Japan’s best kept secret awaits discovery. An area of outstanding natural beauty with a culture and proudly independent spirit forged over centuries of isolation, Kochi Prefecture in Shikoku, one of Japan’s four main islands, is a dream destination for independent travelers in search of authentic off-the beaten-track experiences.
Still largely untouched by mainstream tourism, however, it can be difficult for even seasoned travelers to get to the core of what makes Kochi so special. This is where our carefully curated, travel experiences come in. Developed and led by locals on the ground, our guided experiences will ensure that the memories you take home from Kochi will stay with you forever.
Shimanto River Valley
There is so much to explore along the Shimanto River, Japan’s last free-flowing river.
After tasting the sweet water that bubbles out of the mountain at the river’s source, follow the valley as it wanders back and forth across stunning landscapes all the way to the Pacific Ocean by bicycle, canoe and on foot. Gain insights into the culture of the Shimanto River Valley by spending time with people who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of traditional arts and crafts. Or, enjoy a relaxing dinner cruise gliding over the clear calm waters of the Shimanto River.
Located at the southwestern edge of Shikoku, the Ashizuri Uwakai National Park is an, as yet, undiscovered subtropical paradise of stunning coastlines and tiny fishing villages, where life moves at a slower pace guided by nature. It’s an area that makes a lasting impression on any who make the effort to journey this far.
Local guides on the Ashizuri Peninsular and Tatsukushi coast not only provide insights into the nature and culture of the region, but also provide a bridge between the traveler and the people who call this place home.
The Niyodo River’s spellbinding “Niyodo Blue” pools grace the cover of many pamphlets and guide books, but those who merely come to snap a few pictures before moving on miss so much of what this region has to offer.
Relaxed stays at a traditional Japanese farmhouse in a tiny village, high above the valley floor, offer peace, calm and dining under star-studded skies. Local guides who know the area’s river system like the back of their hands take you on thrilling canyoning experiences and hikes through hidden gorges, followed by sampling local craft beers brewed on the riverside.
For the adventurous traveler looking for a less-traveled Japan that is much unchanged from decades past, eastern Kochi is a delight.
Marvel at the vast expanse and changing moods of the Pacific Ocean that crashes into the Muroto Peninsular. Get a sense of the commitment required to complete the Shikoku Pilgrimage by trekking the Muruto Sanzan, three pilgrimage temples clustered on the peninsular, and visit important sites associated with Kukai, the Buddhist saint with whom the pilgrimage is closely linked. Away from the coast, good-natured locals share culinary skills passed down through generations with a smile.