Two Days in Kochi – A Short Escape from the City
April 13, 2017
Shikoku is the smallest of Japan’s four main islands, located between the Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The four prefectures in Shikoku include Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, and Kochi.
Kochi Prefecture has an abundance of both natural landscapes and historical townscapes.
It takes about 1h20min to fly from Tokyo to Kochi and 45 minutes from Osaka, so Kochi could be considered a good “backyard” to escape from these big cities on weekends!
It’s probably a good idea to start the day with an early hike. Ryugado Cave is approximately 4 kilometers long, of which about one kilometer is open to the public, allowing you to explore the beautiful cave formations.
The “Adventure Course” is recommended for the brave—you must crouch on your hands and knees to go forward in places, where your sole source of light is the light on your helmet.
1424 Sakakawa, Tosayamada-cho, Kami City, Kochi Prefecture
08:30-17:00 (March 1 - Nov. 30)
08:30-16:30 (Dec. 1 - end of Feb.)
2Nishijima Horticultural Park
Fruit-picking, fruit dessert, fresh juice, tomato curry, fruit souvenirs, and more… You can get it all in one place here! Their special method of cultivating melons and watermelons means that only one fruit is produced on each plant. It helps deliver adequate nutrition and results in high quality fruit.
You can eat as many as bright red strawberries as you can pick, without worries about time limits.
Having lunch under the colorful flowers!
This café is particularly popular among families and women!
600 Hataeda, Nankoku City, Kochi Prefecture
09:00 - 17:00 (open year round)
3Makino Botanical Garden
This extensive botanical garden opened in 1958 in honor of a famous botanist from Kochi, Dr. Tomitaro Makino. There are over 3,000 species of plants on display.
Besides the wide variety of seasonal and tropical plants that can be enjoyed in the greenhouse, the amazing architecture of the greenhouse is also recommended.
4200-6 Godaisan, Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture
09:00-17:00 (closed from Dec. 27 to Jan. 1)
This temple, built in 724, is located next to Makino Botanical Garden, and is temple number 31 along the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage.
Regardless of your religion, the beautiful Japanese-style garden of the temple is recommended to all tourists.
3577, Godaisan, Kochi-city, Kochi Prefecture
Open 7 days a week
Godaisan, a hill overlooking the south-east of Kochi City is the location of Chikurinji Temple and the Makino Botanical Gardens.
The observatory deck at the Godaisan Service Center with a perfect view of the bay and the city of Kochi.
Don’t forget to stop by Panorama Café for a Ryoma Cappuccino! The second floor of the Godaisan Service Center offers a panoramic view of the city with floor-to-ceiling windows.
Godaisan, Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture
Open 7 days a week
Hirome Ichiba is an indoor market with nearly 60 stalls. It’s highly recommended to visit at night since there is a wide range of food, including fresh raw seafood, sushi, ramen, fried chicken, gyoza dumplings, beer, and more.
The Hirome Ichiba market at night.
Kochi’s most famous delicacy is katsuo no tataki, or lightly-broiled bonito.
2-3-1 Obiya-machi, Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture
08:00-23:00 on weekdays, Saturdays & national holidays
07:00-23:00 on Sundays
1Kochi Sunday Market
The Kochi Sunday Market stretches for about a kilometer along Otesuji Avenue, starting at Kochi Castle’s Otemon Gate. The market is open from the early morning to evening of every Sunday. Hundreds of shops offer a variety of local Kochi products, including vegetables, fruits, flowers, daily necessities, as well as street food, and prices are quite reasonable.
The market’s history dates back to 1690 (Edo Period).
Kochi is famous for knives.
The fried sweet potato stall always has a long queue.
Otesuji Avenue, Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture
(5:30-17:00 from October to March)
Kochi Castle was built in 1603 by Yamauchi Katsutoyo, the lord of the Tosa domain (current Kochi Prefecture). Although a fire destroyed the main tower in 1727, in was rebuilt later in the 18th century.
Before getting to the top of the tower, there are lots of steps to climb.
The top floor of the main tower.
The view of the Kochi cityscape is really wonderful.
1-2-1 Marunouchi, Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture
09:00-17:00 (entry until 16:30)
Closed from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1
3Kure Taisho Market
This market combines a shopping arcade and street stalls with more than 100 years of history. Fresh fish as well as other marine products are caught in the morning and then put on sale by local fishermen at around 11am. It’s highly recommended to visit during lunch time.
Not only fresh fish but also seasonal vegetables and fruit by local farmers are available at Kure Taisho Market.
6382 Kure, Nakatosa, Takaoka District, Kochi Prefecture
Open for 7 days a week except for Jan. 1-3
4Kure Hachimangu Shrine
While strolling along the streets of the town of Kure looking for souvenirs, you will reach a shrine called Kure Hachimangu. Local fishermen come to this shrine to wish for a good catch, especially katsuo (bonito).
The Kure Hachimangu Shrine Autumn Festival is a fire festival, and one of the region’s three major festivals.
6515 Kure, Nakatosa, Takaoka District, Kochi Prefecture
My curiosity for overseas living is rooted in my experience of being an exchange student in San Jose State University in America. I joined the television industry after graduation and went on a working holiday in Japan in 2014; I’m currently stationed in Tokyo with chances to travel around Japan and Asia for TV program shooting projects.