Our third day trip is at Odawara and Hakone. During our travel, the weather isn’t as nice as our other trip. But this doesn’t stop us to visit Tokyo’s nearby castle and the tori on lake.
How we get there:
We were supposed to ride a limited express train but since the first train departs at 9am, we rode a local train via Tokaido Line. In this line, they had the first-class car or the so-called green car where you can get a comfortable seat throughout the journey. However, this isn’t included in our Tokyo Wide Pass so we got to pay an extra charge for this (in our case, we paid 750 yen).
Tokyo’s nearby castle
After almost two hours in the train, we finally arrived at Odawara Station. On our first stop, we head to Odawara Castle which is only a 10-minute walking distance from the station. Kanagawa’s Odawara Castle is closest castle from Tokyo so it is a good chance to learn Japan’s history during this trip. Odawara Castle was owned by the Hojo Clan and had been one of their important bases during the Warring States period (1467-1603). This isn’t as been as what it was before since its reconstructions due to earthquakes and modernity for Meiji Restoration, however, this is enough to spark my interest on what life inside and outside this castle before.
Odawara castle has also museum inside. For only 500 yen, you can see interesting archives, armours and other things that has been used or made before.
At the top of the castle tower, there is a 360 degrees view observatory. If the weather was good, it oversees the Pacific Ocean, Mt. Hakone and Mt. Fuji.
As we went out to the castle area, a trellis of wisteria were blooming.
There are two routes when going to Lake Ashi: Togendai (north part of Lake Ashi) and Hakonemachi-ko (south part of Lake Ashi). Our only goal for this trip is to visit the Hakone-jinja Shrine therefore we chose Hakonemachi-ko, as it is close to the shrine. Since its holiday, heavy traffic congestion going to Hakone happened so it was impossible to rode buses from Odawara. We had no choice but to ride the Hakone Tozan Railway going to Hakone-Yumoto Station, then a direct bus to Hakonemachi-ko.
Direct buses from Hakone-Yumoto to Hakonemachi-ko cost around 1,100 yen and took us 40 minutes to get there.
Shrine beside Lake Ashi
The distance between Hakonemachi-ko and Hakone-jinja Shrine is 20 to 30-minute walk. Despite the heavy rain, we managed to arrived the tori gate at Lake Ashi.