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About Kochi

Experience a slice of the real Japan in cosmopolitan Kochi, a vibrant modern city with friendly people and a laidback vibe.

With easy access to sea and mountains, there are sweeping beaches, hidden temples and a hilltop castle to explore besides the trendy malls and bustling palm-lined arcades of Kochi downtown. For spectacular views across the city, it's worth the climb to the castle; a gleaming example of 17th century history with its perfectly intact interior documenting a dramatic feudal past. The nearby Hirome food market sells everything from fresh fish to tasty katsuo and ramen noodles, but for a calmer pilgrimage, visit Chikurin-ji Temple. Overlooking the harbour at the top of Godaisan mountain, the temple's Treasure House hosts Buddhist sculpture from the Heian and Kamakura periods; while opposite is the lovingly tended garden dedicated to the life and career of botanist Dr Tomitarou Makino.

 

Shore excursions in Kochi

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Aki City and Kochi Castle

Activity highMeal included

Duration: 7 hours

Discover Aki City and the highlights or Kochi with a Japanese-style lunch.

Board your coach for a scenic drive through the Japanese countryside as you head to the city of Aki.

Start your city visit at the symbol of the Nora Clock that ticked for more than 120 years. Genma Hatanaka, acquired the skills to assemble clocks and created the Nora clock tower, using his handmade parts such as gears and weights, around 1887 when few houses had clocks.

Take a guided walking tour through the ‘Doikachu’ townscape, where old samurai residences are surrounded by hedges of bamboos and oaks in unspoiled streets. They remain in their original shapes and create an atmosphere of the feudal period centuries ago.

A delicious Japanese-style lunch will be served at a local hotel back in Kochi before a visit to Kochi Castle. See the impressive ‘donjon’ (main tower), the splendid ‘Otemon Gate’ and the ‘honmaru’ (ring of defence), which remain as originally constructed. You’ll also pass the beautifully restored Tsumemon Gate that connects the 2nd citadel of the castle to its inner sanctum.

Katsurahama Beach is one of the most popular spots in Kochi and is ranked in the top 100 beaches in Japan. Enjoy some free time to explore the crescent-shaped beach, framed by rocky capes and Japanese pines.

Essential information

This excursion operates by coach and on foot. There is approximately 2½ hours of walking on this tour. Shoes must be removed prior to entering the castle. There are steep and narrow stairs inside Kochi Castle. Guests must be able to walk approximately 2 miles and negotiate 200 steps each way. Swimming is prohibited at Katsurahama Beach due to strong currents. The order of visits may vary.

Cape Muroto and Hotsumisakiji Temple

Activity highMeal included

Duration: 9¼ hours

Experience the natural wonder of the Earth at Cape Muroto with its spectacular coastline and unusual rock formations.

Departing the port, sit back and relax on a picturesque scenic drive to Murotomisaki (Cape Muroto). The cape’s name translates to ‘blessed with great nature’ and juts out over the Pacific Ocean.

Muroto was designated as a Global Geopark by UNESCO in 2011 due to its geological features, dramatic coastline and cape which was caused by massive earthquakes in the distant past. Here, you get come in touch with nature, history and culture. Visit the Muroto Geopark Centre to learn about this intriguing Geopark, before embarking a guided tour of Cape Muroto.

Continue to a local restaurant to indulge in a traditional ‘Shokado Bento’( or Japanese style lunch box) followed by a guided walk on the sloping trail up to the Hotsumisakiji Temple.

Founded in 807, Hotsumisakiji Temple is designated as the 24th temple of the 88 temples that form the Shikoku Pilgrimage. A Buddhist priest came here seeking enlightenment and meditated in a cave near the sea, refusing to leave until his goal had been achieved. The temple is commonly called Higashidera and contains marble statues of Nyoirin Kannon, Gakko, and Yakushi, which are considered National Treasures.

Reflect on your fascinating day during a leisurely drive back to your ship.

Essential information

This excursion operates by coach and on foot. The drive to Cape Muroto is approximately 2¾ hours each way. Shoes may need to be removed to enter the restaurant. There is approximately 2 hours walking on this tour over inclined and uneven ground. Passengers must be in good physical condition.

Chikun-ji Temple and Hirome Market

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 5½ hours

Discover the Chikurin-ji Temple, Hirome Ichiba Market and other Kochi sights on this half-day tour.

The Chikurin-ji Temple is a Shingon temple that is said to have been founded in the early 8th century and forms part of the Shikokuk 88 temple pilgrimage, Japan’s most famous pilgrimage route. The temple grounds feature an interesting array of halls and structures, including a beautiful pagoda. A treasure hall displays several Buddhist statues and scrolls of importance to the temple, and the hondo (main hall) offers a view of the building's interior and a nicely kept garden.

Next, visit Kochi Castle that was built following the battle of Sekigahara in 1600. See the impressive ‘donjon’ (main tower), the splendid ‘Otemon Gate’ and the ‘honmaru’ (ring of defence), which remain as originally constructed. You’ll also pass the beautifully restored Tsumemon Gate and have an opportunity to stroll the castle grounds, now a popular public park, dotted with magnificent statues of the Yamanouchi family.

Then, you’ll walk to Hirome Ichiba Market, where your guide will introduce you to this indoor market with a Latin atmosphere. Enjoy some free time to purchase lunch and sample local foods and delicacies from over 60 shops and eateries.

Katsurahama Beach is one of the most popular spots in Kochi and is ranked in the top 100 beaches in Japan. Enjoy some free time to explore the crescent-shaped beach, framed by rocky capes and Japanese pines.

Essential information

This excursion operates by by coach and on foot. There is approximately 2 hours of walking on this tour. Comfortable, flat, walking shoes are recommended. Shoes must be removed prior to entering the castle. There are steep and narrow stairs inside Kochi Castle including 200 guests. There are approximately 70 steps in the Chikurin-ji Temple. There may be some construction at Chikurin-ji Temple garden. Swimming is prohibited at Katsurahama Beach due to strong currents. The order of visits may vary.

Kochi Highlights with Japanese Style Lunch

Activity highMeal included

Duration: 6 hours

Set your sights on the unspoiled beauty of Kochi’s surroundings on this energetic tour that takes you off the beaten path.

Kochi Castle was built following the battle of Sekigahara in 1600 and took more than 10 years to complete. The castle has undergone several restorations over the years, but the ‘donjon’ (main tower) and the splendid ‘Otemon Gate’ have remained as originally constructed. The ‘donjon’ provides spectacular panoramic views of the city and so is well worth the climb up to the top.

During your guided visit of the castle, you’ll see the Tsumemon Gate and the ‘honmanu’ (ring of defence), which remains in its original entirety and houses many historical treasures. Many of the ancient rooms are not accessible to the public, but you will find a small museum filled with cultural artefacts.

Next, you’ll visit Katsurahama Beach, ranked one of the 100 best beaches in Japan. Enjoy some free time to explore the crescent-shaped beach, framed by rocky capes and Japanese pines. Just above the beach is a bronze monument commemorating the samurai Sakamoto Ryoma.

A Japanese style lunch will be served at a local hotel before reboarding your coach for the approximately hour’s drive to Ryugado Cave on the slopes of Mt. Sampo. Ryugado is one of Japan’s 3 major limestone caverns and is a designated Japanese National Treasure.

Essential information

This excursion operates by coach and on foot. There is approximately 2½ hours of walking on this tour. Shoes must be removed prior to entering the castle, but slippers will be provided. Swimming is prohibited at Katsurahama Beach due to strong currents.

Kochi Sights and Sake

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 4½ hours

See the sights of Kochi and enjoy a sake tasting at a local sake brewery.

Board your comfortable coach and be whisked away to an ancient world right in the heart of the city! Kochi Castle, the city’s most famed landmark, dominates your view from any vantage point.

See the impressive ‘Donjon’ (main tower), the splendid ‘Otemon Gate’ and the ‘honmaru’ (ring of defence), which remain as originally constructed. You’ll also pass the beautifully restored Tsumemon Gate that connects the 2nd citadel of the castle to its inner sanctum. Many of the ancient rooms are not accessible to the public, but you will find a small museum filled with cultural artefacts. Spectacular views of the city can be enjoyed at the top of the ‘donjon’.

Back outside, stroll the castle grounds, now a popular public park, dotted with magnificent statues of the Yamanouchi family.

Katsurahama Beach is one of the most popular spots in Kochi and is ranked in the top 100 beaches in Japan. Enjoy some free time to explore the crescent-shaped beach, framed by rocky capes and Japanese pines. Just above the beach is a bronze monument commemorating the samurai Sakamoto Ryoma, who was born in Kochi City.

Finally, you’ll visit a sake brewery, you can enjoy the taste of Japanese sake which has been made by the smallest town in Japan. The sake brewed in the Kochi prefecture is light and dry and is known for its smoothness in the throat.

Essential information

This excursion operates by coach and on foot. There is approximately 2½ hours of walking on this tour. Shoes must be removed prior to entering the castle. There are steep and narrow stairs inside Kochi Castle. Guests must be able to walk approximately 2 miles and negotiate 200 steps each way. There are Swimming is prohibited at Katsurahama due to strong currents. The order of visits may vary.

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