The symbol of Odawara City, Kanagawa. The former castle area is now a park beloved by town residents and has an amusement park for children.
Odawara Castle is best known as the seat of the Odawara Hojo clan, which captured it in the late 15th century and enjoyed the glory for 100 years — until the castle fell to Hideyoshi, ending the warring states period. After that, the castle was ruled by many feudal lords, until 1870 when it was banned by the Meiji Government and many of the castle buildings were dismantled. The Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 crushed the remaining buildings, leaving the area without reminders of its past. Post-earthquake reconstruction efforts brought back not only the main castle tower but the corner tower (Sumi-yagura), Tokiwagi-mon, Akagane-mon and Umadashi-mon gates. The exterior design of the reconstructed main tower was based on a reduced-scale prototype and plans created during the Edo Period (1603–1868). Inside the tower is a historical museum exhibiting helmets, armor, swords, drawings, paintings and historical records telling the story of Odawara and Odawara Hojo Clan. A ten-minute walk from the East Exit of Odawara Station on the Tokaido Main Line.