The Odawara Ume Matsuri is a plum blossom festival held every year during the month of February. The main locations are Joshi Koen (Odawara Castle Park) which is 10 minutes by foot from JR Odawara Station, and the Soga Bessho Bairin (Soga Bessho Plum Grove), which is a fifteen-minute walk from the JR Shimo-Soga Station. Soga-Bairin, which is home to an incredible 35,000 plum blossoms, is also one of the best places to see the summit of Mount Fuji in Japan. During the festival period, visitors can see Yabusame (a ceremony to shoot an arrow at a target while riding on a horse) and a Kotobuki-Shishimai lion dance. Soga Bessho’s Kotobuki-Shishimai is performed to exorcise evil spirits and pray for good health and harvests for the year.