Matsuo Fishing Village

松尾集落(Matsuo Shuraku)
This once-bustling fishing port now offers a charming glimpse of village life on the Pacific Coast
The charming village of Matsuo, just north of Cape Ashizuri, clings to the hillside that rises steeply from the fishing port that was once a source of great wealth. People here have fished for skipjack and bullet tuna (soda-gatsuo) since the Edo period (1603–1868), benefiting from the great Kuroshio (Japan Current) which carries these fish unusually close to the coast. Matsuo was once filled with factories which dried and smoked soda-gatsuo fillets to produce aromatic soda-bushi fish flakes used to make fish stock, a key ingredient in Japanese cuisine. Tosashimizu, the municipality in which Matsuo is located, is still Japan’s main producer of soda-bushi, but only one or two factories, identifiable by their distinctive aroma, remain here.

Matsuo’s heyday may now be in the past, but it is a very interesting place to explore that will appeal to those who like to get off the beaten track, with a surprising number of things to see for such a small village.

The place that locals will surely recommend you visit is the Ebido Cave which is found next to the entrance to the small fishing port. This “Blue Grotto” is known for its emerald blue water which is particularly pretty during the morning light (between 8 am and 10 am is said to be the best time to visit) and which can be viewed from a small footbridge.

After the “Blue Grotto”, Matsuo is best known for its wild Akou Banyan trees. The huge wild banyan that stands next to Matsuo Shrine is said to be around 300 years old and is a sight to behold. A trail down to the beach takes you to another remarkable specimen which has been given the name “stone-hugging Akou Banyan” after the large rocks it seems to clasp in its tangled roots.

Cafe 69 Log which overlooks the port is a must-stop too. Run by a friendly surfing couple, it’s a great place to kick back over coffee or a light lunch, and pick up local info from the owners and their regular customers. From here, you can get directions to the tiny Mejiro Shrine, to which people from far and wide visit to wish to be blessed with children and easy births, and the fantastic view of Cape Mejiro and the Pacific Ocean from the viewing platform a short scramble below.

To dive deeper into Matsuo's fascinating history, call on the services of local guide Masami Muramatsu. Masami knows pretty much everyone in the town, has many stories to share and can help you access some fascinating places and activities. Contact Kochi Escapes or the Hata Region Tourism Bureau for more information.
Culture & Art
Address 高知県土佐清水市松尾(Matsuo, Tosashimizu City, Kochi Prefecture, Japan)
Telephone Number 0880-82-1212
Tosashimizu CityTourism Commerce and Industry Division
DirectionsHow to get to Matsuo

By car
● 2 hours 40 minutes by car from Kochi city center
● 1 hour by car from Nakamura Station (Tosa Kuroshiro Railway)
● 8 minutes by car from Cape Ashizuri

By public transport
● 1 hour 50 minutes by train from Kochi Station to Nakamura Station, from where it is approximately 1 hour 30 minutes by Kochi Seinan Kotsu Bus (get off at Matsuo)

● Matsuo is an excellent place to visit using a rental E-bike available at hotels and tourist facilities near Cape Ashizuri.
Map Code907 223 545*83

Nearby Sightseeing Spots

Nearby Activities

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