seafoods and having a relaxing time in Odawara city, would be a good idea.