Katsura-hama is a popular beach 12km south of central Kōchi at the point where Kōchi's harbour empties out into the bay. 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.

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.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Shikoku attractions

1. Sakamoto Ryōma Memorial Museum

0.26 MILES

At Katsura-hama, this museum tells the story of hometown hero Sakamoto Ryōma. Born in Kōchi in 1835, Ryōma brought about the alliance between the Satsuma …

3. Temple 31: Chikurin-ji

3.34 MILES

At Godaisan in the east of the city, you'll find Chikurin-ji, Temple 31 of the 88. The extensive grounds feature a five-storey pagoda and thousands of…

4. Godaisan

3.44 MILES

Several kilometres east of the town centre is the mountain of Godaisan, where you can enjoy excellent views of the city from a lookout point (展望台). Near…

5. Harimaya-bashi

4.66 MILES

This tiny reconstructed bridge from the Edo period is renowned throughout Japan thanks to a romantic song in which it features. For older Japanese people,…

6. Sunday Market

4.91 MILES

Our favourite street market in Shikoku is 300 years old and takes place every Sunday along 1.3km of Ōte-suji, the main road leading to the castle. Around…

7. Kōchi Castle Museum of History

4.93 MILES

This new museum (opened in 2017), celebrating the history of Kōchi castle, is an architectural achievement in its own right. Entry is free to the museum…

8. Kōchi-jō

5.03 MILES

Kōchi-jō is one of just a dozen castles in Japan to have survived with its original tenshu-kaku (keep) intact. The castle was originally built during the…