Kochi is blessed with beautiful and abundant nature such as the Cape Ashizuri, the Shimanto River and Katsurahama Beach. The famous Monet’s Garden blooms with water lilies and wisteria, the Kuroshio Current brings bountiful seafood are also amazing things you can find within Kochi in Japan.
#1. Cape Ashizuri
Cape Ashizuri is the southern most point of Shikoku and is part of the Ashizuri Uwakai National Park. An observatory at the cape offers a view of more than 180 degrees, allowing you to truly see the beauty of Kochi. Nearby is the Hakusan Domon, which is a 16 meter high by 17 meter wide rock arch pounded by the waves of the Pacific and have carved out a gorgeous natural landscape. You can also ride a glass-bottomed boat to view underwater scenes off the Tatsukushi and Minokoshi beaches near Cape Ashizuri.
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Address: Ashizurimisaki, Tosa Shimizu City, Kochi Prefecture
Access: 40 minutes bus from Tosa Shimizu Shigaichi to Ashizurimisaki
Phone: 0880-82-3155 (Tosa Shimizu City Tourist Information Center)
Website: Cape Ashizuri (Japanese)
#2. Monet’s Garden
This water garden, based on impressionist painter Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies”, displays a mix between east and west typical of Monet, who loved Japanese ukiyo-e. Wisteria and cherry blossoms are the main attractions, along with the curved bridge and the arch of roses, this makes a scene worthy of the garden’s namesake. From May to October, the surface of the pond is alive with the color of the lilies, including that of the blue water lilies which never bloomed in Monet’s Garden in France.
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Address: 1100 Notomo, Kitagawa Village, Aki County, Kochi Prefecture
Access: 11 minutes by car from Nahari Station
Hours: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
700 yen (Adult)
300 yen (Child)
Website: Monet’s Garden (Japanese)
#3. Shimantogawa River
Shimantogawa River is one of the most famous rivers in Japan for its outstanding natural environment and exceptional water quality. The river is certified as one of Japan’s 100 most remarkable waters by Ministry of Environment. The river is a haven for Ayu sweetfish, bass, and other various kinds of fish where visitors can also encounter traditional Japanese fishing boats. Another local attraction is Chinkabashi, a bridge without railings that sinks below the water in a swollen river, spanning the distance of the river. The 291.6 meter Sada Chinkabashi is the closest to the river’s mouth and the longest of all these bridges. A large number of tourists visit the area to see this bridge.
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#4. Katsurahama Aquarium
With an 80 year history, the Katsuahama Aquarium is a natural gem highlighting the beauty and wildlife of Koichi. Visitors can come enjoy viewing various animals and take part in some of the many shows going out through out the day. There is a petting area where visitors can touch and feed the animals which can both be enjoyed by adults and children. Taking in a days fun with the beautiful sea creatures while being surrounded by the ocean breeze is surely recommended.
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Address: 778 Urasoe, Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture
Access: 16 minutes by car from Kenritsubijutsukandori Station
Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
1,200 yen (Adult)
600 yen (Student)
400 yen (Child)
Website: Katsurahama Aquarium (Japanese)
#5. Ryugado Cave
Located in Mt. Sampo, Ryugado Stalactite Cave is one of the biggest three of its kind in Japan. Thought to be some 150,000,000 years old, this magical and mystical limestone cave was designated a national natural monument in 1934 thanks to its spectacular stalactite formations as well as the 100 or so animal species that dwell there. Visitors can venture 1 km into the cave along the main route, about a quarter of the entire cave. Budding explorers with an appetite for a challenge can take on the adventure course (booking in advance required) which includes a 2 hour journey through narrow passageways, deep into the dark recesses of the cave. Once visitors exit the cave they can enjoy the Ryugado Rare Bird Center and Ryugado Museum located nearby.
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Address: 1424 Sakagawa, Tosayamada, Kami City, Kochi Prefecture
Access: 15 minute by car from Tosa-Yamada Station
8:30 AM – 5:00 PM (March – November)
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM (December – February)
1,100 yen (Adult)
700 yen (Student)
550 yen (Child)
Website: Ryugado Cave
#6. Katsurahama Beach
The beach is one of the most picturesque spots in the Kochi Prefecture. Located at the entrance to Urado Bay, it stretches between Cape Ryuzu and Cape Ryuo. The beach has been known since ancient times as a popular venue for viewing the moon. The lyrics of Yosakoi Bushi, a traditional folk song in Kochi, partly reads: “The popular venue for viewing the moon is Katsurahama…”. A bronze statue of Sakamoto Ryoma, who played a key role in overthrowing the Tokugawa Shogunate in the late 19th century, stands on Cape Ryuzu which situated at the east end of the beach and faces the raging waves of the Pacific Ocean. The area around the beach is designated as Katsurahama Park. The Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum stands on the mountainside in the park.
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Address: Katsurahama Urado, Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture
Access: 35 minutes by bus from Kochi Station
Phone: 088-823-9457 (Kochi City Tourist Information Center)
Website: Katsurahama Beach (Japanese)
#7. Otonashi Shrine
Facing Uranouchi Bay, the Otonashi Shrine has a 1,500 year history. Chosokabe Morichika dedicated a lacquered portable shrine to Otonashi Shrine as he prayed for victory before the Battle of Sekigahara. In the end, he was defeated at the Sekigahara and he lost the territory of Tosa. The Otonashi Shrine’s red torii stands along the Uranouchi Bay creating a mystic scene in the dusk.
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Address: 3579 Uranouchi Higashibun, Susaki City, Kochi Prefecture
Access: 20 minutes by car from Onogo Station
Website: Otonashi Shrine (Japanese)
#8. Hirome Ichiba
Photo Credit: raykitajima@flickr
Hirome Ichiba is an indoor market with a Latin atmosphere distinctive to Nankoku Tosa. Around 60 stores are packed inside, including grocers selling everything from fish and meat to fruit, various pastes, liquor, and snacks such as imo-kenpi. Rows of tables and chairs can be found throughout the market, so you can buy whatever takes your fancy from a store you like and eat in the communal area. Many stores serve beer, sake, and shochu, so having a drink together with some freshly seared bonito is highly recommended. Tables are shared at the market so you will be sitting together with strangers but this is a good opportunity to make new acquaintances. Don’t be shy and enjoy yourself.
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Address: 2-3-1 Obiyacho, Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture
Access: 8 minutes by car from Kochi Station
Hours: 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Website: Hirome Ichiba(Japanese)
#9. Kochi Castle
Built by Yamanouchi Kazutoyo, the Kochi Castle sits proudly overlooking the nearby towns within Kochi. Kochi Castle is one of the many castles designated by the Japanese government as a National Treasure. What also makes Kochi Castle unique is the fact that all the buildings are in their original state and was not touched during the Mejii period. Visitors can enjoy spectacular views of Kochi as well as take a glance into a historical treasure.
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Address: 1-2-1 Marunouchi, Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture
Access: 12 minute from Kochijo-Mae Station
Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Admission Fee: 420 yen (Adult)
Website: Kochi Castle (Japanese)
#10. Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum
This museum offers visitors a glimpse into the life of Sakamoto Ryoma who was a main figure in Japanese history for helping overthrow the Tokugawa Shogunate. Here visitors can view various documents written by Sakamoto Ryoma, along with personal items and learn about his role in Japanese history. The museum sits on the same land where the Urado Castle once stood. The Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum not only offers a great glimpse into the history of Japan but, as with many other places in Kochi, it is surrounded by immense beauty and offers an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean.
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Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum
Address: 830 Shiroyama, Urado, Kochi, Kochi Prefecture
Access: 20 minutes by car from Kenritsubijutsukandori Station
Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Admission Fee: 500 yen
Website: Sakumoto Ryoma Memorial Museum