Kochi Prefecture and its capital city of Kochi face the Pacific Ocean on Shikoku's southern coast, and travelers to this lesser-visited corner of western Japan will be treated to superb natural beauty, exciting festivals, and lots of friendly sake-loving locals.

Browse & Book a hotel in Kochi

1. Kochi Castle

Kochi Castle was originally built in 1603 on the order of Yamauchi Katsutoyo, lord of the Tosa domain.

Although it burned down in a massive fire in 1727, the current castle tower was rebuilt in 1749 and is one of Japan's only 12 surviving castle keeps that date back to the Edo Period or earlier.
Fifteen structures at Kochi Castle, including its tower and the Otemon main gate, have been designated by the national government as important cultural properties. Kochi Castle is Japan’s only castle where you can capture both its main gate and main tower in a single photograph.

Kochi Castle
1 Chome-2-1 Marunouchi, Kochi, 780-0850

2. Hirome Market

Located next to Kochi Castle, Hirome Market is packed with about 65 street stall-style restaurants, busy fresh fish and meat shops, unique knickknack shops, and clothing boutiques.

It's a place for locals and visitors alike to fill their stomachs with not only Kochi"s local cuisine but also more international flavors. With tables throughout, customers can get takeout from different restaurants and enjoy a casual meal at almost any time of day. Drinks and pub food are available at the Hirome Bar area.

Hirome Market
2 Chome-3-1 Obiyamachi, Kochi, 780-0841

3. Shikoku Karst Prefectural Natural Park

Shikoku Karst is one of Japan’s three largest karst landforms, an area of limestone that has been carved by erosion to create cone-shaped sinkholes (found along the Tengu Plateau and Jiyoshi Pass) and other geological formations.

Trails wind throughout the park, offering visitors panoramic views of the surrounding green hills in spring and summer, silver grass in autumn, and snowy landscapes in winter.
A stroll along forested paths offers therapeutic effects, and at night the high elevation away from city lights provides superb views of the starry sky.

Shikoku Karst Prefectural Natural Park
Nishidani, Kumakogen, Kamiukena District, Ehime 791-1802

4. Muroto Geopark

Located on the tip of the Muroto Peninsula in eastern Kochi Prefecture, the Muroto UNESCO Global Geopark was established as a place of international geological significance, with numerous features that tell the story of the area's earthquake-filled past, when subduction of the oceanic plate caused uplifting of the peninsula over the course of thousands of years.

Today trace fossils, marine terraces, and other evidence of Muroto's ocean past can be seen during walks through the area. Guided tours of Cape Muroto in English are available with reservations, and bi…

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