Tourists typically start out from JR’s Kochi Station, which acts as the main hub of Kochi City. The station is quite modern with an interesting whale like roof design called the “Whale Dome”. Outside the station is the Kochi Sightseeing Information Transmission Center, Tosa Terasu, a convenient location with materials and information (in multiple languages) to aid you on your journey.
Nearby the station you will encounter three large statues side-by-side. The statues include Sakamoto Ryoma, Takechi Hanpeita and Nakaoka Shintaro, all important figures from Kochi and members of the ancient Tosa clan who played a key part in Japanese modernization. These figures (especially Sakamoto Ryoma) play an important part in Kochi tourism as evidenced by the Ryoma Holiday tourism campaigns found throughout the city.
Behind the statues is a stage and seating area where several performances take place on weekends and holidays from a local talent group impersonating key figures from Kochi history. The idols include Sakamoto Ryoma and Iwasaki Yataro, the founder of the Mitsubishi Group. Behind the stage is the set of a recently famous NHK television series called Ryoma-den that covered the lives of Ryoma and Yataro. Here visitors may walk through realistic sets of historical Kochi from the show while dressed in traditional clothes. This is fun place for pictures and a nice place to sit down and relax while enjoying a unique light show performance presented entirely on Japanese paper doors (shoji) through shadows (Japanese only).