Odawara Castle Park for Hanami

Odawara Castle sakura Odawara Castle cherry blossom
Odawara Castle sakura view
500 yen gets you to the top
Odawara Castle view from top
of the 7th highest castle tower in Japan

outdoor seating

relax by the river

Hakone pork cooked in hot spring
Afterwards, you might want to check out an amazing onsen place called Tenzan ひがな湯治 天山 a 15-minute train ride plus a 10-minute bus ride away in Hakone-Yumoto 箱根湯本.

The restaurant and resting area are by the river, with a couple of cherry blossom trees. The outdoor seating area was raining pale pink sakura petals when I went in spring.

The hot springs are not in a huge area but really nice - 1 wooden half-open indoor tub, a sauna, plus 5 mostly clear outdoor hot spring rock baths on varying levels with gorgeous wooden structures surrounded by greenery, plus little whimsical statues, thatched roof, small cave, bamboo, mini waterfalls...

When I went in late March, there were cherry blossom petals floating on the milky hot spring water, with a small butterfly dancing on the side and oranges dangling from the tree - pretty magical!

Shampoo, conditioner & bars of soap (not liquid soap like most places) provided. There are hairdryers but nothing else so bring your own lotion & cotton buds. It's 1300 yen with your own towels and more for towel rental. There's another onsen called Ikkyu かよい湯治 一休 next door for 1100 yen.

To get here, follow the sign from Hakone-Yumoto Station & go downstairs to 'B' of "Ryokan shuttle bus service" where you can catch a 16 seater orange van with some space for luggage in the back. It takes 10 minutes uphill to Tenzan. There are 2 buses an hour there and back - must have 100 yen exact change. Regular buses cost 230 yen but you can use SUICA.