Yes, you got it! Today, I’m taking you INSIDE Kochi Castle
For just 420 yen (or free for those 17 and under), you can explore the castle’s tenshu (highest tower), which has six floors. As you walk up the beautiful wooden structure, you’ll find original tatami (traditional straw flooring) from the Edo Period (1603 - 1868), miniature models of the castle grounds in earlier times, a veranda with a lush garden, and more!
I particularly love the carved wooden panels called ranma, which welcome natural light and fresh air into the traditional rooms. The ranma in two of the first-floor rooms are intricately curved, shapes said to represent the waves of Kuroshio (Kochi’s southern coast)
Now, time for a little crash course on Kochi Castle's history! The castle was first constructed in 1601 (largely rebuilt after a fire in 1727) by order of Katsutoyo Yamauchi, the first feudal lord of Tosa (the former name of Kochi). It is the only one in Japan where the original castle tower and main keep remain intact!
We've made it to the top floor! It’s powerful to see the gorgeous 360-degree view of the city while standing in an architectural gem that is centuries old. I reflect on all of the fires, wars and catastrophes that this very building has survived, and I feel a deep sense of gratitude for the peace I get to enjoy today