Kochi boasts beautiful and abundant natural landscapes, from an expansive coastline running with the Kuroshio Current to the clear Shimanto River and the deep green forests that surround it. Located in the south of Shikoku, Kochi is ringed by rugged mountains to the north, and its arc-like southern coastline traces the outline of Tosa Bay. To the east is Cape Muroto, and to the west, Cape Ashizuri, with gently undulating sandy beaches stretching between these two extreme points. The prefecture also boasts the mystical limestone caves of Ryu-ga-do, and the beautiful sands and green pines of Katsura-hama Beach.

Port: Kochi
Experience

Kochi

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  • Japanese Paper Making Experience

    Washi paper was first made in Japan and is used in many traditional arts due to its beauty and durability. Today, you’ll discover the art of Washi paper making at a craft village surrounded by the rich natural setting of the Niyodo River.

    You will begin your tour with a drive through the city and into the scenic countryside for a visit to the Craft Village situated nearby Niyodo River. The Niyodo River is famous for its transparency and having the highest quality water in Japan. Enjoy the beautiful scenery that unfolds as you travel to your destination.

    Arriving at the craft village, you will experience how Tosa washi paper is made by hand, the traditional way. The mountainous area around Kochi provides the raw materials needed and the Niyodo River plenty of the water used in its production.

    Although the origins of paper are not conclusively known, according to the Engishiki (a record of laws & customs), taxes in Tosa Province were collected using papers. It is also estimated that the paper making history goes back at least 1,000 years. Enjoy the long history of paper making and experience the beauty of this unique artwork during your visit.

    Leaving the village and heading back to the port, you’ll stop to view and photograph the Nagoya Chinka Bridge and the crystal clear waters of the Niyodo River. The bridge was uniquely designed to be underwater during floods and can only be crossed over when the water level is low.

    Please note: Tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair and are able to make their own way on and off transportation. Guests must be self-sufficient or if assistance is required, they should travel with a companion who can provide this.

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  • Ekingura Museum & Kochi Castle

    Departing the port, you drive east to visit Ekingura Museum and discover the fiery art of local artist Ekin. His paintings capture how people leaved during his time and the vivid red colors, which characterize his creations, are believed to protect the local people from evil spirits and bad luck. The desire of the locals to preserve the legend of Ekin and allow future generations to experience his work, made it possible to create Ekingura.

    Then, head to the city center and visit beautiful Kochi Castle, an imposing structure atop Otakasa Hill. First constructed at the beginning of the 17th Century, the building has survived many invasions, fires and natural disasters of the post feudal age. Reconstructed in 1748 after a devastating fire, today stands as the symbol of Kochi. It has also been selected as one of Japan's 100 best castles, and designated important cultural property. It is also the only 12 remaining Japanese castles to have retained both its original inner keep and palace. During your visit, you’ll learn of its fascinating history and enjoy its wealth of local treasures and historical objects.

    At the end of your visit you will be transferred to the pier.

    Please note: Tour includes over 2-hours of walking on both flat and hilly/steep terrain with approximately 160 steps to reach the castle’s main building and additional stairs inside. Tour is not available to wheel chair guests or those with walking or mobility concerns. Flash photography and the use of tripods are not allowed inside the castle. Guests might be asked to remove shoes and wear provided slippers in some areas of the castle.

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  • Kochi Castle & Katsurahama Beach

    Depart from the pier, and transfer to Kochi Castle enjoying the views of the city, which has a reputation of being one of Japan’s most convenient cities to live in.

    Kochi Castle, an imposing structure atop Otakasa Hill, offers splendid views of the city from its privileged setting. First constructed at the beginning of the 17th Century, the building has survived many invasions, fires and natural disasters of the post feudal age. Reconstructed in 1748 after a devastating fire, today stands as the symbol of Kochi. It has also been selected as one of Japan's 100 best castles, and designated important cultural property. It is also the only 12 remaining Japanese castles to have retained both its original inner keep and palace. During your visit, you’ll learn of its fascinating history and enjoy its wealth of local treasures and historical objects.

    Next, a scenic drive takes you thought some of the city highlights and to Katsurahama, a beautiful beach 30 minutes south of central Kochi. A famous statue of Kochi's favorite son and one of the architects of modern Japan, Sakamoto Ryoma, stands near the beach. 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. You’ll have a little over a half-hour of free time to explore the area. Because of strong currents, swimming is prohibited at Katsurahama. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and walking paths; there is a small shrine on a cliff and other attractions in the area.

    From here, you’ll return to the port and your waiting ship.

    Please note: There are approximately 200 steps to negotiate at Kochi Castle. Tour is not available to wheel chair guests or those with walking or mobility concerns. Flash photography and the use of tripods are not allowed inside the castle. Guests might be asked to remove shoes and wear provided slippers in some areas.

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  • Beautiful Temple & Gardens

    A short drive takes you to the city, across the Shimoda river and up to Mt.Godaisan, where you’ll visit two of Kochi’s beautiful landmarks overlooking the city.

    You’ll visit Chikurinji Temple, set among a forest like landscape and known as a temple of learning, it offers a tranquil setting and an interesting array of halls and structures, including a beautiful five-storied pagoda. The treasure hall displays several Buddhist statues and scrolls of great importance, and the Hondo (main hall) offers a view of the building's interior and a nicely kept garden.

    Near Chikurinji temple you’ll find the Makino Botanical Garden, built in 1958 to honor Kochi born and father of Japanese botany, Dr. Tomitaro Makino. The spacious garden, housing about 3000 species of plants, includes extensive walking paths, outdoor parks, a greenhouse and several large museum halls with excellent information and displays on Dr. Makino and his field of study.

    The Exhibition Hall’s permanent exhibit focuses on the achievements and life of Dr. Makino. Another feature of the hall is the interactive world of plants, which can be enjoyed by children and adults of all ages.

    Please note: Tour includes approximately 2-hours of walking on both flat and hilly/steep terrain with approximately 150 steps to climb at Chikurinji temple. Tour is not available to wheel chair guests or those with walking or mobility concerns.

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  • Ryugado Caves & Kochi Castle

    Discover nature's creative ability to carve into limestone when you visit Ryugado Caves and men’s creation, impressive Kochi Castle.

    You will begin your tour with a visit to Ryugado Caves, on the slopes of Mount Sampo. Ryugado cave is one of the three major beautiful limestone caves in Japan, with approximately 175 million years of history. This cave is registered in the list of national heritage and sites. Artifacts and earthenware have been found here, indicating that the caves were inhabited about 2000 years ago.

    You would enjoy not only the dynamics of the natural stone pillars, but also interesting formations such as God’s vessel. Most rock formations are named after figures of Japanese mythology. In addition to its remarkable formations, the caves are home to about 100 animal species, which include bats, shrimp and crabs.

    Then, head back to the city to visit Kochi castle, the city’s most impressive landmark, offering splendid views of the city. First constructed at the beginning of the 17th Century, the building has survived many invasions, fires and natural disasters of the post feudal age. Reconstructed in 1748 after a devastating fire, today stands as the symbol of Kochi. It has also been selected as one of Japan's 100 best castles, and designated important cultural property. It is also the only 12 remaining Japanese castles to have retained both its original inner keep and palace. During your visit, you’ll learn of its fascinating history and enjoy its wealth of local treasures and historical objects.

    After sightseeing at Kochi Castle, you will be transferred back to the port.

    Please note: There are approximately 780 steps to manage at the caves and approximately 200 at Kochi Castle. Tour is not available to wheel chair guests or those with walking or mobility concerns. The course inside the caves is steep and slippery; sport or rubber soled shoes, with good traction, are highly recommended. As temperature in the cave is cool and there is a chance of dripping water, a light rain jacket or rain poncho is recommended. Parts of the cave are low and narrow, therefore, this tour is not recommended for persons who suffer from claustrophobia. Cave management prohibits photography in the areas inhabited by bats. Flash photography and the use of tripods are not allowed inside the castle. Guests might be asked to remove shoes and wear provided slippers in some areas of the castle.

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  • Ryugado Caves

    Discover nature's creative ability to carve into limestone during your visit to Ryugado Caves.

    You will begin your tour with a visit to Ryugado Caves, on the slopes of Mount Sampo. Ryugado cave is one of the three major beautiful limestone caves in Japan, with approximately 175 million years of history. This cave is registered in the list of national heritage and sites. Artifacts and earthenware have been found here, indicating that the caves were inhabited about 2000 years ago.

    You would enjoy not only the dynamics of the natural stone pillars, but also interesting formations such as God’s vessel. Most rock formations are named after figures of Japanese mythology. In addition to its remarkable formations, the caves are home to about 100 animal species, which include bats, shrimp and crabs.

    After sightseeing at Ryugado Cave, you will be transferred back to the port.

    Please note: There are approximately 780 steps to manage at the caves. Tour is not available to wheel chair guests or those with walking or mobility concerns. The course inside the caves is steep and slippery; sport or rubber soled shoes, with good traction, are highly recommended. As temperature in the cave is cool and there is a chance of dripping water, a light rain jacket or rain poncho is recommended. Parts of the cave are low and narrow, therefore, this tour is not recommended for persons who suffer from claustrophobia. Cave management prohibits photography in the areas inhabited by bats.

    Read More
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