Kochi Jan 2020 Giveaway
WIN! a 6D5N trip to Kochi + Osaka Self-Drive Package (Land only) for 2 pax!
All you have to do is simply:
Like the H.I.S. Travel Singapore Facebook Page
Comment and answer 3 Kochi related questions on our Facebook post
Share the contest post (please make the post public while posting from your account)
*Terms and conditions:
- Period of entry: 18 January 2020 ~ 2 February 2020
- Suggested itinerary: Click here.
- The prize is inclusive of:
- 5 nights’ accommodation for 2 pax as below:
- 3-night hotel (twin-sharing) in Kochi
- 2-night hotel (twin-sharing) at Hotel Shin Osaka or similar
- Daily breakfast
- 4D car rental + English GPS + basic insurance
- Dinners at Japanese ryokans
Winner will be selected at random at the sole discretion of H.I.S. Singapore, and will be announced on H.I.S. Travel Singapore’s Facebook Page by 7 February 2020.
Winner must be aged 21 and above.
Winner must be a resident of Singapore.
Other terms and conditions apply: Click here.
- Visa application fees
- Air tickets + taxes
Kochi (高知, Kōchi) is the capital city of Kochi Prefecture on the southern coast of Shikoku, Japan. The small city boasts its friendliness to tourists with a casual atmosphere and dose of southern flair. The river plain now containing the city centre was originally a castle town around the seat of the Yamauchi lords who ruled over the surrounding region (then known as Tosa) during the Edo period. The castle site was chosen by Lord Yamauchi Kazutoyo in 1601 and the city’s preferred name was chosen from the castle.
As the centre of administration for the province, and the prefecture which succeeded it, the town rapidly grew to become the largest settlement of the region. Kochi even became popular as a centre of pro-imperial ideology during the time of the Meiji Restoration and later for incubating democratic and human rights movements.
In addition, everyone is a friend in Kochi! Parties thrown to celebrate things like seasonal events and celebrations of “life goals” like getting married, etc. are called okyaku
. It is easy to break the ice and get acquainted, or be invited for drinks! There are many restaurants and events within the prefecture where you can experience okyaku
culture for yourself, so be sure to add at least a few to your travel plans!
There are several attractions of interest to travelers:
Kochi Castle (高知城)
Kochi Castle (Kōchijō) is one of just twelve well-preserved Japanese castles to have survived fires, wars and other catastrophes of the post feudal age. Constructed at the beginning of the 17th century, Kochi Castle is the only castle in Japan where the original tenshu
(castle tower) and honmaru
(main keep) are still standing. 15 of the structures in the castle grounds have since been designated as important national cultural properties housing local treasures and historical objects. Understand the origins of Kochi Castle at the Kochi Castle Museum of History
, located just right across the street!
Adorning the tops of the castle roof are legendary animals called “shachi”, which resemble a fish with the head of a dragon. Being creatures of the sea, these shachi were seen as guardians protecting the castle from fire.
A unique feature of Kochi’s castle is that its main tower was acts as a residence for the lord as well as for military purposes. In most other castles, the lords resided in separate palace buildings rather than in the castle keep. Kochi castle’s wooden interior maintains the appearance of its Edo period origins and the lookout point from the castle tower’s top floor offers nice view of downtown.
Another great feature of Kochi Castle is that you can capture a photo of the Otemon
main gate and the tenshu
castle tower in one shot – a rarity in Japan. During the cherry blossom season, the contrast between the white walls of the castle against the pink of the cherry blossoms is an incredibly beautiful sight. A symbol of the prefecture, the castle is close to Kochi station making it a must-see sight for those visiting the city.
Katsurahama Beach (桂浜)
Katsurahama is the city’s iconic beach located just 30 minutes south of central Kochi via bus. Swimming is prohibited due to strong currents. You may also view the renowned statue of Sakamoto Ryoma, who was born in this city and played a vital role in realizing the Meiji Restoration. He helped to negotiate an alliance between the Choshu and Satsuma clans and brought an end to Japan’s feudal age in 1868. Learn more about his history at the Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum
which can be found on the hill above the beach!
This is the
place where approximately 17,000 people flock to every weekend! Being deemed as the best Sunday market nationwide, Kochi’s Sunday Market has been running for more than 300 years! Stretching for about 1 km from the front gate of Kochi Castle, there are about 500 stalls offering specialty products like local vegetables & fruits, flowers, wares and street food from early morning to late afternoon.
We would greatly recommend you head down during the morning as the popular items tend to sell out quickly. The market is gaining in popularity and offers a great opportunity to chat with local farmers, artists and craftsmen!
Niyodo River (仁淀川)
Explore walkways enveloped by water and nature! The beautiful Nakatsu Gorge, which can be found along the Niyodo River system, is part of the prefectural nature park known as Niyodo Blue. A 2.3 km long path runs along the river, weaving between boulders and crossing the river several times over stepping stones. The whole experience will leave you feeling as if you’ve been transported to some mythical world. In autumn, the contrast between the red and orange hues of the foliage and the clear blue colour of the river makes for quite a remarkable sight!
Shimanto River (四万十川)
Escape reality with views of the Shimanto River’s symbolic Chinkabashi bridges by sailing in a traditional leisure boat. These Chinkabashi bridges are low water crossings, submersible and designed without side rails to reduce the risk of the bridge being washed away during a flood. Under high-flow conditions, water runs over the roadway and prevents incoming vehicular traffic. Crossing a bridge without balustrades is a thrilling experience and allows you to better enjoy the beauty of one of Japan’s most important rivers. Cycling from the closest station (Nakamura Station) is also highly recommended.
Remember to make a reservation in advance if you would like to enjoy eating seasonal cuisine while enjoying the beauty of the Shimanto River!
Sawachi Cuisine (皿鉢料理)
Sawachi cuisine is a must-have for any traditional okyaku
gathering since the Edo period. It features a large plate or platter, called sawachi
, filled to the brim with local specialty foods.
There are two main types of sawachi ryori
; the sashimi platter and the mixed food platter. The former consists of Kochi’s famed katsuo no tataki (鰹のタタキ / seared bonito), bream, yellowtail, squid, etc. sashimi plated up in large servings while the latter is adorned with of sushi, stewed dishes, grilled dishes, deep-fried food and desserts like fruits and yokan
(a traditional Japanese sweet).
Party guests gather around tables set to take the foods they like while placing them onto smaller plates of their own. In this way, there is no need for the host to go back to the kitchen to continue cooking or have to worry about serving; everyone can sit down and enjoy the food and company together.
Kochi Yuzu (高知ゆず)
Kochi is the largest producer of the citrus fruit yuzu in all of Japan! It acts as a staple in Kochi’s cuisine being used in cooking, beverages and even being turned into a variety of condiments. It’s characteristic refreshing aroma and strong acidity makes it one of the most popular citrus fruits in Japan. The fruit grows better inland in slightly more mountainous regions, rather than in warm coastal areas.
As Kochi is made up of 80% forest, it forms the perfect environment for yuzu cultivation. From the 1960s, Kochi turned its attention away from the logging industry and focused on cultivating yuzu. The mountain slopes are covered with yuzu orchards, and the region has become the biggest producers of the citrus. See orchards and learn the history on Yuzu Road in the Chugei area of eastern Kochi Prefecture!