Kiragawa is one of Kochi's historical gems. The retro streets are lined with white-walled homes and traditional storehouses built during the 19th and 20th century. Although Kiragawa’s heyday as a major producer of high-quality binchotan (white charcoal) may be in the past, it is a beautifully-maintained architectural time capsule
The architecture is indeed interesting. Since the area is often hit by strong typhoons, rows of roof tiles line the white waterproof plaster to drain rain efficiently–a simple, clever, and pretty design. These details offer a real feel for what life was like so many decades ago
Pro tip! If you arrive in the morning, you may be delighted by a delicious whiff of...freshly-baked bread!
Home Bakery Tokuya is a local favorite that has served a wide variety of baked goods for more than 50 years. It’s the kind of place that evokes a feeling of nostalgia from locals, but of course, it’s the taste that keeps people coming back. Apart from Sundays when the store is closed, the third-generation owner wakes up at 5:30AM every morning to prepare and ferment the dough, after which he begins the baking at around 9AM. Without a single pause throughout the day, the owner is constantly keeping busy, making sure each batch is baked to perfection. My favorite is the light and fluffy shokupan (Japanese milk bread). I always buy a loaf to enjoy later with jam or marmalade, but I must confess…it’s so tasty on its own that it rarely makes it home in one piece