Home of the crystal-clear Shimanto-gawa River and the tropical Yosakoi-matsuri Festival.
Located in the south of Shikoku, Kochi is ringed by rugged mountains to the north, and its arc-like southern coastline traces the outline of Tosa Bay. To the east is Cape Muroto, and to the west, Cape Ashizuri, with gently undulating sandy beaches stretching between these two extreme points. The prefecture also boasts the mystical limestone caves of Ryu-ga-do, and the beautiful sands and green pines of Katsura-hama Beach.
The Shimanto-gawa River, with its crystal-clear waters, is known as Japan’s last pristine river. It begins its winding journey in the mountains of Tsuno Town, before flowing into the Pacific Ocean. The river is a treasure trove of marine life, including ‘ayu’ (sweet fish) and river prawns. Ayu are caught using large torches that scare the fish into nets—a unique fishing technique known as “Hiburi-ryo.” These ancient fishing methods remain even to this day. Further downstream, you can even enjoy canoeing. To the north of Cape Muroto—known for its many coastal boulders—are Shira-hama and Ikumi-kaigan beaches. These coastal areas are ideal for water sports such as swimming and surfing.
Kochi City is a bustling town situated at the foot of Kochi Castle, which was built in the 17th century. This designated Important cultural Property was one of Japan’s few authentic castles, which has survived both war and many natural disasters for centuries. The Yosakoi-matsuri festival is biggest event in Kochi. Around 20,000 dancers in different teams show off their gorgeous, original costumes and exquisite dancing skills. This festival, filled with the atmosphere of the southern tropics, attracts around one million visitors from around the country each year.