Aki City: home of innovators and samurai

安芸市:革新者と侍の故郷 (Aki Shi)
A former castle town with a timeless feel
Aki is a former castle town built around a hill beside the river. You can still see the enclosures and foundations of the castle ruins, and in the Doi Kachu area you can explore lanes lined with the houses of samurai who served the castle lord. The traditional houses and attractive bamboo walls look like they haven’t changed for centuries. One of the houses is open to visitors and free, so you can explore and see how these warriors used to live!

The Nora Dokei field clock is perhaps Aki's most iconic sightseeing spot. This impressive structure was created by Genma Hatakenaka. He was not trained as a clockmaker, but through repeated trial and error reverse engineered an American-made clock until he was able to recreate the mechanisms. The four-faced clock we see today was completed in the 1880s, and is housed in a wooden tower perched on top of a private home. A nearby field provides a colorful backdrop of seasonal sunflowers in the summer.

Another innovative thinker who came from Aki is Yataro Iwasaki, an influential industrialist and the founder of Mitsubishi Group. Visitors can explore his pretty thatched house, and hikers can literally follow in his footsteps by climbing nearby Mt. Myoken, which Iwasaki regularly scaled to strengthen his body and mind.

Uchiharano Park, located about 5km away from Aki Station, is well-worth a visit. The park and the large lake were once part of the Goto family’s gardens, and are thought to have been established between 1673 to 1680. In April 15,000 azaleas bloom, turning the park into a cloud of pink and red flowers, and the cherry trees are also a sight to behold. In early summer you can find ponds full of irises, later followed by wisteria.

Nature lovers should also hop one station over to Ioki, where just a short walk from the train station you will find Ioki Cave. The walls of the tunnel to access this hidden gem are studded with fossilised shells, and the canyon is home to over 40 different species of fern, sheltered by a microclimate created by a small river.

Adventurous eaters will be well-catered for in Aki. This is one of Japan's leading eggplant producing areas, so you will discover many dishes made with the deep purple vegetable... including ice cream! You can try the popular roasted eggplant-flavored ice cream at the Group Farm shop, along with other local flavors like aonori (green laver), ginger and sake lees.
Culture & Art
Address 高知県安芸市矢ノ丸1丁目4-32(1-4-32 Yanomaru, Aki City, Kochi Prefecture, Japan)
Telephone Number 0887-34-8344
Aki Tourism & Information Center
ClosedDuring the year-end and new year holidays
DirectionsTo Aki Station (Gomen Nahari Line)
●About 1 hr drive from Nankoku IC on Kochi Express Highway
●About 1 hr train ride from JR Kochi Station
Website Website
Map Code335 289 757*34

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