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Kochi: The Birthplace of the Yosakoi Dance and Other Exciting Attractions

From attending the exciting Yosakoi dance festival to enjoying its tranquil beaches, anyone can find something they'll love doing if they come to Kochi

Published on March 12, 2021

Kochi is a prefecture located on Shikoku Island’s southern coast in Japan. Visitors love traveling to this area because of its stunning beaches, mild weather, well-preserved historical sights, and vibrant cultural traditions.

It is an off-the-beaten-path location for many international travelers but well-worth the trek.

Here are Kochi’s top activities:

Yosakoi Dance

Yosakoi is a world-famous energetic dance combining traditional Japanese dance moves with modern music. Each year, Kochi holds a Yosakoi festival that draws in visitors from around Japan and the world.

At this festival, large teams of performers participate in choreographed numbers. Members wear matching costumes that can vary significantly from team to team. Many groups wear Happi coats and yukatas, but others sport historical attire, contemporary fashion, or ethnic clothing.

The Yosakoi dance has grown since the first festival in 1954, with events held in almost every continent worldwide. If you have an opportunity to visit Kochi during this festival, it is an incredible experience.

Hirome Market

Yosakoi isn’t the only thing to do in Kochi. Japan has an exquisite cuisine, and Kochi is no exception.

Hirome Market has over 60 shops that visitors can explore and numerous restaurants to sample local Kochi cuisine. Some of these shops include general stores, food stalls, and vendors selling freshly caught fish.

There is something to please every palette here. Not only does the market have top-notch Kochi cuisine, but it also has excellent Indian and Chinese fare.

Hirome Market has ample space for you to enjoy your meal, with over 400 tables for guests.

Kochi Castle

Kochi Castle is one of Japan’s most well-preserved castles, with an original tower that has remained unchanged since its construction in 1601.

It is one of the few Japanese castles that has survived fires, catastrophes, and wars.

This national treasure gives visitors a glimpse of what life was like hundreds of years ago. The castle has a six-floor, three-layer tower and stone walls built to keep enemies out.

Today, the Kochi Castle grounds are more peaceful than their previous life as a war fortress.

Beautiful flora and fauna surround this structure year-round. You can see cherry blossoms, hydrangeas, and maple leaves throughout the year here!

Katsurahama Beach

A visit to Kochi prefecture wouldn’t be complete without visiting the beach. Katsurahama Beach is more than just a spectacular coastline. It perfectly embodies Kochi’s spirit by blending natural beauty and history.

It is a tranquil, crescent-shaped beach with lush pine trees, five-colored gravel, and brilliant blue waters.
While the beach is spectacular during the day, its nighttime activities attract visitors. When the sun goes down, people come out to see the dazzling moon reflect over the water.

There is a Katsurahama beach viewing party during the mid-fall full moon when the moon shines its brightest.

Visit Kochi!

Kochi is an exciting destination within Japan to visit.

The prefecture has spectacular natural wonders, intriguing historical sights, and rich cultural traditions for visitors to appreciate.

From attending the exciting Yosakoi dance festival to enjoying its tranquil beaches, anyone can find something they’ll love doing if they come to Kochi.

Culture Editor