Killing Time in Odawara

Hōjō Sōun statue and other faces of Odawara Station

By Reynald Ventura    - 2 min read

While waiting for my friends to arrive at Odawara on our way to Hakone, I decided to walk around the station a little bit; I had an hour to kill. It was Sunday and travellers visiting Odawara Castle were aplenty. I had been there before; thus, this time I wanted to see the different faces of the hub station.

No matter how many times you've visited a place or how frequently you’ve been at a particular site, there is always something new to see; there are always a few new scenes that you could stumble upon. Among other things, this time, I discovered Hōjō Sōun (
北條早雲, 1432–1519). To be more precise, I bumped into the statue of Hōjō Sōun located on the west side of the station in the middle of the bus and taxi rotary. It is made of bronze and was built in the second year of the Heisei Era. Hōjō Sōun was mounted on a horse over rampaging oxen; the handsome horse's front hooves are suspended in mid-air as if it's about to fly.

Hojo Soun (北条早雲), a powerful samurai from the Taira lineage and head of the Hōjō Clan, was the most famous Japanese feudal lord of Odawara during the Sengoku Period (c. 1467–c. 1600) – a tumultuous era in Japanese history.

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Reynald Ventura

Reynald Ventura @reynald.ventura

I have a little garden: slightly bigger than the forehead of a cat. I grow herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, and mint, and lemon grass, and lavender, and basil. Occasionally, I cook for myself. Sometimes, my Japanese wife and my daughter like my cooking. I come from the Philippines – it is said that there are more than seven thousand islands but I do not own one. I’d love to, though. I always carry a camera with me – in my walks, journeys, and wanderings. Most of the time, I’m home – staring at Fujisan and writing something.

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Elizabeth S 2 years ago
The history of the Hojo clan that ruled from Odawara is brutal and fascinating. Now I have one more figure to research about, Hojo Soun.

What a valuable video, too! Videos of spectacular sites are great to see on Japan Travel, but it’s nice how you captured a moment of everyday life.
Reynald Ventura Videographer 2 years ago
Thanks, Elizabeth-san. I’d like to know more about samurais and Japanese history, too. If I had more time and resources, I’d like to visit other castles in Japan this year.
Kim 2 years ago
I love what you said about no matter how many times you've visited a place, there's new things to see. I find that happens so much here in Japan.
Reynald Ventura Videographer 2 years ago
Yeah, Kim, every visit is a new experience.