Upon arrival, there is a welcome ceremony, and tents are set up on the quay for a temporary Tourist Information center and selling of local goods. People in cartoon character costumes greet visitors, and the quay becomes a lively place. At the time of departure, there are authentic Kochi YosakoiNaruko dances and local high school brass band performances to send you off.
There is no public transport nearby, but most cruise lines provide free shuttle service from the port to the Kochi (approx 10 km) bus terminal which is right near the Harimayabachi Bridge. The town has a tourist info center set up across the street with plenty of maps and info about the area. Also at times shuttles to Abaratsu as well are offered.
Taxis will be at the dock.
Map of Kochi
Video of Kochi
Japan’s Shikoku island is a popular place of pilgrimage among Japanese Buddhists. Kochi has three of the 88 temples on the route. Chikurinji Temple, with its five-story pagoda, is one of them.
Located on Mount Godaisan, it also features an adjacent botanical garden. The town is most famous for its castle, originally built in the early 17th century, but largely rebuilt following a fire in the mid-18th century. It is one of only 12 existing feudal-period castles in Japan.
South of the town, Katsurahama beach is a popular destination, although swimming is not allowed due to strong currents. A picturesque shrine located on a high point overlooking the sea is the perfect postcard image of rural Japan.
The 196-km long Shimanto River is an excellent place to go kayaking or canoeing. The Ashizuri Peninsula which faces the Pacific Ocean features many places to go whale watching (sometimes dolphins too), and Kashiwa Island is an excellent spot for scuba diving
Consisting of a main arcade and eight connecting shopping streets, this is the largest shopping district in Kochi. There are around 500 shops offering fashion goods, gourmet food, artwork and other items. It also includes the Daimaru department store and cafes, along a 1-kilometer stretch that runs east and west. There are many historical sites in the area, including Kochi Castle, so it's a great location for a stroll. Kochi is famous around Japan as a food town, and "tataki" seared bonito is a must-try.
With a history of more than 300 years, Gairo-ichi street market is held every Sunday and stretches around a kilometer from Otemon Gate at Kochi Castle to the streets running trams in Harimaya. There are 430 or so vendors that set up shop selling lots of items, from fruits and vegetables to flowers, plants and everyday sundries.
The currency in Japan is the yen. It comes in denominations of ¥10,000, ¥5,000 and ¥1,000 notes, as well as ¥500, ¥100, ¥50, ¥10, ¥5 and ¥1 coins.
ATMs in Japan are becoming more useful, and most can be used to withdraw funds from overseas accounts. Post offices also offer ATMs. Major credit cards are accepted at a majority of stores and restaurants in large urban areas, but if you plan on spending any time in rural areas, be sure to carry sufficient cash. Japan is still very much a cash society and some stores, hotels and restaurants-regardless of location-refuse credit cards.
Don't tip, as it's considered rude!
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