After visiting the Hotoku Ninomiya Shrine, I walked up the hill to the Odawara Castle.
One of the early displays showed that Odawara is the 7th tallest castle in Japan.
(This English information below is from the castle. They are not my words.) The first lord of Odawara Castle is said to be Omori family. Then, Odawara Castle became under the control of Hojo Soun from around the late 15th century to early 16th century, and continured to be maintained as the home of Odawara Hojo family, starting from the era of the second generation, Ujitsuna. Since then, Odawara Hojo family proceded expansion of forces and territory domination based here at Odawara Castle. Even in early modern period, Odawara Castle was regarded important as a base in defending Edo, and the castle town flourished a a post town of Tokaido. Because of its importance, Fudai (hereditary) daimyo leading the Edo Shogunate politics have served successively as the domain lords.
In early modern period, the range of the castle's total structure built in the era of Odawara Hojo family was called "Odawara Funai", and the san-no-maru (3rd bailey) located on a lowland area and all the areas inner than san-no-maru were collectively regarded as the castle area. As for the castle area in the era of Odawara Hojo family, only the hilly area on the west side of hon-maru was retained, which was the reason for the figure in the late warring states period could have remained there. Odawara Castle was positioned as the most important castle to protect the area west of Edo Castle. Fudai (hereditary) daimyo who were in key posts in Edo shogunate, such as Okubo and Inaba families served as the castle lords. In light of the fact that, in hon-maru (main citadel), there was the hon-maru palace dedicated to Shogun family, the castle was deeply related with Tokugawa family as well.
|Appearance of Odawara Castle in its heyday. Scale 1/700|