Visiting Kochi: What to See & Do
Located on the island of Shikoku, beauty and wild natural surroundings, Kochi offers its visitors with some of the most interesting outdoor activities you can get in Japan. Here are some places to see and some things to do to have an amazing trip in Kochi.
Waku WakuPublished on 30 Jan, 12:00
1. Visiting Kochi Castle (Kochi-jo)
As one of only twelve original Japanese castles, surviving fire, war, and catastrophe, Kochi Castle was once called the "National Treasure".
Construction was begun in 1601 then got burned down in 1727 and again was reconstructed between 1729 and 1753 in the original style, Kochi Castle is the only castle in Japan to retain both tenshu and honmaru (castle tower and main keep) in its original form.
One special activity you can only do at Kochi castle is capturing a photo of the main gate and castle tower in one shot - truly unique in Japan.
Visit this castle during Cherry Blossom season and you will be even more amazed by its beauty completed by contrasting color between white walls and pink sakura, illuminations at night which makes the scene out of this world.
2. Shimanto River (四万十川, Shimanto-gawa)
Its name is written in Kanji meaning "forty thousand and ten". The river is better known as "the last crystal clear stream of Japan" due to its remote location from big cities with no dams and blockage throughout.
"Chinkabashi Bridge" is one of many fascinating attractions along the river. Designed to be in harmony with the river, the bridge doesn’t block the flow of the river and allows debris to simply flow over. Some say it represents the way of people living in this area which is living in harmony and peace with mother nature.
The magnificent river offers full of fun activities for you to do like cycling, hiking, canoeing, fishing, etc.
3. Katsura-Hama Beach
About 40 minutes from Kochi city, it is one of the most scenic spots in the area. It is a beautiful beach with long beach lines, the blue ocean, and a powerful but relaxing wave sound.
One of the main reasons many people visit this place is to see Sakamoto Ryoma’s statue, one of the most popular Samurai. If you want to learn more about him, definitely check out the Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum.
There is also one small Aquarium nearby called Katsurahama Aquarium which is rich with local flavor and history as well. Here you find penguins, otters, sea turtles, and many other sea creatures. The Aquarium also has the largest school of akame fish (Japanese lates). The ticket can be bought from 300¥ for children (up to 3 years old) to 1200¥ for adults.
4. Hirome Market - Communicate with locals
If you are looking to interact and learn more about the locals, there is no better place than Hirome Market.
More than 65 street stall restaurants ranging from local Japanese food to Indian to Western Cuisine, this place is where locals and now internationals meet, talk, and make friends. Kochi people don't mind sharing tables with others and they are very open to sharing more about their hometown culture, travel tips, food to eat, etc.
ひろめ市場 2 Chome-3-1 Obiyamachi, Kochi, 780-0841
Open time: 10:00 - 21:30
5. Must-try food: Katsuo no Tataki
A traditional Japanese dish originated in Kochi, consists of surface seared bonito (also known as skipjack tuna). It can be served with garlic, ginger, onions and seasoned with salt, soy sauce, and lemon.
While sashimi is eaten all over Japan and it's not hard to find seared bonito in some restaurants. But what makes this dish special is the way the bonito is seared. Using strong fire to grill it really brings out its fragrance and flavor. The outside is seared but the inside is still rare so that it can keep the umami of fish meat.
If you come to Kochi, you really cannot miss out on this dish, it is a must-try on your food list!
Kochi has so much more of it than what is introduced in this article. Beautiful nature, people's hospitality, and various activities, Kochi is a charming destination that can be great for many types of travelers: active travelers who like to cycle, hiking, canoeing; families who love river activities, and couples who enjoy the scenic view while having delicious local food.
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