Kanagawa prefecture strikes a perfect balance between traditional and modern Japan with the historic Buddhist temples of Kamakura and the futuristic Minatomirai shopping district in the cosmopolitan port city of Yokohama. Further down the coast, the Odawara Castle proudly displays its distinguished feudal history from a commanding position overlooking the city of Odawara. While nearby Hakone, famous for rejuvenating hot springs, also hosts the unique Hakone Open-Air Museum, which displays world-class sculptures in a natural outdoor setting with the picturesque Hakone mountains in the background.
Hakone's natural beauty and abundant forests are the perfect surroundings for traditional wood handicrafts. Kamakura-bori carvings, with layers of red or black lacquer to highlight their three-dimensional appearance, have expanded from their original roots at Buddhist temples to a broad range of contemporary products. Hakone Wood Mosaic is another popular woodcraft style that uses the natural color of different Hakone wood varieties for distinctive mosaic patterns - including the mysterious puzzle box, which can only be opened by sliding pieces into position.