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K   O  C  H  I  

INFORMATION ABOUT KOCHI

People have been living in this area since neolithic times, but a thousand years ago, Kochi literally didn't exist. In those days, the seat of local government was far to the east around present-day Nankoku City. In 934, the retiring governor of Tosa, Ki no Tsurayuki, recorded in Tosa nikki (tr The Tosa Diary - 1969) that he rowed to Urado. This means that modern day Kochi used to be under the waters of Urado Bay. At that time, the Kagami river flowed into Urado Bay around Otakasa Hill. Over the next 400 years, alluvial sediments deposited by the river built up a defensible, if swampy, area. This patch of ground became home to a prison during the middle ages. Sometime during this period, Otakasa Matsuomaru built the first castle atop Otakasa Hill.

KOCHI TOURISM

    The Places of Interest Sight Seeing

  • Katsura-hama (Katsura Beach) : Known as one of the most beautiful vistas in Japan, Katsura-hama captures the essence of the Japanese aesthetic. Particularly beloved as a moon-viewing spot, this beautiful beach has even moved famous poets to verse:


  • Statue of Sakamoto Ryoma :Standing on the bluff above Katsura-hama facing the Pacific Ocean is the statue of Sakamoto Ryoma, a historical figure of great importance to modern Japan. In many ways, Katsura-hama is a fitting home for Sakamoto's statue. The broad Pacific horizon represents the wider world and specifically, the West. Ryoma was instrumental in forcing Japan out of its self-imposed isolation and onto the modern world stage. To this day, he is beloved by people throughout Japan as one of the founding fathers of modern Japan. This wonderful statue is a gift by the young people of Kochi prefecture to his memory.


  • Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum :In 1985, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sakamoto Ryoma, the idea of building the Sakamoto Ryoma Museum was born. The museum was completed in 1991 after many years of hard work of fund raising. The building's architecture is the result of an open design competition. The exhibitions are laid out to represent the stages of Ryoma's remarkable life, how he grew and how he lived his life.


  • Ryoma's Hometown Museum :Kochi's hero during the end of the Tokugawa period, Sakamoto Ryoma, has yet another museum dedicated to his legacy. This brand new museum opened in March of 2004, right down the road from where Ryoma was born and raised. It features various scenes from Ryoma's life, as well as displays on the history and culture of Kochi City during Ryoma's lifetime.


  • Kochi Castle :The towering white donjon of Kochi Castle is a city landmark. From the heights of the donjon, visitors can enjoy a 360 view of downtown. In 1601, Yamanouchi Kazutoyo took up residence in Tosa. Successful warriors of that period earned greater and greater rewards in title and koku. Land was measured not strictly by area, but rather by koku, a unit of rice production. (One koku could, theoretically, feed one person for one year.) Yamanouchi's loyalty to Tokugawa Ieyasu earned him the 240,000 koku domain of Tosa. Convinced that future development of the town would be impossible at the Urado site, he moved his government back to the Otakasa area and built Kochi Castle. The wooden buildings of the castle suffered heavy fire damage in 1727, but were faithfully rebuilt 25 years later. It is one of the oldest intact castles in Japan, of which there are but twelve. An Important Cultural Artifact of Japan, it is the only castle where both the donjon and the lord's home, or kaitokukan, survive. The kaitokukan now houses cultural treasures of Tosa. The park around Kochi Castle has statues of Yamanouchi Kazutoyo, Lady Yamanouchi, and Itagaki Taisuke. It is also home to the Prefectural Library and the Kochi Literary Museum.


  • Godai-san and Chikurin-ji :Long ago, Buddhist priests were sent out to scour Japan in search of a mountain which looked like China's Godai-san (Five Table Mountain). They reached the country of Tosa and discovered a mountain called Oshima that fit the image they had been searching for. They renamed this mountain eGodai-san' and opened Chikurin-ji, a temple where they worshipped Manjushiri Bodhisattva. This temple is famous as a temple of knowledge and study, and even Kobo Daishi trained here. Chikurin-ji is the 31st of Shikoku's famous 88 temples that Kobo Daishi established. Visitors to Kochi can often see white clad men and women making the pilgrimage cycle of the 88 temples when they visit Godai-san and Chikurin-ji. The entire mountain is a prefectural park.


  • Kochi Makino Public Botanical Garden :Right below Chikurin-ji, is a botanical garden, museum, and a library dedicated to the memory of the world famous botanist, Dr. Makino Tomitaro. The garden's greenhouse houses about 200 species of plants, including several rare specimens which are popular with visitors, such as Victoria regina Lindl (from South America); N. rafflesiana Jack (a carnivorous plant); Dionea muscipula Ellis (also carnivorous); Hibiscus; " Senari" Banana and many more.


ACCOMODATION/STAY OPTIONS IN KOCHI



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