-- Events Only for Cherry Blossom Season Aplenty -
ODAWARA, Japan -- This year's Cherry Blossom Event, launched on March 16 (Saturday), is under way in an area centering on Odawara Castle, known as one of "Japan's Top 100 Castles" and also one of the best cherry blossom-viewing spots in the Kanto region that includes Tokyo and vicinity.
The castle has been selected as one of "Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom-Viewing Sites." About 300 trees of the Somei Yoshino variety will be in full bloom in Odawara Castle Park that surrounds the Odawara Castle donjon. More than 300,000 tourists visit this place during the cherry blossom season. The beautiful contrast created by the white of "the Odawara Castle donjon" and the pink of "cherry blossom" has been widely known to be a popular photogenic scene. The events that will be held in Odawara Castle Park during the cherry blossom season are as follows:
"Odawara Castle Cherry Blossom Light-up: Night Cherry Blossoms Dyed in the Light":
The "Odawara Castle Cherry Blossom Light-up: Night Cherry Blossoms Dyed in the Light" event is being held in the Odawara Castle Honmaru open space. The main feature of this light-up is the scheduled changing of colors of lighting with the use of LED lights that can produce various colors. This is the second year to hold the event and, this time around, the number of LED lights has been increased to 42 (from 30 last year), beautifully illuminating the cherry blossom trees with detailed directing and enveloping the square in a fantastic atmosphere.
- Event period: March 16 (Sat.) April 7 (Sun.), 2019; 18:00-22:00
- Location: Odawara Castle Honmaru open space (10-minute walk from Odawara Station East Exit)
- Fee: Entrance is free (there is a fee for entering the donjon)
Extended opening hours of the Odawara Castle donjon:
For a limited time, the opening hours of the Odawara Castle donjon will be extended until 19:00. With a different atmosphere from daytime, visitors can go up to the 38.7-meter-high donjon observation deck and enjoy the cherry blossom light-up in the Honmaru open space below combined with the beautiful night view of Odawara City and of Sagami Bay.
- Event period: March 23 (Sat.) to April 7 (Sun.), 2019
- Donjon opening hours: 9:00-19:00 (2 hours longer than usual; last entry is at 18:30)
- Entrance fee: Adult 500 yen, elementary and junior high school students 200 yen each
Cherry Blossom Viewing in "Kotatsu" at Odawara Castle:
Seats with "kotatsu" (a small table with an electric heater underneath) are once again in place in Odawara Castle Park this year! The number of kotatsu seats has been significantly increased to 6 tables making up 24 seats (from 2 tables making up 8 seats last year). So visitors can fully enjoy the cherry blossoms day and night even on a cold day. In the area where the kotatsu are placed, various kinds of food and drinks are on sale, such as "Jinenjo-bo" which is characterized by the soft texture of white fish and yam, or "Saba-bo" -- the fragrantly grilled ground mackerel, "junmai-shu" (sake made from rice alone) from 13 sake breweries in Kanagawa, the "Nama Sakura Ale" known to have been made by sakura liquor, Shonan Gold Ale, etc.
- Event period: March 16 (Sat.), 17 (Sun.), 23 (Sat.)-April 7 (Sun.); 9:00-20:00
- Location: Odawara Castle Honmaru open space
- Entrance fee: Free (except when purchasing food and drinks from the stalls)
Source : Kanagawa Prefectural Government