Kanagawa Prefecture Travel Campaign 2022

Odawara, Hakone, and Mishima Skywalk

By Rey Waters    - 3 min read

It has been a tough two years with regards to travel as almost all areas of Japan have been affected by the pandemic. Kanagawa Prefecture previously had a special travel campaign to help support local areas that were damaged by Typhoon Hagibis, which occurred back in October 2019.

During April of this year, they reinstated the campaign. The English version of this web page does not show the discount campaign but it is essentially a 5000 yen discount on hotels per night and a 2000 yen coupon to use for food or souvenirs. Taking advantage of the campaign, my step-son Hiro and I decided on a short trip to Odawara, Hakone, and Mishima Skywalk.

We booked our trip for April 15-16 and naturally the rains came. Not to be dissuaded we purchased a two-day Hakone Free Pass and started our adventure by taking the Hakone Tozan Bus to Mishima Skywalk. I had previously visited the bridge, but it was the first time for Hiro, so I became a tour guide pointing out interesting facts. At 400m (1,312 feet) it is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in Japan. On a clear day there are magnificent views of Mt. Fuji and Suruga Bay. In the north area there is zip lining, other forest adventures, and a live owl display in the building at the end of the bridge. On the southside take the escalator up to the Sky Garden for plenty of floral displays and shops. For our trip it was clouds, fog, and periodic rain, but still enjoyable as we crossed the bridge and joked about imaginary ghosts coming out of the fog.

The ghosts of Skywalk
The ghosts of Skywalk

We boarded another Tozan Bus back to Hakone and walked part of the Old Tokaido Road with the very tall cedar trees, then stopped for a great soba lunch, which is a specialty of the area.

Cedar forest along the Old Takaido Road
Cedar forest along the Old Takaido Road

After our meal we walked over to Hakone Park, once a villa in 1886 for the Emperor and Empress. In 1946 it was donated to the public and became a prefectural park. It has some really nice observation areas and the sakura were still in bloom.

Hakone Park Observation Deck
Hakone Park Observation Deck

We continued along the lakeside trail to Hakone Checkpoint, a National Historic Site. During the Edo period, it was used as a security checkpoint to ensure warriors did not continue along the Tokaido road to Edo (Tokyo). The gates and buildings have been fully restored and there are several historical markers in English explaining the history of this checkpoint.

Hakone Checkpoint
Hakone Checkpoint

We rode another bus to Hakone Yumoto Station for our train ride back to Odawara. Through the Kanagawa campaign we were booked into the new Tensei-en Hotel attached to the Minaka Shopping center. If you haven`t visited this center it is a new development using Edo period-style buildings. Inside are many excellent restaurants. For our supper Hiro and I opted for HOJO conveyer belt Sushi, which was excellent.

We then took a short walk a little after 7:30pm to Odawara Castle for some night time pictures.

Odawara Castle at night
Odawara Castle at night

See link for Day Two.

Getting there

From Odawara Station take either the Hakone Tozan Bus or Odakyu Line to Hakone Yumoto and then continue on via cable car or bus

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Rey Waters

Rey Waters @rey.waters

Born in the U.S.A. - Worked 30 years in executive management high tech Industry, owned a management consulting firm and a wildlife art publishing company.  In 2012 completed the Ultimate Travel Writer’s course and published my first article Tower Hopping in Japan with Travel Post Monthly.  Since then I have published travel related articles and books in the U.S., Japan, and Costa Rica. As of 2018 I have traveled all 8 regions in Japan.   My objective in writing articles is to expose prospective tourists to areas of Japan outside the Tokyo - Kyoto corridor.   I enjoy writing about the outdoors, festivals, crafts, museums, local food, history, and the wonderful people I have met along the way. Residing in Yokohama for over eight years, I have explored the entire city by foot and have written about my experiences.   There is so much to see in Japan.

Join the discussion

Elizabeth S a month ago
I'm growing more curious about Odawara Castle. What's to see around the castle? I spied some interesting heritage sites around there...
Justin Velgus a month ago
The mist makes the forests and mountains even more magical!
Justin Velgus a month ago
Well said!