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If you’re interested in traveling through Kochi you will definitely need a car. There are buses available, but the buses run only a few times per day, and they are not intended for sightseeing.
Kochi is famous as the birthplace of Sakamoto Ryoma, a key figure during the Meiji Restoration. As a result there are numerous sightseeing spots related to Sakamoto Ryoma, including The Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum and the Ryoma History Museum. Right in front of the Memorial Museum is Katsurahama Beach which a statue of Sakamoto Ryoma looks down over.
Kochi is well known for skipjack tuna (also known as bonito or the Japanese word “katsuo”). When Japanese people eat raw fish it’s normal to put soy sauce on it, but in Kochi it’s more common to sprinkle skipjack tuna with salt. It’s also said that the “tataki” method of food preparation originated in Kochi; this method involves broiling the fish over a straw fire until the outer part of the fish is lightly grilled. Right near Kochi Castle is the Hirome Market where you can enjoy a smorgasbord of Kochi local cuisine.
Of course, when you’re savoring Kochi’s food, don’t forget to have some sake too.
Within Japan, people from Kochi are thought to hold their alcohol well, and indeed within Kochi Prefecture there is a strong drinking culture. No matter the occasion, be it business or otherwise, people will find a way to have a drink together. Within Kochi there are numerous must-see events related to drinking, including the “okyaku” parties held in March, a prefecture-wide event that transforms local shopping areas into parties. Similarly, there’s also the “Dorome Matsuri” which is a type of drinking competition.
The airport nearest Kochi is the Kochi Ryoma Airport. It has connecting flights to Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka. You can also travel to Kochi via train from Tokyo or Osaka, however these trains are not direct and you will need to switch trains at JR Okayama Station. The cheapest form of transportation is a high speed bus. From Tokyo it’s a long 10 hour journey by bus.
Tourism information: Kochi