3 attractions of Kochi Prefecture that are more interesting the more you know about them

Shikoku is an island where authentic nature and Japanese traditions remain.

Shikoku, literally “four provinces”, is an island made up of four prefectures: Ehime and Kagawa on the Seto Inland Sea, and Tokushima and Kochi on the Pacific Ocean, Kochi Prefecture, rich in nature, is separated from the other three prefectures by the Shikoku mountains, which has fostered a unique culture.

Location of Kochi Prefecture

Nature full of secrecy

Japan is one of the most forested countries in the world, with about two thirds of its land area covered by forests. Kochi prefecture is one of the most forested prefectures in Japan, with 84 percent of its land area covered by forests. The high quality cedar and cypress trees grown in the prefecture have supported the industrial development of modern Japan. Another major feature of the prefecture is the abundant water sources that nurture these high-quality trees. The Shimanto river, one of the three clearest rivers in Japan, and the Niyodo river, known for its mysterious and spectacular blue color, are widely known in Japan and abroad. Surrounded on three sides by deep greenery to the north, east, and west, the Pacific ocean looms dynamically to the south. The rias coastline, with its large and precipitous cliffs, is one of the highlights of the prefecture.

Unique food culture

The food culture produced by Kochi Prefecture’s diverse natural environment is also not to be missed. For example, the coastal areas offer seafood such as bonito and moray eel, which are well known as Tosa’s specialties; the mountainous areas offer a rich variety of wild vegetables and river fish nurtured by clear streams; and the plains offer early harvest rice that takes advantage of the mild climate. Kochi is also famous for citrus fruits such as yuzu and buchu-kan, which have added color to Tosa cuisine as a substitute for vinegar in the prefecture’s heavy use of vinegar. The unique local cuisine, which is rarely found in other prefectures, has been nurtured by the environment separated by the Shikoku Mountains. Through the culinary culture of the bounty of the sea, mountains, and rivers, you will be able to feel the nature of Kochi as well.

Friendly and approachable people

The people who live and work in the warm climate of Kochi Prefecture are friendly and hospitable. Even if you meet them for the first time on the same day, you will find yourself engaged in friendly conversation as soon as you sit next to each other. Behind the development of such an atmosphere is the “Okyaku ” a banquet culture unique to Kochi Prefecture. At banquets, where people ate, drank, and talked freely around a platter of food, not only invited guests but also passersby were allowed to join in the banquet. The people of the prefecture, who drink together with men and women of all ages and deepen their honest friendship, will welcome travelers from other cultures.