5 Unique Things to Do in Kochi, Japan

5 Unique Things to Do in Kochi, Japan

The enchanting city of Kochi, Japan, where rich history and vibrant culture blend seamlessly to create a truly unique travel experience. While the bustling metropolises of Tokyo and Osaka may steal the spotlight, Kochi is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

Nestled on the picturesque island of Shikoku, this coastal city offers a plethora of unforgettable experiences that will leave you in awe. From exploring ancient castles and strolling through tranquil gardens to indulging in delectable local cuisine, Kochi has something for everyone.

We will unveil the top five hidden gems of Kochi, taking you off the beaten path and immersing you in the authentic beauty of this captivating destination.

Why visit Kochi?

Kochi, with its rich historical and cultural heritage, offers a unique experience to travellers seeking an authentic taste of Japan. Unlike the more popular cities, Kochi has managed to retain its traditional charm, Ideal for those seeking a local experience without the crowds.

The city is known for its stunning natural beauty, from lush mountains to pristine beaches, providing ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.

Additionally, Kochi boasts a vibrant culinary scene, with an array of local delicacies waiting to be savoured. Kochi has something for everyone – history, nature, and food. Definitely worth a visit.

Kochi Castle, a magnificent symbol of the city’s feudal past, is undoubtedly one of the must-visit attractions. This well-preserved castle, surrounded by beautiful gardens, offers a glimpse into Japan’s samurai era.

As you wander through the castle grounds, you’ll be transported back in time, imagining the battles and intrigues that once took place within its walls. The view from the top of the castle is breathtaking, with panoramic vistas of the city and the surrounding countryside.

Don’t forget to take a moment to appreciate the intricate craftsmanship of the castle’s architecture, as every detail tells a story.

Related: Why You Should Visit Nagoya, Japan

Discovering the beauty of Katsurahama Beach

5 Unique Things to Do in Kochi, Japan

For those seeking a dose of natural beauty, Katsurahama Beach is a hidden gem not to be missed. Located just a short distance from the city centre, this stunning beach offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

With its golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and lush greenery, Katsurahama Beach is a utopia for beach and nature enthusiasts. Take a leisurely stroll along the shore, feel the gentle sea breeze on your skin, and soak in the serene atmosphere.

If you’re lucky, you might even spot some dolphins swimming in the distance. Don’t forget to visit the nearby Ryoma Memorial Museum, dedicated to the legendary samurai Sakamoto Ryoma, who played a pivotal role in Japan’s modernization.

Experiencing the Unique Yosakoi Festival

5 Unique Things to Do in Kochi, Japan

Held annually in August, the Yosakoi Festival event showcases the city’s rich cultural heritage through energetic dance performances.

The festival is a celebration of unity, as teams of dancers, dressed in colourful costumes, take to the streets to showcase their choreographed routines. The infectious energy and enthusiasm of the participants will leave you captivated and wanting to join in the festivities.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, cheer on the dancers, and let the rhythm of the music sweep you away. The Yosakoi Festival showcases the relentless determination of the Kochi community, and attending it is an experience you won’t soon forget.

Sampling Local Delicacies at Hirome Market

5 Unique Things to Do in Kochi, Japan

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the local culture is through its food, and Hirome Market is the perfect place to do just that. This bustling food market offers a wide variety of mouthwatering dishes, showcasing the best of Kochi’s culinary delights.

From fresh seafood to savoury street food, there is something to please every palate. Grab a seat at one of the communal tables, strike up a conversation with the locals, and indulge in a gastronomic adventure.

Don’t miss the opportunity to try the famous Katsuo no Tataki, a local delicacy of seared bonito fish, or the mouthwatering Yuzu-flavored ice cream. Hiromi Market is a feast for the senses and a culinary experience not to be missed.

Uncovering the History at Chikurinji Temple

5 Unique Things to Do in Kochi, Japan

For a glimpse into the spiritual side of Kochi, a visit to Chikurinji Temple is a must. This Buddhist temple, nestled amidst lush greenery on a mountainside, exudes a sense of tranquillity and serenity.

As you make your way up the stone steps, you’ll be greeted by beautifully landscaped gardens and the soothing sound of chanting monks.

The main hall of the temple houses a stunning wooden statue of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy, which is said to have healing powers.

Take a moment to offer a prayer, light an incense stick, and soak in the peaceful atmosphere. The temple also offers panoramic views of the city below, making it a perfect spot for meditation and reflection.

Other Hidden Gems in Kochi

While the above attractions are the highlights of Kochi, the city has many more hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Take a stroll through the charming streets of Kochi’s old town, where traditional wooden houses and narrow alleyways transport you back in time.

Visit the Makino Botanical Garden, home to a vast collection of plants, including rare species found only in Kochi. Explore the enchanting Harimaya Bridge, a symbol of love and devotion, and learn about its fascinating history.

Venture into the surrounding mountains and hike the Nakatsu Gorge Trail, where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of waterfalls and lush greenery. Kochi is a treasure trove of hidden gems, each offering a unique perspective on the city’s rich heritage and natural beauty.

Practical Tips for Visiting Kochi

– Kochi is well-connected by air, with regular flights from major cities in Japan. Alternatively, you can take a train or bus from nearby cities like Osaka or Hiroshima.

– Public transportation within Kochi is convenient and reliable, with buses and trains covering most of the city’s attractions. Consider purchasing a transportation pass for unlimited travel during your stay.

– English may not be widely spoken in Kochi, so it’s advisable to carry a pocket phrasebook or use translation apps to communicate with the locals.

– Respect the local customs and traditions, especially when visiting temples and shrines. Remove your shoes before entering and dress modestly.

– Don’t forget to try the local speciality, Kochi’s famous sake, which is known for its unique flavour and high quality.

Related: Exploring the Beautiful Islands of Japan


Kochi, Japan’s hidden gem, offers a captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. From exploring the ancient Kochi Castle to immersing yourself in the vibrant Yosakoi Festival, the city has something for every traveller.

Indulge in the local cuisine at Hirome Market, uncover the spiritual side at Chikurinji Temple, and discover the hidden gems that await around every corner.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or a foodie, Kochi will leave you with unforgettable memories and a deep appreciation for the authentic beauty of Japan.


5 Unique Things to Do in Kochi, Japan

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