Friday, August 25, 2006

Entertainment in MA & Odawara

Hadano`s river, photo by Jonathan DeNardis

The Minami Ashigara Cultural Centre and it's counterpart in Odawara host various events. Including concerts, plays and other events.

Odawara Arena:
has basketball, and at times sumo. Watch sweaty fat men fall yah! There is also triple A level baseball played at Kamifunaka Park. It is also a nice park to walk around in.

Once a year during the winter Odawara hosts the Daimyo Gyoritsu which is a big parade of people in period costume. You can see what the Samurai looked like and perhaps watch an archery contest. This takes place around Odawara Castle. Ask your students about the exact date of this event. Check The Odawara Bulletin Board for event information.

The Odawara Jazz Festival
is a big event and quite famous. You probably have to do
a web search to find information as the homepage address seems to change each year.
you can also ask about it at the Odawara Bulletin Board. Someone will know when and
where it takes place.

The Odawara Plum Festival:
Is held from Feb. 1st-28th. You can see the beautiful plum blossoms at Soga Plum Woods in Odawara. There will be 30,000 plum trees in full bloom! Take your camera! The plum woods spread out from the foot of Odawara Castle and it offers a view of Mount Fuji. Soga is also the site of one of the three most famous vendettas in Japan involving the Soga brothers and contains many historic sites. During the festival, there will be local performing arts demonstrations, including the Odawara chochin (lantern) dance. For those less culturally inclined you can take part in the plum pit spitting contest! Be sure to take some tissue with you! When you tire of spitting you might enjoy trying some of Odawara's famous ume-boshi (pickled plum) at the concours. Site: Soga Plum Woods. Access: Shimo-Soga Station (located within the plum woods) on the JR Gotemba Line. For further details call Odawara-shi Kanko Kyokai 0465-22-5002. I imagine someone will speak English at this number. Note you don't go to the castle you must start from Shimo-Soga Station.


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