Sakamoto Ryoma (1835-1867) was born in the castle town of Kochi in 1835. He was the man who created an opportunity to overthrow the Tokugawa shogunate. While there were groups that were thinking of toppling the Tokugawa regime by force, Ryoma proposed overthrowing the shogunate in a peaceful fashion without war. The Tokugawa regime accepted his proposal and abdicated political power to the imperial court. He was active in many fields, and when he was 30, he launched Japan’s first shipping and trading company called “Kameyama Shachu” in Nagasaki. He is said to have been the first person in Japan to go on a honeymoon. He traveled throughout Japan in the last years of the Edo period until he was assassinated in Kyoto on his 33rd birthday. There are many spots related to Ryoma in Kochi Prefecture. He continues to attract new admirers for his dramatic life. Because of his great achievements, a Ryoma festival is held on the Katsurahama Beach in Kochi City on Sunday around his birthday (Nov. 15) every year. During the festival, there are many events such as the unveiling and offering of a huge birthday cake and the performance of the traditional Japanese “Yosakoi” dance to celebrate Ryoma’s birthday.
*Bronze statue (Katsurahama Beach)
Address:Urado, Kochi, Kochi Prefecture Access: ●30 minutes by car from Kochi Exit on the Kochi Expressway. ●About 50 minutes from JR Kochi Station on My Yu Bus. Get off at Katsurahama bus stop.
*Birthplace of Sakamoto Ryoma
Address:2-6-33,Kamimachi, Kochi Cityy, Kochi Prefecture Access: ●Get off at JR Kochi Station, 5mins walk to Harimaya bashi tram stop on Tosaden Kotsu streetcar/tram, take the tram and get off at Kami-machi 1 chome stop. The museum is about a 1-minute walk from the bus stop.
*The Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum
Address:830 Urado-shiroyama, Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture Access: ●Take a “My Yu Bus” ride from JR Kochi Station and get off at “Ryoma Kinenkan-mae” stop (in front of Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum. ●About a 25-minute drive from Kochi Interchange on Kochi Expressway
*Kochi Municipal Ryoma"s Birthplace Memorial Museum
Address:2-6-33 Kami-machi, Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture Access: ●Get off at JR Kochi Station, 5mins walk to Harimaya bashi tram stop on Tosaden Kotsu streetcar/tram, take the tram and get off at Kami-machi 1 chome stop.The museum is about a 3-minute walk from the bus stop.