Category: Things to Do

Odawara Welcomes the Wallabies and Rugby 7s Teams

The Wallabies and Australian Sevens teams will use Odawara, Japan as their training base for the next three years for their matches in the country.

With key matches and tournaments to be played in Japan in 2018, 2019, and 2020, Rugby Australia issued an expression of interest to the Japanese market in late 2017 to establish an Australian Rugby training base in the country and Odawara was chosen for location, commitment, and quality of facilities.

Odawara, which is located an hour south of Tokyo and Yokohama by car, or 35 minutes by bullet train. The region was selected due its superior facilities and accommodation options, coupled with a strong local government commitment and support from the local community.

The arrangement provides Australia’s national teams with access to the Shiroyama Athletic Field and Hilton Odawara Resort which is equipped with elite-level gym facilities.

The Wallabies will be the first team on site when they converge on Odawara for a training week prior to their third and final Bledisloe Cup clash with New Zealand at Yokohama on October 27. The facilities will also be available for the Wallabies for any time spent in Japan prior to the official commencement of Rugby World Cup 2019.

The Australian Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams will initially use the facilities for pre-Olympic training camps in 2019.

“We wanted to secure a home away from home in Japan for our Qantas Wallabies and Sevens teams and Odawara was a standout submission after we fielded strong interest from across the country.

“The Odawara community has embraced our teams and there is a high level of support for Rugby and the Wallabies in the region. In Odawara, we also have a very committed and accommodating local government partner and we look forward to establishing a great friendship with the people of Odawara over the coming years.”

An Introduction to Odawara

Odawara is a regularly ignored entryway to nature and history. Sightseers searching for places or towns rich in Japanese conventional culture regularly settle on Hakone or Karuizawa, however why travel so far when this excellence is on Tokyo’s doorstep?

Most celebrated for Odawara Castle, initially implicit the mid fifteenth century and held by the Hojo tribe, Odawara is a fortune trove for those intrigued by Japan’s tremendously discussed Warring States Era. It likewise happens to be Tokyo’s nearest stronghold and keep mix, a little more than a hour away via prepare.

The château isn’t Odawara’s just distinguishing strength. It is additionally the main town inside the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, which is acclaimed for its hot springs and unimaginable perspectives of Mt Fuji. Standard transports gone through Odawara taking you to well known climbing goals, and the station is likewise served by six diverse prepare lines including the Tokaido Shinkansen.

Crisp fish is gotten and sold regular at Odawara Harbor. Kamaboko, steamed fish meat framed on a wooden piece, is a mainstream sustenance of decision for Japanese individuals, in spite of the fact that not as acclaimed outside of Japan as sushi or takoyaki. On the off chance that you get yourself snared, the Suzuhiro Kamaboko Museum gives data on Kamaboko’s history and permits guests the likelihood of making their own.

A prime area for fish and ocean sees, Odawara additionally spends significant time in salted plums and paper lamps (so frequently observed at Japanese celebrations amid the mid year months).

Make like local people and make a beeline for Seikantei. Initially the estate of an once distinguished family, it offers a look into the way of life of the old-school Japanese world class and highlights the staples of Japanese home stylistic theme. It’s staggering ocean side perspectives of Sagami Bay disregard a consummately organized conventional garden. Unwind and take in the all-common fragrance of the tatami tangle flooring while you loosen up with tea and scones.

For those going with kids, Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Natural History is a most loved for its broad accumulation of dinosaur fossils and bug displays. At just 510 yen for each individual, this gallery offers amusement and instruction on a financial plan. In the event that the children would rather a more dynamic outing, Odawara Wanpaku Land is a free play area with discretionary paid highlights, for example, a creature stop and little themed rides; the ideal place for a family cookout.

The JR Tokaido Shinkansen takes thirty minutes from Tokyo or Shinagawa Station to Odawara. The Shinkansen is prescribed on the off chance that you need to complete a half-day or entire day stumble on a tight schedule, costing ¥3500 one way.

On the other hand, on the off chance that you have additional time or need to spare cash, you can get to Odawara from Tokyo in around 70-a hour and a half by nearby or fast prepares on the JR Tokaido Main Line (going through Tokyo, Shimbashi and Shinagawa Stations) or the JR Shonan Shinjuku Line (going through Ikebukuro, Shinjuku and Shibuya Stations) for a large portion of the cost.

These trains are secured by the Japan Rail Pass, JR Tokyo Wide Pass, JR East Nagano Niigata Area Pass, JR East Tohoku Area Pass and JR East South Hokkaido Pass however the Shinkansen is just secured by the Japan Rail Pass.

Odawara Art Museum

The New York Times writes about the Odawara Art Foundation….

WITHOUT WARNING, the Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto begins to sing. Moments before, he had been guiding me through his minimalist penthouse loft in a verdant neighborhood of Tokyo, explaining in a voice barely louder than a whisper why white Japanese shikkui plaster is the most beautiful surface on which to view shadows. Then, in a soaring tenor, he starts belting out Handel’s “Lascia ch’io pianga,” his strong voice echoing off the bare walls.

Spend any time with Sugimoto, and such scenes will grow familiar: It is all but impossible to know what he will do next. Sugimoto built his name on photography; his meditative, black-and-white images of everything from drive-in movie theaters and eerily naturalistic wax figures to Rothko-esque seascapes are well represented in museum collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Centre Pompidou, Tate Modern and the J.Paul Getty Museum. Now, a full four decades into his career, there is architecture. At 69 years old, the artist is quietly making an ambitious transition, expanding his two-dimensional vision to one that captures the world in space.

A self-described “unlicensed architect” who splits his time between Tokyo and New York, Sugimoto has brought his monastic Modernist aesthetic to life through the firm New Material Research Laboratory, which he co-founded with the architect Tomoyuki Sakakida in 2008. “Most of my ideas are illegal,” says Sugimoto, who considers it Sakakida’s job “to make it look like it’s legal.” As Sugimoto leads me from his penthouse to a second apartment below — both of which he designed — it becomes clear the firm’s name is intentionally ironic. “New materials means ancient materials. Forgotten,” he says, walking through a hallway paved with stone beams rescued from temples and past sliding doors with a traditional cedar-bark and bamboo surface. “The material usually comes first, and then I think about the design,” he says. The loft has the quality of a Mondrian: Bare white walls are set off against rectangular panels of intricately grained rare woods, a grid of tatami mats and cylindrical white calico-covered stools floating on clear legs (also designed by Sugimoto).

Top 10 things to do in Odawara

Top 10 Things to do in Odawara

Odawara is a city with a long and colorful history. There are things and people to enjoy all over town, but here are some highlights on the area.

1. Odawara Castle

Odawara Castle is a wonderful place to gain insight and feel Japanese history. Just minutes from the station, this is a great place to take a stroll.

2. Visit a Sake Brewery

Sake is the drink of the gods and there are a number of breweries in the area open to tours and tastings.

3. Visit the Morning Fish Market

japan fish market odawara

Odawara fish market still holds the ambiance and feel of a Tsukiji, but without the crowds and regulations limiting contact with fishmongers. Come early on one of our experiences!

4. Try Kamaboko

Get local and try Odawara`s most famous product. Kamaboko has been made for centuries in the city and at the Suzuhiro Kamaboko Village you can taste, learn, and even make your own!

5. Zen in the Mountains

One of Japanese zen buddhism`s most important temples is located deep in the forests around Odawara. A mystical place that offers you an opportunity to stay and take part in a zen experience.

5. Explore the Town

Odawara grew around the castle and it`s close proximity to Tokyo made it a popular place for people to have villas. There are historic traditions, wonderful food, and

6. Ride a Bike

Odawara sits at the base of the Ashigara Plain, a relatively flat area easy for biking. There are great places to visit, things to see, and roads to discover. Biking along the Sakawa river up to Matsuda is a popular route. There are bike tours and bike rentals available in the area.

7. Go Hiking

Odawara is surrounded by beautiful nature. Hike the coastal hills of Nebukawa or go into the deep forests of Ashigara. Many of the trails are easily accessible from the trains stations in the area and there are different levels of challenge available as well.

8. Enjoy the Nightlife

Odawara nightlife is centered around the station and gives you an opportunity to explore and enjoy the sights, sounds, tastes, and drinks of the town. There are wonderful late night places to enjoy a few drinks and connect with the friendly locals.

9. Learn a Traditional Craft

Odawara was once a booming castle town with different industries and crafts catering to the needs of the people and travelers in town. There are still opportunities to see metal casting, woodworking, green tea roasting, and chochin making. Chochin were made in Odawara for the travelers headed toward the dark and steep mountains of Hakone. The Chochin can be thought of as traditional flashlights, lighting the way for travelers. Take part in a Chochin making experience.

10. Enjoy Japanese Sports

There is professional futsal in town, a professional soccer team a few towns over, a sumo tournament in 2017, and Odawara is gearing up for Japan to host the 2020 Olympics and 2019 Rugby World Cup. There are more traditional Japanese sports like Kendo, Karate, and Aikido that you can take part in too.

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