Osaka to Kochi: A 4-Day Sample Itinerary — Days 3 & 4

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Day 3: River Rafting

1Tosa Iwahara

The river rafting outfitter is located in Tosa Iwahara. From Kochi Station, board a JR train on the Dosan Line. You may have to transfer at Tosa Yamada, depending on the type of train you take. Your destination is Tosa Iwahara Station. Along the journey, take in the beautiful scenery of Kochi.

Head south from the quaint station and after about 100 metres you will see the Happy Raft building on your right. Be sure to check out the impressive red metal bridge that spans the river you are about to raft down!

2Happy Raft

Receive a warm welcome by the smiling staff of Happy Raft, run by an Australian, and Japanese staff that speak with an Australian accent!

After a safety briefing, you will don wetsuits, lifejackets and helmets and board a bus to the rafts. Here you will practice rowing as a team and learn how to help each other into the raft should you fall out – don't worry, you are in safe hands.

While you are likely to focus on the roaring rapids in front of you, try to take in the scenery of the surrounding mountains. After each section of water rapids, there is an opportunity to stop and compose yourself and even play a few fun balancing games with your fellow rafters.

By the end of day, you'll have a new appreciation for the power of flowing water and the beauty of Kochi.

For more information please visit: http://en.happyraft.com/

Transfer Information: Walk back to Tosa Iwahara Station. Depending on the time you depart, it may be quicker to board a train to Oboke Station and transfer to the JR Nanpu Express. Alternatively there are also regular trains bound for Kochi from Platform Two. The Happy Raft staff are happy to help with directions.

3Explore Kochi City

Depending on your train, you may have an hour or two before dinner. If so, take this chance to explore Kochi City. Some options to consider:

  • View Harimaya Bridge and stroll down the water-lined walkway toward Central Park.
  • Visit the Yokoyama Memorial Manga Museum
  • Walk along the riverside and down Obiyamachi Shopping Arcade.

4Green Road

By now you will have worked up an appetite from the day of rafting! Green Road is your next stop. From nightfall, many ramen and dumpling shops pop up along the length of this street. Here you can see locals stopping in for a bite to eat before heading home, or perhaps starting a night out on the town. Take a seat at any one of these venues, order yourself a beer, some ramen and watch the world go by.

Ramen and beer with a view of the stall kitchen

Japanese dumplings

For more information please visit: http://www.tourismshikoku.org/thingstodo/dining.html#spot6

Day 4: Chikurin-ji, Makino Botanical Garden, and Return

1Chikurin-ji Temple

Head to the Kochi Tourist Information Center and purchase a ticket for the MY-YU Bus from JR Kochi Station to the Chikurin-ji Temple stop (about a 25 minute journey).

Chikurin-ji is the 31st temple of the 88 temple pilgrimage of Shikoku. The temple grounds feature interesting buildings such as the five-storied pagoda and a treasure hall. Explore the temple grounds and head down any number of mossy, vine covered paths. Take your time to relax in this peaceful and serene atmosphere.

2Kochi Prefectural Makino Botanical Garden

The entrance to the garden is next to the Chikurin-ji Temple Stop, about 20 metres from the temple entrance. This expansive garden is home to around 3,000 different types of flora and an impressive greenhouse. The grounds were built in honour of Dr. Tomitaro Makino, a botanist who was born in Kochi. Lose yourself in this garden and its serenity. Slowly make your way up the mountain where you are rewarded with grand views of Kochi Prefecture. If you are hungry, don't miss the chance to have a civilised lunch at the garden's cafe.

Lunch at the garden cafe

For more information please visit:

http://www.pref.kochi.lg.jp/english/museums-makino.html

http://www.makino.or.jp/index_e.html

Transfer information: Wait at the Makino Botanical Garden Stop (in front of the main gate of Kochi Prefectural Makino Botanical Garden) for the next MY-YU Bus bound for Kochi.

3Japanese Souvenirs around Kochi Station

Before leaving Kochi, remember to bring omiyage, or souvenirs, back for friends and family! Kochi has a range of delicious foods, including fried sweet potato chips, sweets made from rice and chocolate filled cookies. There are a number of omiyage stalls around the train station, all of them stocking Kochi's specialities. Don't forget to grab yourself a snack for the train ride back to Shin-Osaka.

4Back to Osaka

At Kochi Station, head into the ticket office to the right of the ticket gate. Ask the staff for tickets to Shin-Osaka, with a transfer to the Nozomi Shinkansen at Okayama. Head through the ticket gate, up to the platform and board the Dosan-Line Nanpu Express bound for Okayama.

Ian Hamilton


My name is Ian and I am Australian. When I'm not eating Ramen I'm either walking around the backstreets of Japan's major cities or running around Japan's many parks. I’m interested in modern art and will go out of my way to see art by Takeshi Murakami or Yayoi Kusama.


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