Kochi - Japan

Kochi is located on Shikoku island in Japan and sits on a broad plain facing Urado Bay and crossed by several rivers and surrounded by mountains. This city in Shikoku takes its name from the great feudal castle that sits at its very heart. Completed in 1611, Kochi Castle was the stronghold of Yamauchi Kazutoya, a noted warrior who supported Tokugawa Ieyasu in his successful quest to become Shogun. Tosa Province and Kochi Castle were Yamauchi's reward for faithful service. Kochi Castle still exists in its pre-restoration form, and is one of the main tourist attractions. Other places of interest in the city centre are the Obiyamachi shopping arcade, the regular Sunday street markets and Harimaya-bashi, a bridge that featured in a famous Kochi song about the forbidden love of a Buddhist priest. Godaisan mountain is home to a public park with views of the city, and Chikurin-ji, stop 31 on the one of the 88 temples along the Shikoku Pilgrimage as well as the Makino Botanical Garden. Temples 30 (Zenrakuji) and 33 (Sekkeiji) are also in the city. The Shinto Shrine Tosa jinja is located to the west. Also worth visiting are The Museum of Art (expressionist works related to Kochi), the former Yamauchi Residence and Tosa Yamauchi Family Treasury and Archives, and at the mouth of Urado Bay, the remnants of Urado Castle stands above Katsurahama, a famous beach with an aquarium and statue of the Kochi hero Sakamoto Ryoma. Nearby on the grounds is the Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum. Kochi is one of the wettest places in Japan - and a frequent target for cyclonic storms or typhoons. Southeast of the city, warm oceans currents washing against the Aki Mountains create a subtropical landscape of hibiscus, palm and ficus at Muroto-Anan Quasi-National Park. There are more than 30 cruises calling at this port. Click the month or cruise line logo you are interested in to see details of the cruises.