Kochi, Japan

Kochi sits on the broad alluvial plain facing Urado Bay. This city in Shikoku takes its name from the great feudal castle that sits at its very heart. Completed in 1611, Kochi Castle was the seat of Yamauchi Kazutoyo, a noted warrior who supported Tokugawa Ieyasu in his successful quest to become Shogun. Tosa Province and Kochi Castle were Yamauchi's reward for faithful service. There is an historical irony here: 250 years later, a Kochi native son - a former low-ranked samurai and now ronin named Sakamoto Ryoma - played a pivotal role in bringing the Tokugawa Shogunate to an end and restoring the Emperor of Japan to political prominence. The prize once awarded for faithful service had become a hotbed of support for the Meiji Restoration.

Kochi is one of the wettest places in Japan - and a frequent target for cyclonic storms or typhoons. Southeast of the city, warm oceans currents washing against the Aki Mountains create a subtropical landscape of hibiscus, palm and ficus at Muroto-Anan Quasi-National Park.

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Points of Interest

  • Kochi Castle Museum of History
  • Kochi Castle
  • Katsurahama Beach
  • Kochi Municipal Ryoma's Memorial Museum
  • Mikurodo Cave
  • Murotomisaki Cape Observatory
  • Kazurabashi Bridge & Oboke Gorge
  • Ryugado Cave
Learn about these Points of Interest

More about Kochi, Japan Points of Interest

  • Kochi Castle Museum of History

    Kochi's new tourist spot is opened in 2017. This museum has approximately 67,000 items including a national treasure and the important cultural property.

  • Kochi Castle

    Originally constructed in 1603 and rebuilt in 1753 after a fire, it is one of 12 Japanese castles to survive the post-feudal age and a classic example of Edo period architecture.

  • Katsurahama Beach

    One of Kochi's most popular spots, this scenic beach, known as a good place to "moon view," is home to a number of attractions, including a famous statue of Kochi's favorite son, Sakamoto Ryoma.

  • Kochi Municipal Ryoma's Memorial Museum

    Located in Kamimachi where Sakamoto Ryoma, a 19th century political reformer, was born, this museum houses exhibits and dioramas celebrating the town and the history of the Sakamoto family.

  • Mikurodo Cave

    It is believed that the 8th century Buddhist monk Kobo-Daishi attained spiritual enlightenment in this cave. So moved by the views of the sky, "Ku," and the sea, "Kai," he renamed himself Ku-Kai.

  • Murotomisaki Cape Observatory

    At this site, one of eight "fine views" in Japan, coastal plants blanket the area, anchored by a lighthouse, the largest in Japan. From this picturesque vantage point, enjoy nature trails and photo opportunities.

  • Kazurabashi Bridge & Oboke Gorge

    Take a thrilling walk across a suspension bridge of woven vines that spans across the valley 45 feet above the river below. Then, explore the Oboke gorges by boat excursion.

  • Ryugado Cave

    One of the most celebrated limestone caves in Japan, this designated Natural Treasure was once home to early man and is punctuated by 20 waterfalls and the ruins of a primitive pit house.

13 EXCURSIONS

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Guided in Japanese: Sakamoto Ryoma Walking Tour

3.5 hours | Kochi | KCZ-389
  • Kochi Municipal Ryoma's Memorial Museum

Walk through the pages of history on a two-mile guided tour of Kochi's historic and cultural sites relating to the life of Sakamoto Ryoma, one of Japan's most beloved historical figures. Take a quick shuttle bus ride into town, where you'll meet your knowledgeable guide and embark on your tour. Your first stop is the Kochi Municipal Museum, which commemorates the town of Sakamoto Ryoma's birth in dramatic dioramas and exhibits. Continue on foot to the birthplace of Sakamoto Ryoma, followed by a number of local sites that celebrate his lineage. Step inside the Ryoma Post Office, view the extensive exhibit of Sakamoto Ryoma memorabilia and send a hand-stamped letter home. Admire the charming Suitengu Shrine, constructed in 1824, and a variety of local shops and sites that commemorate this favorite son. Relax on the shuttle bus that takes you back to Kochi Port.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

From

$39.00

Guided in Japanese: Kochi Castle & Katsurahama Beach

4 hours | Kochi | KCZ-204
  • Katsurahama Beach
  • Kochi Castle

Learn how Kochi became the center of pro-imperial ideology at the end of the feudal era as you tour two of the city's most revered landmarks. From the pier, you'll travel to Kochi Castle. Built by feudal lord Yamanouchi Kazutoyo over 400 years ago, the "donjon," or main tower, provides celebrated, panoramic views of the whole city, making it well worth the climb to the top. Your tour will take you past the beautifully restored Tsumemon Gate that connects the second citadel of the castle to its inner sanctum, and no visit is complete without seeing the living quarters or "honmaru," which houses local and historical treasures. After a stroll through the castle grounds, you'll rejoin your coach and travel to beautiful Katsurahama Beach. Here stands the statue of Sakamoto Ryoma, one of Japan's most beloved historical figures who's credited with transforming feudal Japan into a modernized, unified nation.

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Strenuous Activity, Shopping Opportunities

From

$99.00

Guided in Japanese: Katsuo Tataki Experience

4.5 hours | Kochi | KCZ-314
  • Katsurahama Beach

A favorite gastronomic tradition in Kochi, Katsuo Tataki is a dish comprised of seared bonito that is cooked over an open flame. Kochi is the number one consumer of this dish in Japan, and this 4.5-hour tour invites you to try your hand at creating this culinary specialty yourself.   Board a comfortable motorcoach and drive to Tosa TaTaki Dojo, a venue renowned for its Katsuo Tataki. Here, you'll learn the steps to prepare, cook and serve bonito; then, tuck in and enjoy the fruits of your labors. You also visit Chikurinji Temple, one of 88 stops on the Buddhist Shikoku Pilgrimage, famous Katsurahama Beach, and Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum.  Return to port after this culturally enriching and delicious day.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities, Includes meal

From

$109.00

Guided in Japanese: Ryugado Cave & Katsurahama Beach

5.25 hours | Kochi | KCZ-479
  • Kochi Castle
  • Katsurahama Beach
  • Ryugado Cave

Lose yourself in the geologic history and the enchanting views of two other-worldly destinations. From Kochi you'll journey to Ryugado Cave on the slopes of Mt. Sampo. Designated a National Natural Monument, it offers an abundance of waterfalls, and the ruins of a primitive pit house from the ancient Yayoi Period. Believed to date back 150 million years, this magical and mystical limestone cave is just one of the largest three of its kind in Japan. In addition to spectacular stalactites, the cave is home to animals including bats, shrimps and crabs. More beauty is in store when you journey to idyllic Katsurahama Beach, ranked one of the "100 Best Beaches in Japan." Steeped in history and enrobed in views, the beach features scenic paths, a small shrine and a statue of Sakamoto Ryoma, the low-caste samurai who helped topple the Tokugawa Dynasty and usher in modern Japan.

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Strenuous Activity, Shopping Opportunities, Includes snack

From

$119.00

Guided in Japanese: Cape Muroto & Muroto Geopark Center

8.5 hours | Kochi | KCZ-124
  • Mikurodo Cave

Outdoor enthusiasts will relish the opportunity to explore Cape Muroto, renowned as one of the country's UNESCO-sponsored Global Geoparks. The cape's name translates to "blessed with great nature" and you'll understand why when you see the cape jutting out over the Pacific Ocean, dividing the Kii Channel and Tosa Bay. Once in the Global Geopark, a guide will share its geologic history. In ancient times, the area was under the sea and the caves formed underwater and later rose by successive earthquakes. A walk on the path offers views of rock formations that were lifted up from the sea floor, subtropical vegetation and underwater caves. For a sacred look at Mother Nature, you'll visit the Mikurodo Cave, believed to be the site where the 8th century Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi attained spiritual enlightenment. Following lunch, you'll climb a sloping trail to the Hotsumisakiji Temple, founded by Kobo Daishi in 807.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities, Includes meal

From

$129.00

Kochi Castle & Katsurahama Beach

4 hours | Kochi | KCZ-200
  • Katsurahama Beach
  • Kochi Castle

Learn how Kochi became the center of pro-imperial ideology at the end of the feudal era as you tour two of the city's most revered landmarks. From the pier, you'll travel to Kochi Castle. Built by feudal lord Yamanouchi Kazutoyo over 400 years ago, the "donjon," or main tower, provides celebrated, panoramic views of the whole city, making it well worth the climb to the top. Your tour will take you past the beautifully restored Tsumemon Gate that connects the second citadel of the castle to its inner sanctum, and no visit is complete without seeing the living quarters or "honmaru," which houses local and historical treasures. After a stroll through the castle grounds, you'll rejoin your coach and travel to beautiful Katsurahama Beach. Here stands the statue of Sakamoto Ryoma, one of Japan's most beloved historical figures who's credited with transforming feudal Japan into a modernized, unified nation.

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Strenuous Activity, Shopping Opportunities

From

$129.95

Guided in Japanese: Monet's Garden with a Local Guide

7.5 hours | Kochi | KCZ-144

Spend the day visiting two wonderful gardens in the Kochi Region. One is Monet's Garden Marmottan, modeled after Claude Monet's Garden in Giverny, France. The next one is The Kochi Prefectural Makino Botanical Garden which honors the remarkable achievements of local botanist Tomitaro Makino.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities, Includes meal

From

$139.00

Ryugado Cave & Katsurahama Beach

5.25 hours | Kochi | KCZ-475
  • Kochi Castle
  • Katsurahama Beach
  • Ryugado Cave

Lose yourself in the geologic history and the enchanting views of two other-worldly destinations. From Kochi you'll journey to Ryugado Cave on the slopes of Mt. Sampo. Designated a National Natural Monument, it offers an abundance of waterfalls, and the ruins of a primitive pit house from the ancient Yayoi Period. Believed to date back 150 million years, this magical and mystical limestone cave is just one of the largest three of its kind in Japan. In addition to spectacular stalactites, the cave is home to animals including bats, shrimps and crabs. More beauty is in store when you journey to idyllic Katsurahama Beach, ranked one of the "100 Best Beaches in Japan." Steeped in history and enrobed in views, the beach features scenic paths, a small shrine and a statue of Sakamoto Ryoma, the low-caste samurai who helped topple the Tokugawa Dynasty and usher in modern Japan..

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Strenuous Activity, Shopping Opportunities, Includes snack

From

$149.95

Guided in Japanese: Oboke Gorge

7 hours | Kochi | KCZ-489
  • Kazurabashi Bridge & Oboke Gorge

For a vacation truly off the beaten path, you can't go wrong with heading into the Iya Valley, a remote, mountainous area deep in the heart of Shikoku Island. From Kochi, it's a 90-minute drive that takes you through Kochi and into one of those "hidden" regions in Japan where roads could not access the forested peaks and craggy valleys and rope bridges were the main means of transportation. Today, only a few remain and the Kazurabashi Bridge is a reminder of Japan's simpler past. Stretching 160 feet across a gulch and 45 feet, it's very well-maintained and is rebuilt every three years. As you walk across, you'll be amazed at the breathtaking views. More views await at the Oboke Gorge, where a boat will be waiting for you to take you on a cruise down the Yoshino River past narrow banks crowded with maple trees, azaleas and wildly-shaped rocks.

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Strenuous Activity, Shopping Opportunities, Includes meal

From

$159.00

Cape Muroto & Muroto Geopark Center

8.5 hours | Kochi | KCZ-120
  • Mikurodo Cave

Outdoor enthusiasts will relish the opportunity to explore Cape Muroto, renowned as one of the country's UNESCO-sponsored Global Geoparks. The cape's name translates to "blessed with great nature" and you'll understand why when you see the cape jutting out over the Pacific Ocean, dividing the Kii Channel and Tosa Bay. Once in the Global Geopark, a guide will share its geologic history. In ancient times, the area was under the sea and the caves formed underwater and later rose by successive earthquakes. A walk on the path offers views of rock formations that were lifted up from the sea floor, subtropical vegetation and underwater caves. For a sacred look at Mother Nature, you'll visit the Mikurodo Cave, believed to be the site where the 8th century Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi attained spiritual enlightenment. Following lunch, you'll climb a sloping trail to the Hotsumisakiji Temple, founded by Kobo Daishi in 807.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities, Includes meal

From

$169.95

Oboke Gorge

7 hours | Kochi | KCZ-485
  • Kazurabashi Bridge & Oboke Gorge

For a vacation truly off the beaten path, you can't go wrong with heading into the Iya Valley, a remote, mountainous area deep in the heart of Shikoku Island. From Kochi, it's a 90-minute drive that takes you through Kochi and into one of those "hidden" regions in Japan where roads could not access the forested peaks and craggy valleys and rope bridges were the main means of transportation. Today, only a few remain and the Kazurabashi Bridge is a reminder of Japan's simpler past. Stretching 160 feet across a gulch and 45 feet, it's very well-maintained and is rebuilt every three years. As you walk across, you'll be amazed at the breathtaking views. More views await at the Oboke Gorge, where a boat will be waiting for you to take you on a cruise down the Yoshino River past narrow banks crowded with maple trees, azaleas and wildly-shaped rocks.

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Strenuous Activity, Shopping Opportunities, Includes meal

From

$199.95

Monet's Garden with a Local Guide

7.5 hours | Kochi | KCZ-140

Feel your worries slip away as you soak up the beauty of Kochi's soothing gardens. First, you'll escape to the refuge of Monet's Garden Marmottan. Modeled after Claude Monet's garden in Giverny, it features 68,000 ever -flowers in the Flower Garden, a Japanese wisteria trellis and a selection of water lilies in the Water Garden and the Light Garden, which captures the diverse landscape of the Mediterranean Sea. Enjoy a Western-style lunch prepared with local products. After lunch, head over to the Kochi Prefectural Makino Botanical, another hidden oasis of calm. Established to honor the remarkable achievements of local botanist Dr. Tomitaro Makino, the garden displays over 3,000 species of plants. Set near the summit of Mt. Godaisan, the garden forms a green oasis looking out over the city.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities, Includes meal

From

$199.95

Local Connections: Best of Kochi with Local Artisans, Sake and Lunch at Bunzo

7 hours | Kochi | KCZ-980

Gain insight into traditional Japanese arts and crafts with a day-long Princess exclusive excursion to Kami City. Your journey begins as you travel north over the Kokubu River to a furafu factory where you'll watch craftsmen create the colorful "furafu" flags that are traditionally given to newborn sons as a wish for a prosperous future. Artisans Takahiro Mitani, Yasukiyo Mitani, or Nagahiro Kagiyama may be present. Then, you'll discover an art form that dates back 30 centuries with a visit to the Yamada High School Calligraphy Club. After watching a demonstration, you'll pick up a brush and write your own characters. Lunch beckons next followed by a sake sampling and workshop at the award-winning Arisawa Sake Brewery. As you make your way back to port, you'll stop at the Hachioji Shrine. During your visit, you will have a chance to write an "ema," a small wooden plate where you write your wishes. Blessed with good luck, you'll return to Kochi.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities, Includes meal

From

$209.95