The Beer Garden in Matsuda:
I’ve found what is probably the only roof-top beer garden in this area. It is in Oi-machi just as you cross the Ashigara bridge from Kaisei. You’ll see a Saizeria restauarant on the left and a Family Mart on the right. The beer garden is on the roof of the building behind the Family Mart.There are about 20 tables and they all afford nice views of Mt. Fuji et al. In fact, it was clear enough that I could make out the looooong line of head lamps on the climbers snaking their way up Fuji! The food is standard pub fare but I highly recommend the chicken kara-age as it is home made. In fact, the beer garden is a family business as they sat down to have dinner when things slowed down. A dai-jockey(BIG beer) goes for 700 yen and the chicken kara-age was 400 yen. Definitely a place to go to beat the summer heat! –Shawn Thir
Pictured: One of Odawara’s beautiful old buildings
Located in the Odawara City Mall is a new internet cafe, open 24 hours. It is quite large, and each computer is in its own wooden cubicle. There are lots of computers, including some iMacs; cable TV; wall to wall Japanese comic books; play station/sega/… video games; couple ‘booths’; free drinks; a food menu;… It costs 300 yen for a membership, and 1 hour is 480 yen, after that, every 15 minutes is 80 yen. From 9am to 7pm they have a ‘Day Package’, 980 yen for 4 hours. They also have a ‘Lunch Set’, 11am to 2pm,which includes your choice of one item from the menu and 1 1/2 hours for 780 yen. (I think this is only good during the week). There is also a ‘Night Package’, from 12 midnight to 9am, 7 hours for 1,200 yen. The phone number is 0465-46-0800. It is located on the second floor, to the right of Toys-R-Us. –Samantha Leggett
Leaf: (Internet Cafe)
I found the Internet cafe in Odawara only after I accidentally walked into the sandwhich board on the sidewalk advertising the place. It’s called Leaf and it’s in the building AEON used to be in. It’s between Maruta Joy and Doutour Coffee. I didn’t go inside since there always seems to be a catch with these cafes(ie pay some sort of membership fee). Anyway, the prices looked kind of steep. But, hey, if you’re dying for Internet access, you can now get some.–Shawn Thir
Restaurant reviewer Yukie Miyamoto ate at Doutour with her daughter recently and this is what she had to say about the experience: My daughter and I had a light meal at the Doutour Coffee Shop in the City Mall in Kamonomiya. I ordered a cup of Cafe Latte and mydaughter ordered a cup of Royal Milk Tea and two hot dogs. All cost about 1,000 Yen. The atmosphere in the coffee shop was good and the coffee tasted good too. But the lovers beside us quarreled for a long time and that was disappointing. By Yukie Miyamoto
The Loft: (Jazz Bar and Restaurant)
There is a jazz bar in Odawara. I yearn for the days of Café Ten near Odawara castle. It was a-hole- in- the- wall that could hold maybe 20 people; just a counter and 2 tables. It was dark and smoky with the sounds of John Coltrane or Miles Davis hanging with the smoke. It was a place you could go to and stare into your drink and not have anybody bother you; a place you went to to kick back and have a moment for yourself or chat with the master as he mixed a drink. I was in there every weekend. Café Ten is gone now; I heard that the master had problems with the landlord or was looking to expand his business.
The master, by the way, is hell of a nice guy and organizes the Odawara Jazz Festival every year. This is truly a great late summer event in Odawara and I recommend going to it. Anyway, Café Ten then resurfaced in Idaoka as part of a restaurant/bar called The Loft. The master had more space for his bar and had live music but the atmosphere that Café Ten had was gone. I haven’t been to the Loft in Idaoka in a while so I don’t know if the jazz bar is still there. About 6 months ago, the master resurfaced again near Odawara station in a place called The Loft(must be a local chain), which, go figure, happens to be underground. The Loft is a 1 minute walk from the station and is beside Hashodo bookstore. While it is more of a restaurant than a bar, the master still has his stacks of jazz CDs and cooks up some great stuff. I was in there 2 weeks ago and it looks like he’s trying to revive the spirit of Café Ten. Check it out- it’s a good place to kick back and get some good food.
Bistro Be et Bo
1-4-27 Naka-cho, Odawara City, Kanagawa
1-11-10 Sakae-cho, Odawara City, Kanagawa
2-16-10 Hama-cho, Odawara City, Kanagawa
Bikkuri Donkey: 2 StarsLocated: In front of the Odawara City Mall (in front of Nittori).I am almost embarrassed to say that my family and I ate at theSurprised Donkey! It was very crowded that night, and everyonewas there to take advantage of the cheap prices. Hamburger steaksets for around 6-700 Yen! The service is akin to Denny`s in Japan.The employees are overworked. If you have young children, it isa good place because you can be noisy, and the food is good enoughand cheap.
Bukkuri Donkey is located in front of Nittori at Odawara City Mall(where the Toys R Us) is located. There is a lot of parking available if you drive.