The colder weather has set in, but there are plenty of fine, sunny days to enjoy winter in Kochi. Looking for an ideal place for a fun day trip or an overnight mini-break? Welcome to Susaki City!
It’s an easy 45-minute drive from Kochi City along the coast, but we recommend stopping on the way to see atmospheric Shoryu-ji Temple. It sits near the edge of the Yokonami Peninsula, tucked away in a valley. The temple is number 36 on the Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage route, and as regular readers will know, this means it has a connection with one of the most beloved monks in Japan, Kukai. In fact, there's a fascinating legend behind it
It is said that Kukai established Shoryu-ji Temple in honor of his Chinese master, Keika. According to legend, while he was in China, Kukai threw a small, pronged spear known as a tokkosho towards Japan. Upon his return home in 806, he found the weapon caught in a pine tree on the Yokonami Peninsula (what a throw!), and so built the temple there in homage to his master! Take some time to enjoy the temple and the lovely nature around it, then it’s on to the seaside city of Susaki
While famous for fresh seafood, Susaki’s signature dish is nabeyaki ramen. It’s made with chicken, green onions, and chikuwa (Japanese fish cake), topped with a raw egg in the middle. The simple, but flavorful broth goes well with rice, and in fact, it is customary to serve some rice on the side, to enjoy after you’ve eaten the noodles. Almost like two dishes in one! Susaki has plenty of nabeyaki ramen shops, but you can't go wrong at Hashimoto Shokudo
If time allows, complete your getaway with an overnight hot spring stay at Soudayama Onsen Yawaragi. They offer a variety of beautiful rooms, making use of the natural warmth of wood in a mix of Japanese and Western styles, along with private baths in the suites for ultimate (and private) relaxation. If you’re bringing children—or just want to indulge your inner child—you can even book a suite which includes a treehouse!