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“Kanagawa West/Japanese Traditional Culture” Festival Special (Odawara Edition)

「神奈川西・日本の伝統文化」 祭り特集(小田原編)

About “Hokuen Godai Festival”

--What kind of festival is the 53rd Hokuga Godai Festival this year?

 

This is Odawara City's largest tourist event, held around Odawara Castle on the holiday of May 3rd every year. The parade of the samurai corps begins in front of the Umadashimon Dobashi Bridge, and the Hojo corps (the first Soun, the second Ujitsuna, the third Ujiyasu, the fourth Ujimasa, and the fifth Ujinao) appear on horseback. In addition, there are performances by the gun corps and brass band, making it a lively festival with a total of 1,700 participants.

--What are the characteristics of this year?

 

Actor Masanobu Takashima will appear as Ujimasa Hojo. Mr. Takashima appeared in last year's NHK Taiga drama ``Sanada Maru'' as Ujimasa, so he is sure to attract a lot of attention. Furthermore, actor Masashi Goda, who is an Odawara hometown ambassador, will also appear in the role of the first generation Soun.

ーーMr. Suwama, please tell us about other ways to enjoy the festival that you recommend.

During this period, regular festivals are held at shrines such as Matsubara, Sanno, Oinari, and Igami Shrines, and on the 4th and 5th, you can see the ``Mikoshi Togyo''. There will be dozens of festival floats and mikoshi, but the Odawara style of carrying the mikoshi along with the lumberjacks and jumping (running) is something you won't see anywhere else, so be sure to keep an eye out for it. In addition, the ``Chouchin Summer Festival'' will be held on July 29th and 30th, where you can see all the different styles of carrying mikoshi, such as Edomae and Dokkoi style, so I think it will be interesting to compare them.

About “Odawara Castle after renewal”

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Sagami Bay seen from Odawara Castle

ーーIt seems that after the renovation of Odawara Castle, the number of visitors will soon exceed 1 million people. What exactly has changed from before?

First of all, it has earthquake resistance, which means that we can confidently say that it will be safe even if a large earthquake occurs at any time. Furthermore, air conditioning equipment, which was not available before, has been added, making the viewing experience more comfortable, safe and secure. Furthermore, the content of the exhibition has changed significantly. The number of graphic explanations has been greatly increased, including the addition of a video theater that did not exist before, so you can learn about the history of Odawara Castle and the Hojo clan in an easy-to-understand manner.

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Inside Odawara Castle with more graphical explanations (monitor)

--There are different genres of exhibits on each floor.

 

The 1st floor is the Edo period, the 2nd floor is the Sengoku period, the 3rd and 4th floors are special exhibitions, and the 5th floor is a reproduction of the Edo period Odawara castle tower, and the statue of Marishiten, which was worshiped as the guardian deity of the samurai at that time. This is a reproduction of the enshrinement space for elephants. From the observation deck on the top floor of the castle tower, you can see the sea, mountains, and cityscape beautifully. A castle with such a beautiful view is probably rare in Japan.

ーーIf you had to choose a place in particular that you would like to spend time visiting, what would it be?

The second floor is where you can learn about the history of Odawara Castle and the Odawara Hojo clan during the Sengoku period. The Battle of Odawara, in which Ujimasa Hojo and his son Ujinao fought against Hideyoshi Toyotomi, is a historical event that marked a major shift in the history of Japan from the medieval period to the early modern period. Odawara Castle was the largest castle of the Sengoku period, and Hideyoshi's Ishigakiyama Ichiya Castle was the first castle in the Kanto region to be completely built with stone walls. In the theater, actors Shunsuke Kariya and Masashi Goda play the roles of Ujimasa the Fourth and Ujinao the Fifth, and provide an easy-to-understand explanation of the Battle of Odawara with Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Additionally, on the 5th floor, the enshrinement space for the Marishiten statue that is said to have been enshrined in the castle tower during the Edo period has been recreated using Odawara wood and Odawara craftsmen. Here, too, we introduce the skills of our craftsmen through videos, so please take a look.

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Enshrinement space for Marishiten statue

Enjoy Odawara Castle “more”

--What is the content of the current special exhibition "150 Years of Odawara Castle Ruins: Modern Odawara Castle 1868-2017"?

From the time the castle tower was dismantled in 1870 until the castle tower was restored in 1960, Odawara Castle was a castle without a castle tower. The approximately 150-year history of the Odawara Castle ruins, from the Meiji era to the present, is introduced through approximately 100 exhibits, including photographs, postcards, and tourist pamphlets from the time.

ーーIf you come to Odawara Castle, please let us know any other recommended spots you would like us to visit.

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Imitating “My Castle Town”

The record jacket for singer Rumiko Koyanagi's debut single ``My Castle Town'' uses the railings of Odawara Castle Tokiwagi Bridge. Why not take a photo of the same pose here and have some fun? This is a recommended photo spot.
Furthermore, Kinjiro Cafe, which is located within the precincts of Hotoku Ninomiya Shrine, which is just a short walk from Odawara Castle, and Seikantei, which is located in the Sannomaru outer earthworks, are wonderful spaces where you can take a walk, drink tea, and take a break. perfect for. I would really like you to go.

From Magcal Editorial Department
After the renovation, the fresh greenery in the castle ruins park stood out beautifully against the whiter outer walls of Odawara Castle. Several times, I saw foreign tourists mingling with Japanese people, staring intently at the exhibits, and I could sense their high level of interest in history and culture. The park also has a ``Children's Amusement Park'' with play equipment such as miniature trains and miniature cars, which is sure to be fun for small children.
Why not enjoy Golden Week by strolling around Odawara Castle and enjoying the festival?

53rd Odawara Hojo Goda Festival
May 3, 2017 (Wednesday/Holiday) *Event will be held in light rain
Confirmation of cancellation will be made from 7:30 a.m. on the day of the event.
Odawara City Tourism Association 0465-22-5002 (tape)
Odawara City Tourism Association Homepage (External Site)
http://www.odawara-kankou.com/

Special Exhibition “150 Years of Odawara Castle Ruins: Modern Odawara Castle 1868-2017”
Exhibition period: 2017 - May 28th (Sun) *Open every day during the exhibition period
Opening hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (last entry until 4:30 p.m.)
Venue Odawara Castle Castle Tower 4th Floor Special Exhibition Room 4
Admission fee: General 500 yen (400 yen), elementary and junior high school students 200 yen (160 yen)
*Figures in parentheses are group rates for 30 or more people.
*Free admission for preschool children, those who present a disability certificate (original), and one caregiver.

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