Kochi Prefecture is located on the island of Shikoku. Prefectural capital is Kochi City with a population of about 340,500 people. The prefecture's former name is Tosa. Tosa and its local hero Sakamoto Ryoma played an important historical role towards the end of the Edo period (1603 to 1868).
Some of the most visited sightseeing spots in Kochi.
Kochi Castle is one of just twelve Japanese castles to have survived the fires, wars and other catastrophes of the post feudal age. It was first constructed between 1601 and 1611, but most of its main buildings date from 1748 when they were reconstructed after a fire. The castle buildings have since been designated "important cultural properties", and now house local treasures and historical objects.
A unique feature of Kochi's castle is that its main tower (donjon) was not only used for military purposes, but also as a residence. In most other castles, the lords usually resided in separate palace buildings rather than in the castle keep. The castle's wooden interior maintains the appearance of it Edo Period origins, and the lookout point from the castle tower's top floor offers nice view of downtown.
Kochi Castle is located a 20 minute walk from JR Kochi Station or a 10 minute walk from the downtown area around Harimayabashi. The castle can also be reached by a short walk from Kochijo-mae tram stop. The tram ride from Kochi Station takes 15 minutes and requires a change at Harimayabashi.
Katsurahama is a scenic beach half an hour south of central Kochi by bus. Because of strong currents, swimming is prohibited at Katsurahama. In place of swimming, visitors see the many other attractions located around the area. A famous statue of Sakamoto Ryoma stands near the beach. Sakamoto was one of the architects of modern Japan. He was instrumental in negotiating an alliance between the Choshu and Satsuma clans that helped to bring an end to Japan's feudal age in 1868. The Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum stands on the hill above the beach.
A one way ride by Kochiken Kotsu bus from JR Kochi Station to Katsurahama takes about 35 minutes.