Translated by Shinji Takaramura
Kochi Castle - An Elegant Castle From The Edo Period
Written by Yaspon
Kochi Castle, located in Kochi prefecture, a part of the Shikoku Region, is known for its precious architecture dating back to the Edo Period.
Kochi Castle is located in Kochi City, Kochi prefecture, in the Shikoku Region. The castle was built by Yamauchi Kazutoyo, who ruled the Kochi area about 400 years ago. The castle, famous for its elegant tenshu (*1), the massive walls and gates, is known as the "best castle in the Nankaido (*2)". It is also precious as the tenshu and honmaru goten (*3), built in the Edo Period, still remain, and it has been chosen as one of Japan's Top 100 Castles.
The original tenshu, built by Yamauchi Kazutoyo, was lost to the fire in 1727. The tenshu was rebuilt according to the original plan in 1749. Since then, the castle has survived natural disasters, the Ordinance for the Disposal of Castles (*4) issued by the Meiji Government and World War II. Due to that history, the castle is also known as a "Castle of Fortune".
This article is about the Kochi Castle, a landmark of the Shikoku Region, and its highlights.
*1 Tenshu: castle tower; also called tenshu-kaku, this is the symbolic structure of the castle.
*2 Nankaido: a general term of the vast area including Kii Peninsula, Awajishima Island and Shikoku Region.
*3 Honmaru goten: main citadel palace. This is the center of a Japanese castle, where the lord resides and the tenshu is located.
*4 This law was made public in 1873 by the Meiji Government, and it called upon the local governments to dispose of the castles left in the area.
Admission and Opening Hours
The castle is located in Kochi Park, and most of it can be viewed for free. Admission fee is required for the tenshu, honmaru goten, higashi tamon (east row house) and roka mon (corridor gate). The fee is 420 yen for those over eighteen years of age, and those under eighteen years of age can enter the castle for free. The castle is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and the entrance closes at 4:30 p.m.
From Tokyo, there are two routes; by air and by train. The following is the time and cost for each route.
Please note that airplane ticket prices differ according to the season, and the prices listed below may not be available.
Access to Kochi from Tokyo
There are about ten direct flights every day from Haneda Airport to Kochi Ryoma Airport, operated by Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA). The flight takes about an hour and a half, and the one-way ticket varies according to the season, from 15,000 to 20,000 yen.
If you are using the shinkansen departing from Tokyo Station, get off at Okayama Station, and switch to the JR Express Nanpu bound for Kochi Station. The whole ride takes about six hours, excluding the time for switching trains. The fare for a non-reserved seat is 18,820 yen.
Access to Kochi Castle from the Airport/ Station
From Kochi Airport
Take the airport shuttle bus from bus stop 1 and 2 of Kochi Airport, bound for either Kochi eki (Kochi Station) or Kochi kencho-mae, and get off at the Harimayabashi bus stop. The ride takes 35 minutes, and the fare is 720 yen. From the Harimayabashi bus stop, it is a twenty-minute walk to the castle.
From Kochi Station
You can ride the bus, or walk to Kochi Castle. Get on the Tosaden Kotsu Bus (Yoshino Line) bound for Yoshino, and get off at the Kochijo-mae bus stop. The ride takes seven minutes, and the fare is 200 yen. The walk to the castle from the station will take 25 minutes.