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Japan Regional Information

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Kochi

Shimanto-gawa River known for a limpid stream "Yosakoi-matsuri" festival filled with fevered air of a hot country
Located in the south of Shikoku, Kochi has a chain of tall and steep mountains at the north and faces the Pacific Ocean to the south, with the Tosa Bay embraced by an arching coastline. The Tosa Bay has Muroto Point lying at its end and Ashizuri Point extending at its west end. Between these points are places of natural beauty along a continuation of gently curved sands, including Ryuga-do, a limestone cavern that boasts a mystic sight and the Katsura-hama beach known for beautiful white sand and green pine.

The Shimanto-gawa River, rising at Higashitsuno-mura and winding its way through into the Pacific Ocean, is called the last limpid stream of Japan and known for clean water. On the river, a treasury of fishes, such as ayu (sweet fish) and river shrimp, you can see even today time-honored "Hiburi-ryo" fishing, a sort of torch fishing to catch ayu by startling it into a net with a waved torch. Halfway down the river is a popular spot for canoeing downstream. On the north side of Muroto Point, the Shirahama and Ikumi beaches known for giant rocks and rough reefs are thronged with vacationers who enjoy marine sports like bathing and surfing.

Kochi City prospered as the capital town of a daimyo's fief with the Kochi castle built early in the 17th century. Every summer there, the "Yosakoi-matsuri Festival" highlighted by the dancing of people attired in different team colors through the street while sounding their clappers with both hands is staged. The festival filled with the fevered air of a hot country attracts nearly 1 million spectators from all over the country.

Getting there
About 1 hour and 20 minutes to Kochi Airport from Tokyo Haneda Airport, and about 40 minutes from Itami Airport in Osaka. About 40 minutes from Kochi Airport to Kochi Station by bus. About 3 hours and 20 minutes to Okayama Station from Tokyo Station and about 40 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station by JR Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen Line. About 2 hours and 30 minutes from Okayama Station to Kochi Station by JR Seto-ohashi-Dosan Line Limited Express.
 

  • Ashizuri Point
    Steep Cliff Covered With Subtropical Plants, Well-known Surf Fishing Spot Close To Japan Current
    Ashizuri Point on the southernmost tip of Shikoku belongs to Ashizuri-Uwakai National Park. At the Point rises sheer an approx. 80 meters-high cliff covered with subtropical plants. The Ashizuri Point Lighthouse commanding a view of the deep blue Pacific Ocean, has been well-known as the symbol of Ashizuri Point since its light came into operation in 1914.

    A ramble road with an overall length of approx. 2 kilometers named Ashizuri Point Promenade-amid-nature runs along the surrounding of the point. The Ashizuri Point Observation and Tengu-no-hana Observation Platform along this promenade overlooking the lighthouse, the Japanese Current breaking on rocks near the coast and the arched horizon far off are popular as ideal viewing points. At the 16 meters-high, 17 meters-wide Hakusan Domon Rock Cave created by the raging waves, visitors can see the dynamic waves splash dashing wildly against there.

    The granite Usubae Cliff jutting out from the western end of the Matsuo Beach to the west of Ashizuri Point is one of the rare places much closer to the Japan Current flowing northward along the Pacific coast, well known to anglers as an ideal surf fishing spot.

    Getting there
    About 1 hour 20 minutes from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Kochi Airport. About 40 minutes from Osaka Itami Airport. About 40 minutes by bus from Kochi Airport to Kochi Station. About 3 hours 20 minutes from Tokyo Station to Okayama Station on the JR Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen Line. About 40 minutes from Shin Osaka Station. About 2 hours 30 minutes from Okayama Station to Kochi Station by a Limited Express on the JR Seto-ohashi and Dosan Line. About 1 hour and 45 minutes from JR Kochi Station to Nakamura Station of the Tosa Kuroshio-Tetsudo Railway Line. About 1 hour 50 minutes by bus from Nakamura Station to Ashizuri Point.

     

  • Kochi City
    Street Car With Pet Name "Toden"(Municipal Street Car) Ten-thousand-odd People Absorbed in Fevered Dance of "Yosakoi" Festival
    Located at the center of Kochi, Kochi City developed on the delta of Kagami-gawa River pouring into Urado Bay. It is now the political, economic, commercial and cultural center of the prefecture. The city has many scenic spots and places of historical interest including the Kochi Castle in the heart of the city and Harimaya Bridge with old style vermilion-lacquered parapets.
    Shopping streets such as the arcade in Obiyamachi along sidewalks and Kyomachi with many deluxe coral ornament boutiques are always crowded. Street Cars nicknamed "Toden" run in the city, serving as the daily means of transportation for the citizens. The beautiful Katsurahama Beach where pine grove and reefs in the sea make a fine contrast with each other lies on the coast of Urado Bay in a southern part of the city.

    The greatest event of the prefecture is the Yosakoi Festival featuring a dance performed wildly by ten-thousand-odd people to the folk tune of Yosakoi-bushi. Every summer, this festival opens with a fireworks display on the banks of Kagami-gawa River. The Yosakoi Naruko Dance Contest, the main event of the festival, is staged at sites throughout the city. This festival was started in 1954 as an event held by a way of prayer for an abundant harvest of "five crops" meaning rice, barley, (soy)beans and two kind of millet, prosperity of the local commercial and industrial communities and a good health of the citizens. Each one of the dance teams participating in the contest wear uniforms varied in design and coloring, combined with diverse and unique hair styles and many varieties of makeup. These teams all dance energetically and lively in their own unique ways. The stirring Yosakoi Festival gives indeed an exciting highlight to the hot Summer in Kochi.

    Getting there
    About 1 hour and 20 minutes from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Kochi Airport. About 40 minutes from Osaka Itami Airport. About 40 minutes by bus from Kochi Airport to Kochi Station. About 3 hours and 20 minutes from Tokyo Station to Okayama Station by JR Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen Line. About 40 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station. About 2 hours and 30 minutes from Okayama Station to Kochi Station by Limited Express train on the JR Seto-ohashi and Dosan Line.

     

  • Muroto Point
    Muroto Point Dotted With Subtropical Plants - Whales and Dolphins Can Be Watched there
    Muroto Point, dotted with hibiscuses and other subtropical plants, is located at the eastern end of Tosa Bay, and an area around the Point is designated by the official name of Muroto-Anan Coast Quasi-National Park. The Ransho Promenade round the tip of Muroto Point extends approx. 1.4 kilometers along the coast line of the Point, and many rocks and stones of oddly and monstrous shape lie along the promenade.

    The symbol of the point is the conspicuous white Muroto Point Lighthouse whose interior is opened to the public three times a year. A lens with a diameter as long as 2.6 meters is fitted inside the building. The light, which is of the largest class in Japan, can illuminate an area stretching as far as 56 kilometers. Constructed 100 years ago, the lighthouse has been guiding a navigation offshore .

    Whale catching once had its heyday in the waters off Muroto, but, in recent years, whaling ships were replaced by whale watching ships, those for watching fixed netting operations, etc. Except in the typhoon season, there is a good likelihood of spotting sperm whales as long as 15 m off Muroto Point, and the spotting of a shoal of dolphins is not infrequent.

    Getting there
    About 1 hour 20 minutes from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Kochi Airport. About 40 minutes from Osaka Itami Airport. About 40 minutes from Kochi Airport to Kochi Station. About 3 hours 20 minutes from Tokyo Station to Okayama Station on the JR Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen Line. About 40 minutes from Shin Osaka Station. About 2 hours 30 minutes from Okayama Station to Kochi Station by a Limited Express train on the JR Seto-ohashi and Dosan Line. About 2 hours 30 minutes by bus from Kochi Station to Muroto Point.

     

  • Okumonobe and Teisumiyoshi
    Ravine in a harmony of cropped-out white rocks with a verdure of the mountains - Outdoor recreation surrounded by nature of the sea and mountains
    Monobe Village is located in the northeastern part of Kochi Prefecture. About half of the village belongs to Okumonobe Prefectural Natural Park, and the northeastern part of the village is designated as Tsurugisan Quasi-National Park, both of which are crowded with mountain climbers during tourist seasons from spring to autumn.

    Befukyo in Monobe Village is a steep ravine extending for about five kilometers. Eroded and cropped out white limestone is in beautiful harmony with a verdure of the surrounding mountains, what is more, small falls are seen here and there. Tea stalls, observatories and promenades are comfortably laid out. Some of the largest mountains in Shikoku, including Mt. Ishidate and Mt. Miune, rise nearby, and furthermore there are also hot springs, campsites, and clear streams of the Makiyama-gawa River where you can enjoy bathing, boating and other pleasures.

    Teisumiyoshi Prefectural Natural Park is located in the middle east part of Kochi Prefecture. It is the Natural Park of a beautiful harmony between Kotogahama Coastline with beautiful groves of Japanese black pine trees, and the inland areas, including Mt. Myouken and Mt. Shiroyama, located at its hinterland. In the park, all kinds of facilities such as those for water sports, cycling, and golfing are comfortably arranged.

    Getting there
    Kochi Airport is about 1 hour 20 minutes from Tokyo Haneda Airport, and about 40 minutes from Osaka Itami Airport. Then take a bus from Kochi Airport to Kochi Station, which takes about 40 minutes. Okayama station is about 3 hours 20 minutes from Tokyo station by the JR Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen Line, and about 40 minutes from Shin-Osaka station. Kochi station is about 2 hours 30 minutes from Okayama station by the JR Seto-ohashi Great Bridge and Dosan Line Limited Express. Then take a bus from Kochi Station to Ohtochi(Okumonobe), which takes about 1 hour 15 minutes. In order to get to Tei, take a bus from Harimayabashi to Yasu, which takes about 45 minutes.

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  Information provided by Japan National Tourist Organization.

 

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