The capital city of Kochi prefecture, Kochi City faces the Pacific Ocean. Roughly 340,000 or around forty percent of the prefectures population live here. Kochi City is the center of the prefecture and is the hub for entertainment, arts and culture.
For sightseeing, Kochi Castle is one of the few remaining original castles in Japan as many were destroyed during WWII. This castle, however, remained intact and serves as a reminder of the elegance of 16th and 17th century Japanese architecture.
To know Kochi you have to know its favorite son, Ryoma Sakamoto. Born in the Edo era, marked by the military rule of the Tokunaga Shogunate, his struggles helped bring Japan into the modern era. There is a statue and a museum dedicated to the tumultuous life of this great reformer.
One unique attribute of Kochi is that it is said to be home to some serious drinking aficionados. Accordingly, there is a beer hall called Hirome that is open daily from 8am to 11pm.
Another interesting point of interest is Hariyama, which is a small bright red bridge that was popularized in song in Japan. It has become one of the city’s icons.
For local pastimes, Kochi is a water city where canoeing, rafting and surfing all enjoy a large following. There are numerous waterways to choose from. When you are done you can head inland to trek through some of the rugged landscape.
A major event is Kochi’s summer festival, which is spearheaded by the Yosakoi dance. Dancers from different groups give their all on stage in friendly rivalry. The farmers markets, held on several days of the week year-round, is the largest farmers market in the country and is a great place to learn about local (and often unusual!) produce and food items.
Whenever you decide to visit Kochi City you will be welcomed and feel the warmth of its people.