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KOCHI
  • TOKYO
  • KOCHI

BLUE RIVER & URBAN BEACH

After enjoying Odaiba Seaside Park, wrapped around an inlet with expansive sandy and rocky coastal beaches, head off to witness Shikoku’s longest river and what is known as “Japan’s last remaining clear stream” – Shimanto River. Take a soothing trip through Japan’s natural scenery and unique culture.

Official Tokyo Travel Guide
https://www.gotokyo.org/de/

Local government official website
http://visitkochijapan.com/

TRAVELER

  • Traveled : July 2018 Stephen Schreck
    Travel blogger
    Reside in USA
  • Traveled : July 2018 Nano Betts
    Travel blogger
    Reside in Tokyo
    Home country: USA

Los Angeles International Airport

ANA105 Examine the directions from your country

  • Stephen Schreck

    ANA is an airline that cares about its customers. On the flights, I had a lot of legroom, a good choice of movies, and was offered a variety of drinks and snacks. They also offer free wine and beer.

Haneda Airportmore

Haneda Airport

The airport serves as an air gateway for Tokyo. The passenger terminal is filled with various commercial facilities, and visitors can command a panoramic view of Tokyo Bay from the rooftop observation deck, so that every one, even those who are not flying, can enjoy the terminal.

Tokyo Metropolitan Area

Day1

TOKYO

Asakusamore

Asakusa

Asakusa is known for its landmarks that include the red lantern of Kaminari-mon and Sensoji Temple. The Sumida and Oshiage area, home to the Tokyo Sky Tree, is found on the opposite shore of the Sumida River.

  • Stephen Schreck


    It is always a pleasure to visit Sensoji Temple and Goju-no-to. Even though the area is buzzing with tourist, it is a great introduction to the city. The path to the temples is lined with a little market selling trinkets and Japanese sweets.
    The temple itself is one of the oldest in Asakusa. It is a famed place to get your fortune told and pay your respects. Another highlight of having a guided tour of this area is that our guide took us to walking streets in the area that I’d never explored before. The best was a traditional street that looked like we had traveled back in time 400 years.


    Our first lunch was Tempura at the restaurant Sansada. We were offered a range of different Tempura. It was perfectly cooked, delicious, and filling. The rooms are traditional Japanese and have a relaxing atmosphere that lets us escape from the heat. Overall, it was a place I would recommend to travelers.

  • Nano Betts

    No visit to Tokyo should go without touring Asakusa. Start your tour at the Kaminari-mon, Thunder God Gate which serves as an entryway to grounds of Sensoji Temple and is perhaps the busiest area in Asakusa. Past the gate, you'll follow Nakamise-dori, a long passageway lined up with food stalls and artisan and souvenir shops which leads to another, equally spectacular inner gate as well as the five-story pagoda Goju-no-to on its left. Finally, you'll arrive to the Main Hall. Don't forget to look up because it's ceiling is spectacular. Once you've toured the shrine, you can go souvenir shopping at the market that surrounds the sacred grounds, or visit one of the oldest amusement parks Hanayashiki. Alternatively, proceed to the Sumida-gawa River bank to have a glimpse of Asakusa's impressive skyline, especially Tokyo SkyTree. The Sumida River Terrace, with its open-air cafes and street performances, could be a relaxing spot for a leisurely walk while taking in the view of the river and the city’s skyline. You can also take a river cruise, that will take you all the way to Hamarikyu Gardens or Odaiba.

    If you browse Nakamise-Dori and Asakusa's side streets there are a lot of food stalls that offer local sweets and snacks. Asakusa is also known for its tempura restaurants. Stop by Sansada where you can enjoy a hearty and delicious lunch while sitting on tatami floors. Tempura batter was crispy and light, and the accompanying side dishes were also very tasty.

Tokyo Metro Ginza Line Asakusa Station → Shimbashi Station   Around 20 minutes 200 yen

The Kimono Gallerymore

The Kimono Gallery

Tokyo is the center of Japan and Ginza is the center of Tokyo. Because Ginza beautifully fuses Japanese traditional clothing culture with modern shopping districts, one can dress themselves in elegant finery freely and set foot in Ginza, the Imperial Palace, Tokyo Station, Tsukiji, and the Kabuki-za. We will assist you in making a memory of a beautiful and fun day out.
You don't need to bring anything to enjoy the Kimono Experience, our rentals include everything from free fitting to simple hair arrangements and hair ornaments.
Men and women can both participate and single travelers are also welcome.
Our staff speak English and Chinese. Foreign guests are very welcome.

  • Stephen Schreck


    We got some looks as we first started strolling down the streets dressed in traditional Kimonos. But by the end, I was loving every second of it. It really puts you in the moments and appreciates being in such a lively city.

    As we walked the streets, we stopped for photos in various locations indulging a bookstore, a rooftop garden, and geisha theater. Luckily we had a guide to lead us to the best spots for photos as I wouldn’t have known where to go if I was by myself.

    The ladies at the Kimono shop were helpful and courteous. They helped us get into our pick out and dress into our Kimonos so that they fit perfectly. You could tell that the Kimonos were high quality.

  • Nano Betts

    One of the best ways to immerse yourself in local culture is to wear the traditional Japanese attire. It is very common in Japan to dress up in yukata (summer kimono) and walk around the city to take some photos. The Kimono Gallery, a luxurious rental salon in Ginza, offers stunning array of attires for women and men. Their service is impeccable and the ambiance is very nice, with beautiful set-up for an indoor photoshoot. You can pick your own pattern of yukata or kimono and accessories, get your hair styled to match your outfits and head out to explore the neighborhood.

    Ginza is one of the most affluent neighborhoods of Tokyo, with wide array of luxurious shopping and restaurants. If you're walking with your yukata, you might want to visit the Kabuki-za Theatre which boasts with impressive historic architecture, or walk to the Imperial Palace. For a beautiful indoor space, head to the landscape garden atop swanky Ginza Six department store, or an impressive Tsutaya bookstore located on its top floor.

Yurikamome Shimbashi Station → Odaiba Kaihinkoen Station Around 13 minutes 320 yen

Odaiba Marine Parkmore

RECOMMENDED DESTINATIONS

Odaiba Marine Park

A park surrounding a quiet cove, next to the Third Daiba (battery ruins). Play on the sandy beach and wind surf, or take in the views of the ferries crossing the bay, the city on the opposite shore seen beyond the Rainbow Bridge and the beautiful sunset.

  • Stephen Schreck


    This was my first time to Odaiba, and I really enjoyed it. I loved all the quirky shops and the fun little arcade in the mall. The atmosphere of the beach area was laid back and relaxing. If I lived in Tokyo, I think Odaiba would become a favorite spot for me and my friends to chill on the weekends. My favorite part of Odaiba were the incredible views of the city. It is an exceptional area for cityscape photos, and to take in the enormity and beauty of Tokyo.

    Ablaze was a fantastic restaurant. We had Japanese BBQ where we had to cook our own seafood, meat, and vegetables. The food was exceptional, and it was a pleasant place to chat with the guide and learn more about Japan, specifically Tokyo. I love meals like this, and it makes your meals special. The scenic views are the perfect backdrop to the restaurant and add an awe-inspiring mood and ambiance.

  • Nano Betts

    For a pleasant afternoon by the waterfront, head to Odaiba Marine Park which offers beautiful views of its sandy beach and the city that lies beyond, as well as a very relaxing atmosphere coupled with loads of entertainment for the entire family. For a nice tour of the Tokyo Bay, you can hop on Yurikamome water bus. Afterwards, head into the numerous shopping centers to have fun at the arcades, museums and shops. Odaiba is also a perfect place to settle down for dinner and then take a stroll for some night views.

    For a dinner with unmatched views in Tokyo, grab a table at Ablaze Barbeque Terrace. The delicious menu featuring a variety of meats and vegetables, romantic and enjoyable atmosphere make it a perfect spot to end the day.

    No visit to Odaiba can go without stopping by the Statue of Liberty. Set against Tokyo Bay and Rainbow Bridge, it truly affords stunning views and is particularly impressive when lit up at night matching the illuminated Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Tower.

Villa Fontaine Shiodome

  • Stephen Schreck


    I loved this hotel! It was located near the fisherman’s market which made it easy to explore some parts of Tokyo in my spare time. They were western style rooms that were nice and comfortable. The bed was massive, there were plenty of power outlets, and the WIFI was fast. The hotel staff was helpful and friendly. Check in was fast and easy as well. This hotel breakfast had a large variety of bread and pastries to choose between. They offer organic smoothies, coffee, and juice. They also have scrambled eggs, sausage, soup, fresh salad and various breads.

  • Nano Betts

    Villa Fontaine Shiodome offers comfortable and spacious accommodations that are equipped with all the necessary amenities. Hotel staff is very friendly and ready to accommodate your needs. The hotel is conveniently located next to the metro station which will connect you to any part of the city.

Day2

SHIKOKU(KOCHI)

Haneda Airport

ANA (ANA Expericence JAPAN Fare) Show details

  • Stephen Schreck


    The plane was nice and comfortable. Check in was automated which made it fast. Haneda is an excellent airport. It is easy to get around; there are smoking lounges, shops, and cafes. The variety of shops and cafes make time fly by as you are waiting for your flight.

  • Nano Betts

    For domestic travel, Haneda Airport is a very convenient and comfortable airport which provides multiple daily flights all over Japan. ANA is a very reliable choice for domestic flights as their service is outstanding service both before and after boarding the flight. Check in process for domestic flights at Haneda Airport are very quick and smooth and the ANA aircraft is very comfortable making the flight go by seamlessly.

Kochi Ryoma Airportmore

Kochi Ryoma Airport

In addition to shops selling over 600 types of Kochi souvenirs, special goods featuring local character mascots, jeweled coral, and other traditional crafts from Kochi are available. Each maker sells limited products that are only available for purchasing here.
Popular souvenirs are "imo-kenpi," a sweet potato snack, and the recently popular "shio-kenpi," a salty variation. Be sure to buy some for yourself! There are also many other souvenirs available that have been showcased on TV!
Wi-Fi service is available inside the airport, and the 1st floor tourist information center can provide information in English and have English, traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese, Korean, and Thai-language tourist pamphlets available.

Around 25 minutes to JR Kochi Station/720 yen

Around 1 hour 50 minutes from JR Kochi Station to JR Tosa-Iwahara Station/1,090 yen

Yoshino Rivermore

Yoshino River

The Yoshino River's headwaters are in the town of Ino in Kochi Prefecture, and the river flows to the east from the Shikoku Mountains. Known as one of the three whitewater rivers of Japan, it is famous for rafting. Rafting the continuous rapids of the Yoshino River makes for a thrilling adventure.

  • Stephen Schreck

    This restaurant is a great stop for lunch in Kochi because of its friendly staff, fresh food, and lovely views. The service was quick, and the food was lovely. I had "Sobameshi (mixed fried rice and buckwheat noodle)" this time. The restaurant is right on the water, and offers a great view of the river and mountains.


    Because of the weather we could not do rafting. Instead we did traditional paper making. This was a fun experience which we got to get our hands dirty and create our own paper, which I have never tried before. I turned this paper into postcards. We also had some free time after to explore Kochi Castle. This was my first time visiting a castle in Japan. The castle is massive, has hidden rooms, and great overview of the city.


    The Hirome Market is a special place that is buzzing with expats and locals. Everyone was extremely friendly. There is also a massive range of food choices. My favorite, of course, was the bento. Which has become my favorite food in Japan.

    Toshashu Bar: Ah, Sake. After dinner, we went to Toshashu Bar for some Sake tasting. What surprised me about the different Sake’s was you could really taste the differences in each one from sweet to strong and bitter to biting. This was one of the biggest highlights of visiting Kochi.

  • Nano Betts

    LUNCH at Aogi: This riverside mom-and-pop restaurants makes you feel like you're visiting the local's home. The spot is located on the banks of Niyodogawa River and offers stunning views from its wooden terrace. They have plenty of delectable options cooked with the freshest local ingredients.

    Kochi Prefecture on Shikoku Island offers abundance of water activities, and rafting is one of the most fun ways to enjoy the beauty of local rivers. A variety of rafting tours are offered along the scenic Yoshino River, centering to all levels, from beginner rafting to a full-on day excursions for families or group of friends.

    Other activities
    The Paper Museum: for a unique experience and a doze of local culture,visit Ino-cho Paper Musuem where you will be able to learn about the history of traditional Japanese Tosa Washi paper as well as partake in nagashizuki papermaking workshop to make your own washi paper.

    Kochi Castle: No visit to Kochi city will be complete without a visit to its iconic Kochi Castle which is the only castle in Japan featuring all of its original Edo period architecture in the main citadel. The observation deck on the top floor affords spectacular views of the entire Kochi City, while the grounds of the castle have a pleasant landscape for a leasurely walk.

    Chikurin-ji Temple: Being one of the 88 tmeples on Shikoku Island set up by Kobo Daishi, a revered Buddhist monk, Chikurin-ji Temple is a sacred pillgrimage site and the main temple in Kochi Prefecture. It is home to a five-story pagoda and a tranquil Japanese garden. After visiting the temple, you can enjoy the beauty of the famous Makino Botanical Garden or take in the panoramic views from Kenritsu Godaisan Observation Deck.

    To dine just like the locals do, head to Hirome Market. It is not the food market in the conventional scene, but rather a collection of small restaurants serving a slew of local fare. The atmosphere here is buzzy and the food is simply outstanding. Don't leave without trying some of the local specialties like katsuo (bonito) served as sashimi or slightly seared (katsuo-no-tataki). Continue your night at Tosa Shu Bar where you can sample some of the best sake that Kochi Prefecture is known for.

Around 1 hour 50 minutes to JR Kochi Station/1,090 yen

Hotel Takasago

  • Stephen Schreck

    Hotel Takasago was a delight. It was my first time staying in a traditional Japanese style room. It was a massive room. They provided tea, bedding, and a little sitting area. I really liked the Japanese style and the bedding on the floor. I would love to stay in hotels like this again.

  • Nano Betts

    Conveniently located just a few minutes away from the central Kochi Train Station, Hotel Takasago is a great choice for your trip to Kochi. They offer both traditional and western-style rooms that are very well-maintained, comfortable and fully equipped with necessary amenities. You can relax at the onsen after a full day of exploring, and enjoy a delicious traditional breakfast the next morning.

Day3

Hotel Takasago

Around 2 hours 15 minutes to JR Ekawasaki Station

Shimanto Rivermore

RECOMMENDED DESTINATIONS

Shimanto River

The Shimanto River is known as “Japan’s last remaining limpid stream.” The many submersible chinkabashi that can be found along the river are bridges without balustrades made so that they sink and are not swept away when the river floods, and give the Shimanto River its poetic charm. It is still a path for residents' lives to this day, where you can ride along it with a bike and enjoy cycling. You can also enjoying various activities along the Shimanto River such as canoeing and yakatabune boat rides.

  • Stephen Schreck


    We could not go cycling due to bad weather. However, it was still very scenic. This area of Kochi is incredibly beautiful with mountain views, a rushing river, and tiny narrows twisting roads cover in lush vegetation. I would always recommend doing to this cycling or driving anytime, even in terrible weather.

  • Nano Betts

    To fully appreciate the abundant nature of Kochi prefecture, take a scenic ride on the winding road along the Shimanto River. You will pass the lush forests, quaint villages and moss-covered temples along the way. On clear sunny days, the Shimanto River will impress you with its azure water color. It is said to be the last remaining clear stream in Japan and flows along the most beautiful valley.

Around 1 hour 30 minutes from JR Ekawasaki Station

Shaenjirimore

Shaenjiri

Shaenjiri comes from the Hata area dialect of west Kochi meaning "vegetable field." As the name implies, you can enjoy local cuisine with plenty of vegetables. In addition to vegetables, this is area also known for its rice and river fishing.

  • Stephen Schreck


    This was my favorite restaurant during my stay in Kochi. It is a small buffet of fresh food. They have everything from Tempura to a salad. More than the buffet you have two choices of a main. The menu is continually changing so to use the best products for the season. I would have loved to eat here every day in Kochi. The atmosphere is quaint. It is run by a few older ladies who are very friendly and hospitable. It has a wood interior and a few large tables.

  • Nano Betts

    After a few hours of cycling take a well-deserved break at Shaenjiri, which is a small Japanese restaurant run by the local ladies. They cook up a storm every day offering mouthwatering home-cooked dishes all prepared with the produced sourced from their farms.

Around 2 hours

Shimanto River

  • Stephen Schreck

    Also canceled. However, we worked with a Japanese knife marker to forge our own blades. This was an rewarding experience and I had a blast working the metal to craft something I will keep the rest of my life. I think that tourist will love activities like this and the mountain setting makes it perfect.


    Lush mountain roads and hilly landscapes were beautiful. While we could not cycle I can see the massive appeal and I would like to come back and cycle someday.


    The traditional "izakaya" pub was a fun experience. We got to try local ice cream, more Sake, and a variety of seafood dishes we had not had yet. It had a local atmosphere which I loved, and the staff was very friendly. One of the reasons I travel is to visit local places like this pub.

  • Nano Betts

    For a different perspective of the Shimanto River and an exciting experience, take a canoe tour down the river. Canoeing in the open air offers unforgettable memories as you come so close to the clear water, beautiful mountains and birds singing in the forest.

    To fully appreciate the abundant nature of Kochi prefecture, rent a bicycle at the Egawasaki Station and take a scenic ride on the winding road along the Shimanto River. You will pass the lush forests, quaint villages and moss-covered temples along the way. On clear sunny days, the Shimanto River will impress you with its azure water color. It is said to be the last remaining clear stream in Japan and flows along the most beautiful valley.

    Settle in one of the local izakaya restaurants around Tosa-Irino Station to try more of the local food. This area prides itself with the freshest seafood and katsuo is of course a prime dish to order in every spot you go.

Around 10 minutes to Tosa-Irino Station on the Tosa Kuroshio Tetsudo

Nest West Garden Tosa

  • Stephen Schreck


    This was another traditional Japanese style room. The room was very nice. The shower had the perfect amount of pressure. The room was great.

  • Nano Betts

    Nest West Garden Tosa is located close to the station, and offers serene atmosphere paired with panoramic views of the sea from its rooms. They have western style and traditional tatami rooms, both of which are very comfortable. They have Japanese baths for male and female guests and provide traditional Japanese as well as western-style breakfast in the morning. The hotel staff is very friendly and accommodating, and can provide transportation to and from the train station when reserved in advance.

Day4

Nest West Garden Tosa

Around 45 minutes/2,700 yen by Dosan Line limited express train to JR Tosa-Kure Station

Walking the town of Nakatosamore

Walking the town of Nakatosa

Nakatosa is home to the Kure Taisho-machi Ichiba, where you can feel the nostalgic ambience of a fishing village, and Nishioka Shuzo brewery with its more than 200 years of history. In addition to the fresh-caught fish and dried fish at Kure Taisho-machi Ichiba, you can also enjoy fruit.

  • Stephen Schreck


    The hotel offered a great English style breakfast which is nice for travelers who might not be used to eating fish for breakfast.


    The Nakatosa Market was fantastic. There is a wide range of fruit, seafood, and souvenirs. The market has a charming atmosphere and sucks you in. There is local restaurants, street food, and the freshest bento I have ever tasted. A fun adventure is that they let us sear our own tuna. This might be a big draw to foreign tourist.


    The atmosphere of this place is what really makes it special. The design, layout, and colorful shops is a huge draw. There is a good variety making it easy to spend hours in the market. I would like to come back to this place to explore more.

  • Nano Betts

    Stroll through the historic Taisho-Machi Market, which is located in fishermen's district of Kure. The market is a small mazeof arcades and outdoor stalls selling seafood, locally farmed vegetables and and fruit, and souvenirs, as well as the inviting restaurants serving the freshly cooked local dishes. Katsuo (bonito) is the most popular fish which the fisherman still catch individually with the fish rods, not the fish net. Local fishermen believe that fishnet is damaging the fish and thus affecting the quality of bonito, which they want to avoid. This is arguably one of the best places to taste katsuo sashimi on Shikoku Island and all of Japan.

    The fisherman's town of Nakatosa provides an insight into the rustic lifestyle of Kochi with its atmospheric streets and authentic atmosphere of a fishing town. It is interesting to learn about the local fishing culture and unique pole-and-line fishing method. One of the few local spots worth visiting is Nishioka Shuzo sake brewery which is housed within the oldest sake brewery building in the prefecture dating back to the Edo period.

    Don't leave Kochi without visiting Tosa Select Shop Tencosu to pick up some souvenirs to take home. The shop has a large assortment of omiyage (specialty edible souvenirs) and different crafts from all parts of Kochi Prefecture.

Around 50 minutes/2,590 yen by Dosan Line limited express train to JR Kochi Station

Around 25 minutes by airport shuttle bus to Kochi Ryoma Airport

Kochi Ryoma Airport

ANA (ANA Expericence JAPAN Fare) Show details

  • Nano Betts

    If all the wonderful regional food you enjoyed in local restaurants and eateries was not enough, you can pick up a bento box at the airport which are affordable and tasty snacks before your flight.

Haneda Airport

  • Stephen Schreck


    Overall, I had a blast. As a traveler I know how weather can affect plans, and how important it is to go with the flow. Our guides were awesome. They were quick to think on their feet to make other plans and make sure we had an awesome time. The more I travel Japan the more I love it. Tokyo and Kochi offer so much in the way of food, landscape, and culture that I would highly recommended them to anyone traveling to Japan.

  • Nano Betts

    Japan is a country of great contrasts and this tour shows very well how easy it is to enjoy city life, and then transport yourself into the tranquil and rustic atmosphere that is only about an hour and a half flight away. Visiting Kochi Prefecture will provide an experience of a lifetime: the friendliest and most welcoming locals, myriads of outdoor activities and cultural experiences, the most delicious food and gorgeous nature will make you plan a return trip the minute you leave.

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM TRAVELERS

This tour of Japan was amazing. The guides were great. I had a blast doing exciting things like knife making. Kochi is a beautiful prefecture with incredible adventures in landscape.
This time in the city I explored neighborhoods, and tried different foods. It showed me a new side to this exciting city. My highlights in Tokyo was where exploring Ginza in a kimono, the shrines, and the parks.

Stephen Schreck
Travel blogger
Reside in USA
  • Hobby

    Adventure, Travel

  • Number of visits to Japan

    1 Previous Visit to Japan

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM TRAVELERS

This tour gives opportunity to dive into the hustle and bustle of one of the biggest metropolitan cities in the world, as well as immerse into a more rural and tranquil side of Japan and experience the best of local culture, including outdoor activities, crafts and cuisine.

Nano Betts
Travel blogger
Reside in Tokyo
Home country: USA
  • Hobby

    Traveling, Photography, Yoga

  • Length of stay in Tokyo

    Lived in Japan for 3 years

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