Experience the vigorous, grand people and nature of Nangoku, Kochi!

The people of Kochi are known to be big-hearted and easygoing. The men are tenacious and women are strong-minded. The nature of Kochi also represents similar characteristics to those of its people. Experience Kochi where you can find some of the remarkably wild features of the Shikoku region.

The gem of Kochi
Enjoy the serenity and grace of the Shimanto River on a Yakatabune

The Shimanto River flows from the mountains of the eastern section of the prefecture into the Pacific Ocean, and it is a symbol of the grand nature of Kochi. While many of the rivers in Japan are rapid and flowing straight, the Shimanto River meanders widely and flows slowly.

The Shimanto River is also referred to as the “last clear stream of Japan.” This is due to the fact that while it is the longest river of Shikoku extending for 196km, there aren’t any large dams obstructing its flow. The wandering path of the river through the mountains makes it difficult to carry out construction work. Thanks to this natural feature, its pristine nature remains untouched, and this precious, natural Japanese landscape created by the calm stream and mountains continue to attract people.

Leisure activities such as canoeing are also popular here, while going downstream on the Yakatabune (traditional Japanese houseboat) is also recommended from this season. Visitors will be able to relax and fully enjoy spectacular views on the extra clear Shimanto River of the winter.

“Shimanto no Ao” is a Yakatabune (traditional Japanese houseboat) tour in Shimanto city, popular for its course along the winding Shimanto River. Sit back and enjoy the panorama of the grand nature with no concrete banks, houses or roads in sight.

The course will pass by two of the symbols of the Shimanto River, which are the Chinka Bridges. Since there aren’t any large dams, the water level easily rises when there is heavy rain, sometimes causing floods. There are many of these Chinka Bridges along the Shimanto River, and they are designed to become submerged when the water rises in order to avoid disrupting the flow of the river. The simplicity of these rail-less bridges and the sceneries of the Shimanto River stirs a sense of nostalgia, while it also shows the spirit of the local people who embrace their way of life by accepting their natural surroundings.

The calm stream also brings many riches. The local eels and sweetfish are especially popular and well-known in other regions of Japan. The Shimanto no Ao tour offers the option of enjoying bento lunch boxes that are full of local delicacies from the river. A luxurious course meal that serves char-grilled eels as well as sweetfish can also be reserved for a charter plan.

Winter is when the transparency of the Shimanto River is highest.
Make early reservations for the popular Yakatabune tour!

Reserve here for gorgeous charter plans with options serving delicacies of the river char-grilled on the boat!

The magnificent landscape of Kochi
Visit Cape Muroto where the earth continues to shape itself

Cape Muroto is located in the southeastern section of Shikoku. The cape protrudes in a V-shape towards the Pacific, and the view of rough waves crashing against its strangely formed rocks is an impressive sight. This place is not a mere scenic point, but also an area with tectonic activities where the earth continues to rise each time a large earthquake occurs. It is an important location worldwide in terms of geological research, and attracts many visitors since being designated as a UNESCO Global Geopark in 2011.

Cape Muroto is difficult to access, therefore the “Tosa Hire-car” taxi tour from Kochi city is recommended. The main attraction of the tour is the hike along the walking trail, Ransho-yuhodo, that allows visitors to view the many globally famous geoheritage sites. There are astonishing traces of the formation of land, such as rocks with vertical streaks that developed as a result of the rising of turbidites, which are sedimentary rocks originated from ancient currents in the ocean, and the large, odd-shaped Bishago rock that formed as a result of magma subsiding into layers of the earth. Vigorous subtropical plants also grow in this area thanks to the warm air from the Kuroshio current, and are worth seeing.

Along the walking trail is the legendary Mikuro Cave where Kobo Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism in Japan, had an enlightenment. After visiting here, the taxi will visit Hotsumisaki Temple, the 24th temple of the 88 pilgrimage temples in Shikoku. Experience the spiritual energy that lies in Kochi along with the force of the earth through this rich tour.

Be awed by the profound wonders of the earth! Convenient and well priced Cape Muroto Sightseeing Taxi
Reserve for small car (1-4 ppl.)/ mid-size car (5 ppl.)!

Recommended for more than 6 people!
Reserve the Jumbo Taxi (1-9 ppl.)!

The spirit of Kochi
Experiencing the essence of the people of Kochi through the Yosakoi Festival dance

The Yosakoi Festival is the highlight event of the summer in Kochi, where approximately 190 teams and 20,000 people display lively dance performances that reflect the free and vigorous spirit of the people of Kochi. It’s history is relatively short as the first festival was held in 1954, however the event has gained much popularity for its original dances with tunes played using an instrument called the “Naruko”, and unique performances of each team. Today the festival attracts about 10 million tourists each year.

“MIKA Dance Produce” is a dance school in Kochi city where visitors can experience the dances of the Yosakoi Festival. The instructor of this school produces the dances performed at the festival and teaches a standard dance called “Seicho”, which has been passed down since the festival was started. It incorporates a traditional Japanese dance style with an expressive style of choreography. Experience becoming a true Yosakoi dancer by playing the Naruko and dancing with passion.

In the beginning, the main performances of the Yosakoi Festival were the Seicho music and dance. Later on, various arrangements were added to create samba or rock versions according to teams. In this way. performances continue to evolve as people compete with their individuality - quite distinctive of the people of Kochi who love free atmosphere. At this dance school, visitors can also experience the aspect of the “modern Yosakoi” which includes more complex dances after learning about the standard “Seicho.”

Lesson provided by the producer of the festival dances! Take this opportunity to experience the authentic Yosakoi dance!

Tokushima Airport

From Tokyo Haneda Airport

75 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 4※

Takamatsu Airport

From Tokyo Haneda Airport

80 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 6※

Matsuyama Airport

From Tokyo Haneda Airport

95 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 6※

From Nagoya Chubu Airport

70 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 3※

From Osaka Itami Airport

55 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 9※

Kochi Airport

From Tokyo Haneda Airport

90 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 5※

From Osaka Itami Airport

45 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 6※

*Information correct as of February 25 2016

Details correct as of the end of October 2016.

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