Kochi, Japan – a short visit

Kochi 高知 is a city on the South Side of Shikoku Island in Japan. You can reach it by bus from Takamatsu 高松. I travelled there and back using two single tickets – each costing ¥2900 (there was some deal at the time where two single tickets were cheaper than a return). The bus takes just over two hours from Takamatsu’s main bus station, and takes you to Kochi’s main bus station.

Tourist information

At the Kochi bus station is a very good tourist information centre. One of the ladies there spoke very good English and was able to tell us how to get to all the places that we wanted to visit. They had some good English maps we could have for free.

We bought a day ticket for the My Yu bus (My遊バス). This cost us ¥900 and got us:

  • Unlimited travel on the My Yu bus – however note that the buses aren’t very frequent. Only 5 per day on weekdays, and 7 per day at the weekends.
  • One single journey on one of the scheduled buses between Harimaya-bashi and Katsurahame. This extra bus journey helps to compensate for the small number of My Yu buses.
  • Unlimited travel on the Kochi tram.
  • Discounts at certain attractions.

This is what the ticket looked like. You scratch out the month and the day of when you are using the ticket (highlighted in green). The box highlighted in red is for the bus driver of the scheduled bus to scratch out when you use that bus.

my yu bus ticket

If you are going to Katsurahama Beach, and using the tram a bit then it will work out cheaper than buying each journey individually. And if you go somewhere like the Makino Botanical Gardens as well, then you are in the money!

Katsurahama Beach

To go to Katsurahama Beach to see the Pacific Ocean and the other sites there we took the scheduled bus from the specific bus stop that we could use. You are best off getting the tourist information people to give you a map with the bus stop location, and the bus times, so you get the right bus.

katsurahama beach kochi

Once at the beach you can see the statue of Sakamoto Ryoma and walk along the beach, and up a small hill to see a little shrine and get a good view of the Pacific.

Makino Botanical Garden

If you have time then go to the Makino Botanical Garden. You can get the My Yu bus from Katsurahama Beach to the botanical gardens. Your My Yu bus ticket will get you a small discount off the admission price too. For us it was ¥600 each.

makino botanical garden kochi

Even though it was raining the botanical gardens was very impressive. It is located on a hill which gives it an interesting layout. There are two indoor museum areas, and a long covered walkway connecting them. In particular I recommend you visit the large green house which has loads of plants and flowers in a very attractive setting.

makino botanical garden green house kochi

Vegetarian food in Kochi

We ate at two restaurants where we were able to get vegetarian food. We had an Indian meal at Masala, and a DIY vegetarian okonomiyaki at the Hakobe restaurant. There are within about 50m of each other. Ordering from the Indian is straightforward, but you’ll only be able to get vegetarian okonomiyaki ingredients if you speak enough Japanese to explain what you want (and don’t want) to the waiter.

kochi restaurants masala okonomiyaki

Kochi at night

Kochi at night is pleasant to walk around. The city is compact, and the covered shopping areas are good landmarks for finding your bearings. We saw that Harimaya-bashi red bridge. It is very small and not very impressive but worth a photo.

kochi at night

Los Inn Hotel Kochi

We stayed at the Los Inn Hotel. It is about five minutes walk from the station. The room we had was very cheap and functional. Not a luxury place to stay, but fine if you are here for a short stay.

los inn kochi hotel

Kochi Castle

Kochi Castle is located on a hill on the West side of the city centre. You can walk around the grounds for free and climb up to see the castle itself. Many of the information plaques have descriptions in English so you can discover the history of the castle as you explore.

kochi castle

Kochi Map

And finally here is a map of the places we visited.

View Kochi 高知 Weekend Holiday in a larger map

3 Comments on “Kochi, Japan – a short visit”

  1. I have been living in Kochi for quite a while. It really is a magical place once you have a chance to explore.

    This is a nice post that highlights some of the major things to do in the city. Thanks for posting about them, because there really is a lack of good English information on the place I now call home. I think it will be useful to anyone planning a quick first trip to Kochi. But please spend some more time here if you get the chance! You will be glad you did.

  2. Kochi looks like an amazing place, I would love to make it home. Does it get many surfable waves?

  3. Hi James, I’ve read that it is good for surfing. If you look at the comments on this page someone describes Kochi as a good surfing area.

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