Kochi Travel Guide

Slow it right down and bask in the warm and welcoming character of this sunny and cheery corner of Shikoku Island.

Kochi Featured Food Experiences

Kochi Featured Restaurants



Dinner: ¥6,000-7,999

Located on the central southern coast of Shikoku Island, Kochi Prefecture looks out across an endless sun-soaked sea, so a day of relaxing on its beaches is one well-spent. Inland, you’ll find some of the most beautiful rivers in Japan, including the incredibly crystal-clear Niyodo River which cuts through Nakatsu Gorge.

Camping along its banks is a real treat, and you’ll find plenty of places to do so along its length. Heading further into the hills to the north, to Shikoku Karst National Park, you’ll get some amazing views of the heavens, for which the prefecture is famous. These highlands are beautiful by both day and night, lined with miles and miles of trails to wear out even the most experienced hiker.

Back in the human world, you’ll find Kochi City, the coastal capital of the prefecture. Although small by Japanese standards, this place is packed with character. It boasts one of only a dozen original castles still standing in the country. Along the streets, you’ll also find plenty of food halls and markets, which give the whole place a rustic, warm, community feeling.

There’s a slower pace of life in Kochi Prefecture, suited to those who enjoy taking their time to appreciate things. Once you tune in to this lifestyle and see all the area has to offer, you won't even want to leave.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What to eat in Kochi?

With access to excellent fishing waters, seafood is the staple of everyone’s diet here. You shouldn’t leave without trying some Kochi dorome (fried sardines) or bonito — the skipjack tuna used to make the Japanese dashi stock essential to pretty much every traditional Japanese food — here served seared on the outside and raw in the middle.

What are the best things to do in Kochi?

Kochi Castle is a must-see for any history buff worth their salt, as one of the best preserved castles in the country. Nature-seekers should head inland explore the rivers and mountains to the north and west.

Are there any famous festivals in Kochi?

The annual Kochi Yosokoi — held from the 9th to the 12th of June — is an extravaganza of traditional dance parades which you’ll basically be able to hear from anywhere in the city. If you’re a big drinker, then try challenging a local to a sake-swigging contest at the Akaoka Dorome Festival (held in April to ensure a healthy catch of sardines for the season).

What is Kochi famous for?

The beautiful rivers and highlands of Kochi are famous across Japan. Its fishing towns are also known for their bonito, which is a foundational component of Japanese cooking.

What to buy in Kochi?

To bring some samurai-worthy craftsmanship into your kitchen, pick up some Tosa steel knives (for a hefty price, mind you). If you’re more of an artist than a chef, then some Tosa washi (traditional handmade paper) might fit the bill.
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