Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Best Cherry Blossom Viewing in Odawara?

by Shawn Thir

Photo of Saijoji Temple stairs by Ikumi Burns

I love cherry blossoms viewing; what a great
excuse for sitting under a tree and getting drunk.
However, I’m not keen on sharing this experience with a
thousand other drunk and noisy people(the annual carnage
in Ueno Park just turns me off).
One great spot
for cherry blossom viewing is that park(does it have
a name?) behind Odawara High School- they used to
hold the Odawara Jazz festival there years ago. I went
there last year but the place had already been staked
out by 8am! Good luck.

Odawara Castle is an
obvious choice but it is crowded, of course. If you can
go at night(they have lamps set up) you can avoid
the crowds all together. One spot I like is on the
moat. If you cross the bridge where that parapet is and
hang a quick left(you’ll be facing the Odawara Police
Station), there’s a small wooded area there. In that copse
of trees, is a cherry tree that droops down into the
moat(I think everybody ahs taken a picure of it). If
you’re lucky(like I was last year) you can sit on the
edge of the moat under this tree. There’s no space to
spread out but my girlfriend and I enjoyed a few beer
together and had a superb view of the blossoms.

to the nitty gritty- my favorite spot. If you’re at
the park behind Odawara High School and start walking
down the road back to Odawara Stn., you’ll come
across a bunch of tennis courts the school uses for soft
tennis. At the end of these courts, you’ll find a set of
steep stairs. Climb theses stairs and walk to the rear
of the courts. You’ll come to a small clearing with
a picnic table /bench. I chose to spread a blanket
under a cherry tree on the edge of the path. NOBODY was
there. Just me, my girlfriend and the cherry trees.

My little secret is out. Or is it? Anybody ever been
there before? I felt like a gold miner hitting the
mother lode; I had the whole place to myself.

Originally posted at the Odawara Bulletin Board


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