Our day in Kochi, Japan, dawned cool and drizzly. As we ate breakfast we discussed if it was worth going out or just staying aboard the ship and relaxing for the day. Curiosity won out; we gathered our rain gear and disembarked the ship. We took a bus (with those interesting little center folding seats) from the cruise port to the town’s bus station. We were met by a Sameri and several tourist office volunteers who were handing out maps and answering questions. Map in hand, we set off to explore the area.

Kochi cruise port terminal
Center aisle bus seats in Kochi
Jim and a saimiri in Kochi Japan.

Parks

There were several parks in the area, so we took some time to enjoy them with the locals.

Park area in Kochi Japan.
Bridge and stream in Kochi park.
Park area by castle in Kochi Japan.

Shops

Our ultimate destination was the castle, but we passed several shopping areas on the way. The shops are clustered together but not in the mall-like structure we are used to. They all have entryways open to the communal outdoor space, and there is a roof that connects and covers the area.

Shopping area in Koch Japan.<br />
Street shopping in Kochi.

Most of the side streets also had shops but were not covered.

The Castle

The Kochi Castle finally came into view; it was a stunning scene with substantial grounds for being in the middle of the city. There were numerous statues to see and stairs to climb.

Statue at Kochi Castle.
Horse statue at Kochi Castle.
Stairs at the Kochi Castle.

Stairs

Stairs were located all around the area on different levels. They were not the smooth cement-poured stairs we are used to, however. They were made by stacking large rocks next to each other. The rocks were not smooth, not in a uniform size or width and they were slippery when wet. No handrails were provided, so they were a bit tricky; I can’t imagine having any mobility issues and trying to use them. They were constructed hundreds of years ago, so it made sense, but I’d hate to have any mobility issues and try to scale them.

The Grounds

The castle grounds were beautiful. We did our best to avoid the areas that were packed with tourists and were able to find a few paths that no one else was exploring. The views were stunning.

View from terrace of the Kochi Castle.
Walking path on the grounds of the Kochi Castle.
Red lantern along the steps at the Kochi Castle.

Returning to the ship

It started to drizzle, and we still needed to get down those slippery steps, so we made our way back to the bus terminal and then to the port. We were treated to music by a three-piece band as the ship set sail once again.