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Iwamotoji temple gate (note youth hostel sign)

Kubokawa (窪川) is a small town on the southern coast of the island of Shikoku, Japan.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

Kubokawa is the terminus of the JR Dosan Line from Kochi, Takamatsu and Okayama. It is also the starting point of the Tosa Kuroshio private railway, which crosses overland past Cape Ashizuri to Sukumo.

From Okayama, a stop on the San'yo Shinkansen Line, there are seven daily Nanpu limited express trains which run directly to Kubokawa in 3 1/2 to 4 hours depending on stops (¥7170); otherwise you can make an easy connection in Kochi to the Ashizuri limited express train.

From Takamatsu, you can take a rapid train to Kotohira and change to the Nanpu Limited Express (about 4 1/4 hours, ¥6440).

These train trips are covered in the Japan Rail Pass.

Get around[edit]

Kubokawa is small enough to cover on foot.


  • Iwamoto-ji.
  • Most of Kubokawa's few visitors are here to see the nearby Shimanto River (四万十川 Shimantogawa), the longest in Shikoku and Japan's last undammed river of any size.


  • If just looking at a river seems a little dull, do what the Japanese do and go fishing. With no dams in the way, there are 94 separate species in the river, the most of any Japanese river.


Kubokawa is famous for its pork, which you can even find as handy souvenir packs.


In Kubokawa you will find pork, beef, and an abundance of produce from the fertile banks of the Shimanto River. Among the recommended items are shiitake mushrooms, shimanto-nori (fresh water seaweed), strawberries (in season), and best of all aromatic Shimanto rice.


Dabada Hiburi (ダバダひぶり) is a locally made chestnut shochu (spirit). It is famous throughout Japan, and therefore the supply is very low and demand extremely high. When the annual batch reaches the stores (in the Fall) it is sold out immediately. However, you can order it by the glass at many bars in Kochi who were lucky enough to snatch a bottle or two. Enjoy!


  • [dead link] Iwamotoji Youth Hostel (岩本寺ユースホステル), +81 880-22-0376. Almost reason enough to spend the night in town, Iwamotoji is temple number 37 on the 88 Temple Pilgrimage circuit and its pilgrims' lodge doubles as a youth hostel. Run by a friendly bunch of nuns, a night in a classical tatami room inside the temple will cost you ¥3360.

Go next[edit]

  • Cape Ashizuri, the southernmost point of Shikoku, is several hours down twisty roads from here.
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