The first time I headed to Kochi Prefecture, I sought out all things spiritual, visiting places of worship, following part of the Shikoku 88 pilgrimage route, and saw some places of great natural beauty. I was eager to go back to check out what else the prefecture offered. This time round, I visited places that can only be seen in Kochi and nowhere else in Japan. I spent a whirlwind couple of days seeing the best of the best and I'm not sure if anything else I see in the country would ever match up.
Tired of the usual sightseeing spots? Looking for something more active? If so, there’s no better place to come than Kochi. Here, we will introduce some fantastic outdoor activities all within a short distance of Kochi City and Kochi Ryoma Airport.
Venture a little farther out to discover unspoiled rivers, coastlines, tropical fish and corals. Here we will introduce a stunning campsite near the mouth of the famous Shimanto River, as well as snorkeling and canoeing in the clear waters around Kashiwa Island - a mecca for divers.
Kochi Prefecture is a hidden gem that is definitely off the beaten track. It's one of those places that lots of people say they want to go to but never really make it. Once you make it there, you'll find lots of beautiful and rustic scenery in the countryside, some parts where it seems like modernisation never reached (but there's still mobile network and I am sure optic fiber internet).
Getting out of the city and enjoying all that Kochi Prefecture is a must for anyone looking for a unique Japanese vacation. Explore more of Kochi by joining activities and finding interesting new locations outside the city. Follow us as we cycle through forests and rivers, venture to temples surrounded by autumn colors, hike through therapeutic mountain paths, and enjoy mouthwatering delicacies unique to Kochi. Here are a few recommended activities that will surely create a memorable trip.
The Yosakoi Matsuri in Kochi is one of Japan’s largest and most popular festivals. We prepared for the festival by creating traditional paper fans, wooden clapping instruments (naruko) and learning the dance in traditional happy coats. Afterwards we set out on the city to view the bright and colorful performances of over 200 teams, each with distinct dance, music and apparel.
While exploring the Shimanto and Niyodo rivers through activities and water sports we discovered the beauty of Kochi’s nature up close. On the Shimanto River we enjoyed swimming and searching for shrimp in the clear waters and ate sweetfish as we rode along the river in a sightseeing houseboat. On the Niyodo River we experienced canoe and rafting activities with training and guides to help us along the way.
Kochi City is the capital of Kochi Prefecture and is located towards the center of the Prefecture in the southwest of the island of Shikoku. Easily accessible by rail, bus or air, Kochi City is the largest city in Kochi and is typically the first stop on any tour or trip going through Kochi Prefecture.
Kochi city was once part of the Tosa province and is famous for its local hero Sakamoto Ryoma, perhaps the most famous historical figure in Japanese history. Ryoma was a prominent figure in overthrowing the Tokugawa Shogunate and worked towards an independent and modern Japan free of the feudal system until he was assassinated at the age of 33.
Kochi is accessible from Tokyo in a little over an hour by airplane into Kochi Ryoma Airport. JR lines are available if you are in the Shikoku or Hiroshima area and highway bus or rental cars have access via the Kochi Expressway.