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Kochi Prefecture

Kochi Prefecture in Shikoku DistrictKochi PrefectureKochi Prefecture is the prefecture covering nearly southern half of Shikoku Island.
"Kochi" is pronounced long as "koochi" in Japanese.

The long coastline faces the Pacific Ocean almost-totally. It arcs widely, and the inner sea is called Tosa Bay. "Tosa" is the old name of Kochi Prefecture.

The prefecture is mountainous, and there are little flatlands. So all cities are along the coastline.
There is a small flatland in the center of the coastline, and Kochi city is there. It is the prefectural capital.

Here is a southern land.
So the climate is warm, and the area has many hours of sunlight.
Additionally, it has a high annual precipitation.

At a late stage of feudal Edo Period (1603-1868), this prefecture created a unique samurai.
He was Ryoma Sakamoto (1836-1867).
He was one of the heros who overthrew the feudal government and founded a new modern state.
But his behaviors were adventuresome, so his story has been used in many novels, movies and TV dramas.
Then he has enjoyed popularity among Japanese people.
In Kochi Prefecture, there are some spots related to him.
(The airport also bears his name.)

To visit Kochi Prefecture, it is convenient to use railroad or airplain.
By JR limited express, it takes about 2.5 to 3 hours from Okayama.

Kochi Ryoma Airport (Formal name is "Kochi Airport".) is located about 15 km east of central Kochi city.
It has the flights from Haneda (Tokyo), Itami (Osaka), Nagoya and Fukuoka.

The climate in Kochi city
Highest Temperature (deg C) 11.9 12.9 15.9 20.8 24.4 27.0 30.7 31.9 29.3 24.5 19.3 14.3
Lowest Temperature (deg C) 1.6 2.7 6.0 10.7 15.2 19.4 23.5 24.0 21.0 14.9 9.2 3.8
Mean monthly rainfall (mm) 59 106 190 244 292 346 328 283 350 166 125 58

Tourist spots in Kochi Prefecture

Kochi Prefecture map

Kochi city /1/
Katsurahama beach /2/
Ryugadou cave /3/
Cape Muroto /4/
Shimanto city /5/
Cape Ashizuri /6/
Tatsukushi coast /7/

Scenic or Nature / Park or Garden / Resort / City, Town or Village / Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine / Museum or Laboratory / Market or Commercial facility / Factory /
Other Building or Construction / Historic place / Remains / World Heritage Site

Main events in Kochi Prefecture

Dorome FestivalDorome Festival (Last Sunday in April)

It is the annual event held in Akaoka town in Konan city located about 20 km east of Kochi city.
"Dorome" means young sardine, and the town has boasted dorome fishing.
In 1959, this town started the festival to attract visitors.
In the 3rd festival, Sake (rice wine) drinking contest came on the festival.
It is said that there are many heavy drinkers in Kochi Prefecture. So this festival has been known throughout the country by the unique event.
Sake is poured into a big cup. The contestants compete the time of drinking.
Men drink 1.8 liters, and women drink 0.9 liters.
Surprisingly, the average times of the passed champions are 12.5 seconds (men) and 10.8 seconds (women).

Yosakoi FestivalYosakoi Festival (August 9-12th)

It is the summer festival of Kochi city which began to compete with Awa Dance Festival in Tokushima city in 1954.
At first, the main event of this festival was the Bon dance parade with clapping Naruko like castanet.
After that, free arrangement of the dancing and the music was allowed, then many various dancing teams came to join this festival, such as samba, rock, hip hop, Flamenco.
Every year, more than ten thousand dancers of over 180 teams show various dances.

Yosakoi Festival official website

(Above photos are by Kochi Visitors and Convention Association.)

Local foods and products in Kochi Prefecture

Katsuo no tatakiKatsuo-no-tataki

It is a dish of bonito ("katsuo" in Japanese"). Roughly speaking, it is bonito salad or marinade.
A fillet of bonito is roasted rare, then it is cooled down.
On a large dish, sliced bonito, sliced or chopped vegitables such as daikon (Japanese radish), ginger, garlic, shiso (Japanese basil) are placed, then the sauce mixed with shoyu (soy sauce), vinegar and citrus juice are poured.
It is a salad. But it is usually served after about an hour to allow the flavor to blend. (Is this a marinade?)
It is said that this dish originated in Kochi Prefecture.

Sawachi dishSawachi dish

It is a gorgeous dish in Kochi Prefecture.
On some beautiful large dishes, various foods are arranged compactly.
First dish is for raw foods such as sashimi and Katsuo-no-tataki.
Second dish is for cooked foods.
Third dish is for sushi.
These are the basic set, but a few other dishes are often added.
Sawachi dish has been served on the festival day or happy day. And all the members in the room eat the the delicious foods on Sawachi all together as buffet style.

Tosa buntanTosa buntan

"Tosa" is old name of Kochi Prefecture, and "buntan" means "pomelo".
Pomelo is a kind of citrus fruits, and grapefruit is one of this family.
There are some varieties of pomelo in Japan, and Tosa buntan is one of the tastiest buntan.
It is sweet and sour in moderation, but it is less bitter than grapefruit.
(Photo by Kochi Visitors and Convention Association.)

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