We had my friend's 17 year old daughter from Germany staying with us in July, During her stay we took her around Tokyo and on a weekend we drove out of Tokyo to see Mount Fuji. On the way we stopped at the Odawara Castle.
This Castle is probably the closest Japanese Castle from Tokyo, and can easily be accessed by car and train as it is only short distance from the motorway and the train station. It's also a short distance from Hakone.
It was renovated last year and inside the castle is a museum displaying the samurai armors and historical artifacts. I've only been to the castle in my husband's hometown, Himeji. The Himeji Castle is known to be the most beautiful castle in Japan, appearing in a couple of foreign films such as 007 and KILL BILL. Compared to the Himeji Castle, the castle ground are more compact and the castle tower not as elegant, but still it is impressive.
Too bad there are no English subtitles in the video being played inside the museum and not much of the explanation boards are translated in other languages.
For more info on Odawara Castle :
I'm Miyuki and I teach Japanese Home cooking at my home in Tokyo.