Katsura-hama is a popular beach 13km south of central Kōchi at the point where Kōchi's harbour empties out into the bay. Unfortunately, strong currents prohibit swimming, but it's a lovely spot to stroll, with a small shrine perched on an oceanside promontory. Just before the beach itself is Sakamoto Ryōma Memorial Museum , with exhibits dedicated to the life of a local hero who was instrumental in bringing about the Meiji Restoration in the 1860s.
Born in Kōchi in 1835, Ryōma brought about the alliance between the Satsuma (modern Kagoshima) and Chōshū (Yamaguchi) domains that eventually brought down the Tokugawa shogunate. He was killed in Kyoto in 1867, aged 32.
Public buses run to Katsura-hama from Kōchi Station (¥690, 35 minutes, six daily) and Harimaya-bashi (¥620, 25 minutes, frequent). The My-Yū bus runs as far as Katsura-hama before heading back to Kōchi.