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Kochi Prefecture
Kochi Prefecture

Kochi Prefecture (高知県 Kochi-ken) spans the southern third of the Japanese island of Shikoku.

Understand[edit]

Kochi was known as Tosa (土佐) until 1871.

Cities[edit]

Map of Kochi (prefecture)
  • 1 Kochi - the prefectural capital
  • 2 Aki - Former castle town and home of Mitsubishi Motors founder
  • 3 Kubokawa
  • 4 Kami - Famous for Anpanman and Ryūga-dō Cave
  • 5 Nankoku - a neighboring city of Kochi known for its long-tailed roosters
  • 6 Shimanto City - city named after the famous Shimanto River
  • 7 Shimanto Town Shimanto, Kōchi (town) on Wikipedia- famous for beef
  • 8 Sukumo - terminus of the JR Dosan Line
  • 9 Tosashimizu Tosashimizu, Kōchi on Wikipedia
  • 10 Muroto Muroto, Kōchi on Wikipedia

Other destinations[edit]

Monet Garden in Kitagawa

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Pint-sized 1 Kōchi Ryōma Airport Kōchi Airport on Wikipedia (KCZ IATA) has flights to Osaka-Itami, Tokyo-Haneda, Nagoya-Komaki and Fukuoka. Buses to/from Kochi station (35-45 min, ¥700) leaves roughly twice an hour.

By train[edit]

The most popular way to arrive in Kochi by train is from Okayama, which is on the main island of Honshu. From Okayama take the Limited Express Nanpu train, and you will arrive in Kochi in approximately 2.5 hours.

By bus[edit]

There are several night buses from Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka to Kochi, and one from Osaka to Nakamura and Sukumo throughout the year, as well as special bus services during the Bon festival in early August. There are also day time buses from other cities in Shikoku, as well as from Hiroshima. http://www.jr-shikoku.co.jp/bus/

Get around[edit]

By car[edit]

There are car rental stores at Kochi, Nakamura and Susaki and Aki train stations, as well as at the airport. Kochi roads can be long, narrow and winding, the drivers careless and signs difficult to understand without knowing Japanese, but driving is the best way to see most of the far-flung sites throughout Kochi.

There is an expressway running down from Otoyo town, on the northern border, passing through Kochi city, heading down towards Susaki and ending in Shimanto city.

By train[edit]

Even on the Gomen-Nahari line, trains are few and far between, and do not always connect to buses and tourist sites very well.

If you are in Shikoku for a while, or even making one return train journey it's worth getting a Young Weekend discount card from JR. The card costs ¥1000 for a year and gives a discount of up to 40% on return journeys made on a single weekend. The card is only available for passengers 29 years and younger.

Look out for the 'Anpanman trains' they're just regular trains but they're painted throughout with the characters from the popular anime, Anpanman.

The JR Shikoku website has a lot of information (in Japanese) on trains in Shikoku, as well as connecting buses, airport buses, hotels and tourist attractions. See [1].

See[edit]

Noradokei in Aki
  • Stroll along the beach in Katsurahama, known for centuries for its scenic beauty and moon-viewing (Kochi)
  • See the recreated Harimayabashi Bridge, the featured setting of the Yosakoi song (Kochi)
  • Traverse the tunnels in Ryugado Cave, one of the Top Three Caves in Japan (Kami)
  • Admire the craftsmanship of the Nora-dokei, an attractive 4-sided clock originally built to be visible to all farmworkers in the area (Aki)
  • Marvel at Kochi Castle, the only castle in the nation to have both an original keep and palace (Kochi)
  • Visit the Monet Garden, modeled after the Giverny gardens that inspired Claude Monet, it is the only garden with permission by the Claude Monet Foundation to use his name (Kitagawa)
  • Take in the beauty of "Niyodo Blue", a deep-blue deemed to be unique to the Niyodo River, best seen below the small waterfall in Niko-buchi (Ino)
  • Enter the Totoro-shaped Mikurado, where the Priest Kukai was both said to have got his name meaning "sky and sea", as well as achieve Enlightenment (Muroto)
  • Stop off in the Tengu Highlands to see the limestone rocks jutting out of the green hills of the Shikoku Karst (Tsuno)
  • Learn about the art of Ekin and the imagery hidden within it at the Ekin Museum (Konan)

Do[edit]

Eat[edit]

The local speciality is the katsuo no tataki (鰹のタタキ), bonito quickly seared under high heat so the surface is cooked while the inside is still raw.

Drink[edit]

Liquor in all forms: the people of Kochi are known as heavy drinkers. The women in Kochi are particularly renowned for their affinity and ability to drink. They are referred to as Hachikin, literally meaning 8 testicles since it is said that one Tosa (Kochi) woman can drink like four ordinary men. Kochi offers an abundance of locally made sake and shochu, and the friendly locals will surely approach you for a fun interaction at Kochi's numerous bars.

17 sake breweries in Kochi make Tosa Space Sake (土佐宇宙酒 Tosa uchūshu), prepared with yeast that was taken into space for ten days and back aboard a Soyuz rocket in 2005, so be sure to sample some for a taste experience that is out of this world. Alternatively, try to track down some space yogurt (宇宙を旅したヨーグルト Uchū wo tabi shita yōguruto, lit. "The yogurt that traveled in space") [2], prepared from the same yeast.

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to Kochi is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!