Susaki is a town of 23,000 people (2017) in Kochi prefecture on Shikoku Island.
The town has a mascot, Shinjo-kun — that is, a Japanese otter. The Japanese otter has been pronounced as extinct in Japan by the Japanese government in 2012. It is said that the Shinjo River is the last river in Japan where the Japanese otter was sighted.
- Susaki Oma Eki mae: You can rent a car in this gas station by making a reservation beforehand on internet.
- JR Rent a car: You can rent a car at Susaki station by making a reservation beforehand on internet.
It is possible to rent bicycles and cars to go in Susaki and its surrounding.
- Machikado gallery: It is possible to rent to bicycles to Machikado gallery.
You can go around Susaki and its surrounding with the train (JR Line) but be careful with the timetable because there is an average of one train per hour during the day.
You can also take the bus but you also need to be careful with the timetable and the price for a one-way ticket can go up really quickly. Also, the bus station is not always well indicated which can be inconvenient.
- JR Shikoku bus: Every day buses are leaving from Kochi station to go to some towns on Honshû (Okayama, Kobe, Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo)
- Japan Bus line: buses leaving from Kochi and going to Kyoto and Nagoya.
- Willer Express: Buses, sometimes operated by another compagny (ex: Chugoku bus), leaving from Kochi and going to Kyoto and Nagoya.
The Daizen temple was constructed in 815. It is said that Kûkai went to the place where the temple was constructed during a preaching trip and that he has prayed to the Buddha so people lost at sea can finally rest in peace. It looks like he also has also prayed the god of safety road. During August, the temple organizes an impressive festival which the young and elderly dance with a dragon made of paper. Smoke even spews out of his mouth. For this event, road becomes a pedestrian street with a lot of stands and some shop stay open to welcome customers. From Tosa Shinjô station it takes around 5 minutes by foot to go to the temple.
The shrine was constructed approximately 1500 years ago. Otonashi shrine was declared as Country Important Cultural Asset in 1953. The shrine possesses a stone torii, and it is something really rare. The main access to the shrine is facing to the sea and it gives a breathtaking view.
Otonashi shrine summer festival is held every year in August 25 and is called Shinane. Flags with a big fish drawn on them are hung to fishing ships and they parade on the water with palanquins.
Otonashi shrine autumn festival is held every year during September 20 and 21. The festival is organized to show people thankfulness towards the god of the good harvest.
A rumor says that a member of the imperial family went to the shrine to pray and that later the member was getting married.
The buses cannot access closer than one kilometer from the shrine.
From Susaki station it will take around 20 minutes by car. If you want to go by taxi it will cost around ¥3500 for a one-way trip.
Awa seaside offers an amazing view on Pacific Ocean. This place is also known to be a good place for fishing. Also, by going a little bit higher, you can look at the beautiful view that gives an interesting contrast between sea and mountain.
The closest place to go to the seaside is at Awa station on JR Dosan Line. By leaving from Susaki station with JR Dosan Line, it takes about 10 minutes.
Yokonami Kuroshio Line
Yokonami Kuroshio Line is a 19-km-long road from where you can have a breathtaking view on the ocean. On the north, you can also catch sight of Uranouchi bay and its beautiful mountainous landscape.
Located 17 km from Susaki station, the only available transportation is the car. To go there by car from Susaki station, it will takes about 25 minutes. To go with taxi it will cost around ¥4500 to go at the beginning of the Yokonami Kuroshio Line.
Grilled bonitos or Katsuo no tataki
Katsuo no tataki is a typical dish from Kochi prefecture. The day where it is caught the bonito is grilled on straw and on a powerful fire to make sure that the flesh is seized in one go. The bonito is only grilled on one side to keep its flavor. The bonito is often eaten in sashimi with some salt.
You can try to grill a bonito by yourself, with an instructor, at some places. It is possible to eat it right after grilled or you can take it back home with you. Most of the time, it is necessary to make a reservation before going. Here are some places where you can experience it; uminoeki, michinoeki.
Thursday and Sunday Market
Thursday and Sunday Market have existed since the 1960s. It starts around 06:00 and finishes around 12:00. It is a place where you can buy fresh and local foods and where you can also talk with the people from Susaki and see how nice they are. The market is located near Susaki port (it takes around 10 minutes by walk).
By going to Suga shrine, you can go and enjoy Ohtani Camphor. Ohtani Camphor is the tallest camphor in Shikoku and is around 1300 years old. It was designated as Japanese Natural Monument in 1924. Ohtani camphor measurement are also unique; its roots have a 20-m circumference, the trunk is 16 m and it is about 25 m high. It is also possible to enter in the trunk where the camphor divinity is. Many visitor come to pray the good health and for their baby growth. Also, Suga shrine has an autumn festival held every year on October 18. Young people from the region are making a dance called "Hanatori de Otani" as an offering to the gods of the good harvest, good fishing, etc.
From Onogo station you can go by walk within an hour or you can go by car within 15 minutes.
Bandaga forest and Japanese Yukiwari cherry blossom
Bandaga forest, which is 769 m high, is the highest mountain in Susaki. From the top you can look at beautiful sceneries and find beautiful flowers when it is time for them to bloom. It is also there that Japanese Yukiwary cherry blossom blooms bloom between mid-February and mid-March. At the mountain foot, there is a hot spring that has been discovered by Kukai. The surroundings of the forest have been designated as part of the national prefecture.
It is possible to go the mountain foot by car. From Susaki station, it takes around 30 minutes. Going from Susaki station by taxi, will cost approximately ¥2500 .
Cruise on Uranouchi bay
By doing a cruise on Uranouchi bay, you will be able to admire the scenery in another way. It it even more interesting to do it when you know that Kukai has accepted that is the only and unique way to be crossed by a boat. Most of the time, people taking the boat are students or people living in the region. Tourists are also welcome, of course!
It is also important to be careful with the timetable because there are only 3 boats every day. If you go from Susaki station to Saka Uchi quay, it will take you around 20 minutes by car. If you want to go by taxi from Susaki station, it will cost you a little bit less than ¥3000. The boats are not available on Sundays, holidays and from December 29 to January 3.
Taru waterfall is 37 m high and 6 m wide. The good point about that waterfall is that you can go behind it. It gives a mystical side to the place where is surrounded by nature. The waterfall has been designated as being part of the natural prefectural park.
To go to the waterfall, more than 20 minutes are necessary by car. By taxi, it will approximately cost ¥2800.
During all December and part of January, you can enjoy Christmas illuminations on Kawabata Symbol Road. Illumination lights reflect like jewels and the staging looks like a romantic winter. The shop on Kawabata Symbol Road also take part in the event by decorating their front window. The illuminations extent on 200 m and are turned on every day from 17:00 to 22:00.
From Susaki station it takes around 10 minutes by walk to go to Kawabata Symbol Road.
Nomi no shiobakari
This festival is held every year on February 18 and is made to pray the god of the sea in order to make a successful fishing and the village prosperity. During the day, a bamboo decorated with cards is erected in the middle of the village, and, in the middle of the night, the young ones are carrying it to the sea while hitting it on the ground. Seeing them furnishing so much efforts to erect this bamboo and enter in the cold water in the middle on the night is an unusual but interesting show. It is said that during the night, if the bamboo falls on the seaside, fishing will be good. However, if it falls on the bank side harvest will be abundant. This festival is designated as being part of prefectural immateriel patrimony.
If you wish to go to the festival by car, it will take around 20 minutes from Susaki station. If you are planning to take a taxi, it will cost approximately ¥2500.
Candles night Under the sakura
This event is held every year in February at Sodayama mountain. Candles night stages lights, like fairy lights or candles, to show sakura beauty. Not only the content of seeing the sakura illuminated, but you will also see shapes on the ground that are created with candles. This event lasts only for one evening so if you have the chance to stop by, do not hesitate to come.
To go to this event there are shuttle buses running from 17:00 until 20:00. The departure point is Marunaka supermarket and it takes around 15 minutes to go to the candle night (as of 2018).
Dragon kayak competition
The origin of this competition dates back when high school students have decided to constructed a dragon kayak and offered it to the municipality. This competition is the only and unique dragon kayak competition in Kochi Prefecture. It is a fierce battle taking place in Uranouchi bay that resembles to a dragon.
The dragon kayak competition is one of the events in Susaki festival program.
By leaving from Susaki station by car, it will take 20 minutes. If you choose to go by taxi, it will cost approximately ¥3000.
Susaki festival starts from the first Friday of August and lasts for three days. During those three days, all kind of events and activities are organized. The first day a palanquin race is organized and after that stage events are organized. The second day, only in the afternoon, a self-defense ship is open to everyone. From 8pm, fireworks are fired on Fujiga Beach. It takes almost 10 minutes by foot to go from Susaki station to Fujiga beach. The last day, dragon kayak competition is held In Uranouchi bay.
Bon Odori festival
Bon Odori festival is held in Nishizaki Machi Childen's Playground Park just behind Mac supermarket in August. Starting around 17:00 and finishing around 21:00, it is a great occasion to have a nice evening with locals and to have fun with all the events happening throughout the night. The evening ends with a lottery where you can win surprising prize if your number is written on your uchiwa. You can get one of those uchiwa by arriving at 17:00 because they are limited. You will also have the chance to eat some takoyaki, yakitori and even more for a really affordable price.
Shinko festival is organized every year between the end of August and the beginning of September in sort that people come and degust the famous shinko. The shinko is a one year-old Frigate and Bullet tuna that can only be catch during August and September in Tosa bay. Losing its freshness easily, you will definitely not be able to find that fish in Tokyo. If you wish to go to that festival, it will be preferable to try to go early because sometimes there is not enough shinko for everyone.
The shinko festival is held in Kirima Tamokuteki Park at 10 minutes by walk from Marunaka supermarket.
Local mascots festival in Susaki
The local mascots festival is held during two days every year since September 2014. It is a good occasion to see mascots coming from everywhere in Japan and to meet Susaki mascot, shinjo-kun. During the whole day, the mascots mingle with the crowd to take pictures with visitors and they also go on the stage to get introduced and give a speech. You can also find various stands selling goodies (magnets, folders, cuddly toys, etc.)
The mascot festival is held in Kirima Tamokuteki Park at 10 minutes by walk from Marunaka supermarket.
Hachimangû shrine autumn festival
Hachimangû shrine autumn festival is held on October 15 every year and exist since Sengoku period (1467–1568). On October 14 night, a pre-fesetival is held and the next day, on the 15th, from 12:00, various events take place. You can see a saber dance, tengu cosplay, mikoshi carrying, etc.
From Susaki station, the shrine is at 15 minutes by foot.
Kamo shrine autumn festival
Being held every year on October 20, Kamo shrine autumn festival gives us an amazing performance with bird feathers and young boys dancing with a saber. This festival is considered as immaterial patrimony in Kochi prefecture.
Kamo shrine is 10 minutes by car from Susaki station. If you want to go to the shrine by taxi, it will cost around ¥1000.
Susaki has a lot of specialties, do not hesitate to try it if you come.
- Mejika of Susaki (shinko): The mejika is one of Susakis' dish. The shinko, which is a less than one-year-old mejika, can be eaten only between August and September.
- Nabeyaki ramen: The nabeyaki ramen has the particularity of being eaten in a nabe. You can try it in many restaurants in Susaki. Some restaurants have their own nabeyaki ramen recipe.
- Bonitos of Susaki: The bonitos of Susaki or katsuo no tataki, is often eaten in sushi. The particularity of the katsuo no tataki is that it is grilled with straw.
- Dried fish from Susaki: Really port to Susaki port, you will find a lot of shops making dried fish. A lot of shops also have their own drying method and uses a variety of fishes.
- Lobster from Susaki: The lobster from Susaki is a lobster that has a firm flesh and that is only fished in Ikenoura port.
- Moray eel from Susaki: The moray eel from Susaki is usually slightly grilled or fried before being eaten.
- Aisukurin: The aisukurin is an essential dessert to eat if you go in Kochi prefecture because it is only produced there. The aisukurin is like an ice cream but its taste is really refreshing.
- Ginger from Tosa: The ginger from Tosa is an ingredient of the drink that is made with superfine sugar. And, you can only find that drink between May and October.
- Soy sauce: This soy sauce is made since Taisho era. Most of the time, it is degusted with sushi because the legend says that the fishermen were saying that "even fishes really like that sauce".
- Rice cakes: Those rice cakes are made in Shimanto and are sold in a discreet box hiding their flavor.
- Cold candies from Yoshihira: Cold candies from Yoshihira have a refreshing ginger taste that is perfect for hot summers.
- Candies from Susaki: Candies from Susaki are little biscuits produced locally and with seasonal products.
- Kamaboko: The kamaboko is a food product made with white fish. It is possible to come and observe the manufacturing process.
If you wish to offer some souvenirs from Susaki, you will be able to find most of them at Kawauso no Sato rest area.
- Bamboo handicraft: The products are made with Susaki bamboo that only grows in Awa region. The technique used to make the bamboo products is a traditional technique.
- Wooden products Wooden products are really famous in Susaki. Usually they are made from Japanese cypress from Shimanto.
Below you will find a list of some hotels available in susaki.
- Susaki Prince Hotel
- Kurashi no nekko
- Sodayama hot spring
- Business hotel Torigoe (+B&B)
- Asahi B&B
- Micchan B&B
- Yanagiya Ryokan
- Nishimura Ryokan
- Guest House Sante