The area around Kochi’s famous Katsurahama Beach is a beautiful ocean-side hideout and exploring the area is definitely one of the very best ways to spend a day or half day when in Kochi. Located only 30 minutes from the city center by bus, this laid back coastal pocket feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Because of its strong and unruly currents, swimming in the beach is actually strictly prohibited, but that’s not to say there’s nothing to do in the area. In place of swimming the beach hosts a number of fascinating attractions offering plenty to keep you entertained. Here you can enjoy the beach all year round.
Start your Kochi seaside exploration at the Seaside Gallery. A very unique take on the idea of what a gallery is or can be, the Kochi Seaside Gallery is in fact the beach itself. There’s no traditional gallery space here, but just the four-kilometer long sandy coastline on which works are displayed. The most popular of the exhibitions is the area’s T-shirt gallery. Every May the beach is covered in 1,000 white shirts emblazoned with artwork from all over the world. Anyone can submit work, you just have to pay the 4,000 yen administration cost. Visit the gallery website for more details on this and other exhibits hosted in this very special gallery.
Once you’re done exploring the gallery, make your way along the beach to pay a visit to the memorial of Kochi's famous and most loved son, Sakamoto Ryoma. Immortalized in bronze, Sakamoto was a prominent figure in Japan’s political history. Born in 1836 and passing in 1867 at only 31 years old, he managed to assist the Choshu and Satsuma clans in forming an alliance and helped bring an end to inequality in Japan. You can learn more about his life at The Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum which stands tall on the hill overlooking the beach.
After all the walking and exploring it’s time to grab a little bite to eat. One dish you can’t visit Kochi without trying is katsuo no tataki (sliced bonito tuna), a popular local staple and ubiquitous in the Kochi area. There are a number of local restaurants along the beach that serve the dish, which is a simple, but tasty offering of broiled sliced bonito on a bed of spring onions, ginger and garlic topped with various sauces.
Once you’ve fueled up there’s one last stop off on the journey and that’s to the top of Katsurahama Ryuogu Shrine. Dedicated to the goddess of the ocean, the shine is a little bit of a climb but it offers some of the most incredible views of Katsurahama Beach below.
The best way to get to the beach is by catching the Kochiken Kotsu bus from JR Kochi Station. The trip to the Katsurahama stop takes around 30-35 minutes and costs 690 yen each way.
Itinerary - A Day Out by the Kochi Seaside
NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR