Suggestions for a Nice Sunday Here

You could always take the kids to one of the many local parks in Minamiashigara, Kaisei or Odawara and play soccer! Or better still join one of the many local teams.

There are a lot of interesting sites in the Odawara, Minamiashigara area.
But you may not have heard of many of them.

Kamifunaka Park

Is a huge park in Odawara. It is a great place to take the kids or run with your dogs. Be sure to bring a frisbee and enjoy all the amenities, including a water park in the summertime, get the kids soaked with the fountains and they can wade in the pools. Just be very careful with the little ones as the pools are very, very slippery. You will need to
watch very young children. Even I have almost fallen.

There is a large pond with carp and other fish. There are many paths you can walk along with interesting trees and pretty flowers. There is also a large play area for children with swings and other fun things to go on. The park is free and even has ample free parking! –a rarity in Japan!

Kamifunaka Baseball Stadium

It has a large baseball stadium where
Koshien qualifying games are staged. Koshien is the Japanese national
high school baseball championship, and it is a really big deal here.

As well the farm teams of the major baseball leagues of Japan play games here. Local company teams and other locals teams do too.
Sometimes you can enter for free and take in a game. Maybe you want a hotdog?

The park is located just off of route 255, and between route 255 and
Shimosoga Station. If you get lost, just ask a passerby, this park is famous. (15 minute walk from route 255)

Kuno Flower Garden

Boasts a botanical garden as well as a large outdoor garden with various flowers and plants. You can even buy some of them. Want a Venus Flytrap?

Some flowers at Kuno Flower Garden are always in bloom and Japan is a great country for flowers. The climate seems to produce some beautiful ones, plus many Japanese gardeners have a green thumb.
(They are very different from my brown thumb!)

This flower garden located near Iidaoka Station, on top of the hill, has a pond, a very long slide and indoor tropical plants. Pay the admission to go in the botantical garden. If you love tropical plants and flowers it is worth it, and like going to southeast Asia for the day. A nice change from a cold Japanese winter!

After viewing the flowers you may be hungry. I suggest the Restaurant Loft near the Iidaoka Intersection, not far from Iidaoka
Station (towards Minamiashigara Shi). It is near the Mini Stop convenience store on the road everyone calls the “bus route,” between
Odawara and Minamiashigara. In typical Japanese style this road has no name.

Have fun, our local area has much to offer! Just get out and explore on foot, by bicycle or by car. Take a picnic lunch and stop where you`d like and eat. If you explore, you will find the places you enjoy.
And the locals are pretty friendly if you speak some Japanese. Often the hesitancy you might detect is the fear of them possible having to speak English with you.


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