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Photo By: Pierre Doyen
Largest City


Kochi's beautiful bayside experience.

Katsurahama is an area of ocean-kissed beauty in Kochi Prefecture. It may not be a beach you can swim at but this coast hosts more than enough natural wonder and is popular with day trippers and longer-stay visitors alike. Visitors can check out the sunrise on New Year’s Day, moon watch, catch the aquarium shows, climb Ryuo point, see the famous Ryoma statue and more.

The beach is immortalised in song and dance (the Yosakoi-bushi) as a perfect place to watch the moon over Tosa Bay. Before that, there’s a half day to wander the beach and park with the area’s famous “aisukurin gelato” in hand should you be there in sunnier days. For something warmer, try the ika-yaki (grilled squid) or katsuo-no-tataki (seared bonito). Once fortified, head up to the Wadatsumi and Haitaka shrines located on Ryuo Point – the ideal spot to look out over the oceans and fill your lungs with fresh sea air.

Photo by: x768 Rocky seaside views.

You’re now ready for a thought-provoking encounter with the Edo period’s Sakamoto Ryoma. The man was a giant in the transition of the country between Shogunate and Emperor and it’s fitting that his statue is larger than life, standing at an imposing 13.5 metres and is just one of several memorials in Kochi dedicated to him. The Ryoma festival takes place around Nov. 15, there’s an observation deck next to the Statue of Ryoma to view the Pacific Ocean. The deck remains for about two months.

Back down on the beach, visit the Katsurahama Aquarium where you can spend a friendly hour or two with akame (Japanese barramundi), tosakin (curly fantail goldfish) or wolf fish. Here, get your photos taken as you march alongside a penguin. Try your luck at the fishing pond. Feed the otters, turtles or tortoises. Daily sea lion shows are also performed with gusto at the show pool as you can probably hear with all the barking in the background. These take place for no extra cost at 11am, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

If the aquarium is not for you, head back to Kochi city center, you can drop by one of the 88 Shikoku Pilgrimage temples (this one being 33 Sekkeiji) for some quiet contemplation. Japan’s most famous pilgrimage spans some 750 KM and can take between 30 and 60 days to complete.

Things To Know

Hours and Fees

Katsurahama Aquarium 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (¥1,200 single) | Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (¥500 single)  (Museum undergoing a renovation; re-opens Spring 2018)

How To Get There


778 Urado, Kōchi-shi, Kōchi-ken 781-0262, Japan

By bus

Local bus from JR Kochi station bus terminal (35 minutes, ¥690). You can also take My Yu Bus route, which gives you one-day unlimited travel (¥1,000) with 50% discount for foreign visitors.

By car

Drive 30 minutes from Kochi city center to the Koen Parking Lot. This is located five minutes from the Ryoma statue.

Where To Stay

Riverside Hotel Shoei
  • 8-1 Tenjincho, Kochi-shi, Kochi, 780-8012 Japan
  • ¥6,100 - ¥16,200
  • 3.91/5 (311 reviews)
  • 7.2 km
  • 1-3-35 Takajomachi, Kochi-shi, Kochi, 780-0862 Japan
  • ¥15,400 - ¥18,700
  • 4.37/5 (1,659 reviews)
  • 7.6 km
Seven Days Hotel
  • 2-13-17 Harimayacho, Kochi-shi, Kochi, 780-0822 Japan
  • ¥6,080 - ¥19,000
  • 3.83/5 (916 reviews)
  • 7.6 km
Seven Days Hotel Plus
  • 2-13-6 Harimayacho, Kochi-shi, Kochi, 780-0822 Japan
  • ¥6,650 - ¥28,000
  • 4.18/5 (962 reviews)
  • 7.7 km
The Crown Palais New Hankyu Kochi
  • 4-2-50 Kabushikikaishiya Kochishinhankiyuhoteru, Kochi-shi, Kochi, 780-8561 Japan
  • ¥7,885 - ¥36,670
  • 4.09/5 (2,573 reviews)
  • 7.7 km

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