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Kōchi Prefecture

Kōchi occupies the southern half of Shikoku.

Location

The southern half of Shikoku

Prefectural capital

Kōchi

Population

757,900

Airport

Kōchi Ryōma Airport

Feudal name

Tosa Province

Shikoku pilgrimage temples

Temples 24 to 39

Cities

Aki, Kami, Kochi (capital), Kōnan, Muroto, Nankoku, Shimanto, Sukumo, Susaki, Tosa, Tosashimizu

Overview

Kōchi Prefecture occupies most of the southern half of Shikoku, facing the Pacific Ocean. It can be reached from Honshu only by road and rail through the other prefectures of Shikoku. There’s also a ferry link to Kyushu from Sukumo. The prefectural capital of Kōchi is Kōchi City.

As part of the Ohenro Shikoku Pilgrimage, Kōchi is the second prefecture that pilgrims visit. Each of the prefectures has been assigned a symbolic phase — Kōchi represents the idea of Austerity and Discipline, perhaps reflecting the toughness of the uninterrupted coastal walking.

Facing the Pacific Ocean, Kōchi is a great place to enjoy unspoilt beaches, surfing, fishing, sea kayaking and whale watching. The local specialty, katsuo no tataki, is made by taking a side of bonito tuna, lightly searing it over burning rice stalks, and serving it sliced thickly with garlic, onion, sea salt and sudachi juice.

Muroto, at the southeastern tip of Shikoku, is a Geopark where you can learn about the dramatic geological convulsions that shaped Japan through observation of the spectacular and beautiful rock formations.

For the three days and nights of the Yosakoi festival in Kōchi, the streets of the main cities are filled by thousands of dancers in colorful costumes who dance behind trucks carrying live musicians.

The people of Kōchi are particularly proud of Sakamoto Ryōma, a westernized samurai who played a leading role in the Meiji Restoration that brought Japan into the modern age. Kōchi is also the prefecture with the highest level of alcohol consumption in Japan. One of the notable Kōchi beverages is doboroku, a moonshine-like precursor to sake, with lumps of rice still in it.

Best of Kōchi

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