May 17, 2015


Kochi(高知)is situated in the south of Shikoku(四国), and is most famous for being Sakamoto Ryoma's (坂本竜馬)hometown. Chose to go there during Yosakoi, an annual summer dance festival in August. Though accommodation is hard to find when nearing the festival.

My trip to Kochi was joined with Ehime(愛媛). Took a 3 hour bus from Matsuyama(松山)to Kochi city. The attractions here can be covered in a day. Buying the 1 day pass that covers tram and bus is a convenient way of traveling around.

Kochi Castle(高知城)is 1 of 12 original castles in Japan. The interesting fact about this castle is that the main tower was not only used for military purpose, but also as residence.

Next is Katsurahama(桂浜)beach, also accessible via bus. The beach is lined with pine trees. This place is not to be missed by Sakamoto Ryoma's fans. He is a prominent figure in Japan's history, playing an important role in overthrowing Tokugawa shogunate during the Bakumatsu period in Japan. There is a statue of him and a memorial museum. My knowledge of him mainly comes from the drama JIN.

Another attraction is Godaisan (mountain), where No. 31 of "88 temples of pilgrimage"-- Chikurinji (temple) lies. There is a 5 storey pagoda. Didn't go there.

Katsuo Tataki and Yuzu are famous local specialties. Being a huge fan of Yuzu, lost count of the number of Yuzu drinks I bought :P

Yosakoi is a big thing in Kochi/Shikoku. I enjoyed watching the dance performances at the Shotengai商店街. It's said that compared to the other famous Shikoku dance festival Awa Odori, Yosakoi is a more masculine/energetic version. Unlike Awa Odori where everyone could join in the dance, Yosakoi was more for viewing. Also saw more foreigners at Awa Odori.


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