Translated by GonzalezLaura
Stay At Katsuo Guesthouse To Find Out About All That's Kochi
Written by Ayame Nagano
If you happen to be on trip in Shikoku, we recommend you stay at Katsuo Guest House in Kochi. Not only does it have charming rooms inspired by the mountainy, ocean-surrounded region of Kochi, but it provides information on the sightseeing destinations of
Photo courtesy of: Katsuo Guesthouse
Kochi Prefecture 高知県 is located in Shikoku, one of the major islands of Japan. Kochi is known as the "mountain prefecture", as mountains make up nearly 80% of the land. Also, a large portion of the land is facing the Pacific Ocean, so it is known as "ocean prefecture", as well.
With its sea and mountains, as well as clean rivers, Kochi is definitely a region you need to visit if you'd like to enjoy to the full the beauty of Japan's nature.
Despite this though, this area is not very well known overseas, and there is not much information available about lodgings and travel spots for foreigners. Here we are going to introduce a guest house in Kochi which is cheap, has good access, and where you can gather information about sightseeing destinations in the area. It is called Katsuo House and is located at a 10-minute walk from JR Kochi Station.
The Perfect Place for Gathering Sightseeing Information
The current owner of the Katsuo Guesthouse, Mr. Maeda, used to be the assistant director of the community magazine. He has access to plenty of sightseeing information that event some of the locals don't know about.
If you haven't decided which sightseeing spots to visit, or what course to take, you should definitely ask Maeda-san. He'll tell you about food, nature, cultural activities that you can experience, pretty much anything you're looking for if you just ask him.
Three Types of Rooms
This is a guest house, so naturally it's going to be much less expensive than a hotel. Despite this though, the quality of the rooms are on par with hotels. Here we introduce the 3 types of rooms available at Katsuo Guesthouse.
1. Okyaku Room (Dormitory, Group Usage)
In Kochi prefecture, okyaku, (おきゃく guest) means party. Therefore, that's why this room is called the Okyaku Room, or "party room". As the name implies, this is Katsuo Guesthouse's largest room.
There is a partition in the middle of the room which can be used to split the rooms into 2. What we'd like to recommend the most is the kotatsu (こたつ , Japanese electric heated table). There is a handmade sunken kotatsu in this room, so during the winter you can have a party and have everyone gather around the heated table.
As this is a dormitory, you might end up sleeping next to people that are complete strangers. Once you both get together around the warm kotatsu though, you'll be sure to become friends quickly.
2. Katsuo Room (Individual room)
The Katsuo Room was created with the sea in mind, so a portion of the walls are painted in a vivid, pretty blue color. Using white and blue to visualize the waves, you should be able to relax leisurely in this refreshing atmosphere.
This room also comes with a terrace that is decorated with a star motif. In the spring you can admire the sakura blossoms from here, and in the fall you can enjoy moon-viewing.
3. Yuzu Room (individual room)
Photo courtesy of: Katsuo Guesthouse
The Yuzu Room is modeled after a yuzu* forest. The room uses a lot of natural wood. Kochi prefecture is not only famous for its katsuo ("bonito fish"), but it is also for producing yuzu.
*Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit similar to a lemon.
Take the time to relax in this room, and feel nature as if you would be actually sleeping in a wooden house in the middle of a forest.
Kochi Inspired, Down To The Finest Details!
This is the guest house's famous fish hat. Nearly all visitors take a picture with this hat before they depart the guest house. If you stay in Katsuo Guesthouse, please try the hat on, and take a picture.
The fusuma (ふすま paper sliding doors) are made with traditional craft Tosawashi Japanese paper. Foreign visitors might not get the chance to touch Japanese paper too often, so if you are in the guest house, by all means!
The door to the restroom facilities also goes along with the blue motif. The door's handlebar is made to look like a chinkabashi bridge (a bridge designed to be underwater during a flood) which extends over Kochi's pride and Japan's most distinguished stream, the Shimantogawa River.
There are even more interesting spots and quirky little tricks hidden all around the house. You should definitely visit the guest house, and try and find them out for yourself. If you're interested in the rooms, you can check out their official webpage (features explanations in English), or you can contact the guesthouse directly.
Address: Kochi, Kochi city, Hijima-chō 4-7-28
Payment Options: Cash only
Wi-Fi Available: Yes
Multi-lingual Support: Japanese, English
Lodgings Price: Dormitory - 2,800 yen (1 person/night); Private rooms, charter price - 3,800 (1 person/night)
Official Website: Katsuo Guest House