The Main City in the South of Shikoku
Kochi is the capital of the eponymous prefecture and the third largest city on Shikoku Island in Japan. Located not far from the Pacific coast, its authentic castle, Chikurin-ji temple and its fresh fish and crustacean’s specialty dishes are its top attractions.
Kochi is located on the southernmost side of Shikoku, off the beaten tracks of the main touristic itineraries. Its old and original Japanese castle 🏯 built in the 17th century is its major attraction settled in the historical center of the city, standing on a hill in the middle of a green park and offering a charming walk. But other discoveries await in Kochi.
A cultural and gourmet trip
Gourmets will enjoy the place for its local food, especially the iconic dish katsuo no tataki, a seared bonito sashimi. The nearby Pacific Ocean is brimming with many fish and crustacean species, to enjoy directly at food halls, such as Hirome Ichiba or on the Sunday market.
Near Kagami River’s mouth, the Buddhist temple Chikurin-ji and Makino Botanical Garden spread on Mount Godaisan. Chikurin-ji is the 31rst temple of Shikoku Pilgrimage (out of 88). The place is imbued with spirituality and quiet contemplation is one of the best ways to enjoy it.
The viewing on the horizon from Katsurahama beach 🏖 is a nice ending to Kochi’s visit. Swimming there is forbidden due to strong sea currents. The place is more favorable to viewing and breathing cool air, especially in summer. The cute small shrine standing upon the cliff adds to the pleasure of the walk.
Kochi is a human-sized city, and the walk is easy from the station to the castle and downtown Kochi, where can be found typical shopping arcades and a red bridge named Harimayabashi. Otherwise, two tramway lines serve Kochi, as well as buses, including the convenient touristic MY Yu Bus line. The city’s main matsuri, the Yosakoi dance festival, is held each year in August from 9 to 12.