Fly to the compact and friendly city of Kochi in Shikoku, one of Japan’s southern islands.
Kochi Ryoma Airport (KCZ)
Situated on Japan’s island of Shikoku, Kochi Airport is within the city of Nankoku and services both it, and the larger city of Kochi that is located approximately 13km away from the airport. KCZ is very well facilitated, and you will find an observation deck, an information desk, cash machines, internet access points, baggage lockers, as well as a number of restaurants and stores that you can dine and shop in before you board.
Airlines that fly to Kochi
There are three airlines that operate flights into KCZ Airport, these are Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways and Fuji Dream Airlines, and these fly to domestic locations within Japan. Usually to Tokyo (HND), Osaka (ITM), Fukuoka (FUK) and Nagoya (NGO).
Getting into Kochi
There are taxis outside the airport but they are pretty expensive, with a journey costing roughly 5000-6000JPY ($60-70).
By public transportation
There are three bus lines that run into Kochi Station, and come every 20-30 minutes. The journey generally does not take longer than 35-45 minutes, but expect to pay about 700JPY ($8).
If you’d rather hire a car and drive yourself into town and around the island of Shikoku, then head to the Arrival Lobby. You will find the rental car desk right next to the information counter, and they can advise you on what is available. If you’d prefer to sort a vehicle before you leave for Japan then you can utilise our car hire page to book in advance of your travel.
What can you do in Kochi?
The capital of the Kochi Prefecture, the lovely city of Kochi sits at the head of Urado Bay, backed by mountains in the north, and is crisscrossed by the Kagami and Kokubu Rivers. The township itself is fairly small, but has retained a good deal of traditional Japanese architecture, which makes it a delight to explore. In the downtown area, you can visit Kochi Castle, a wonderful example of the feudal style, with a fascinating history that goes back to the early 1600s when the Yamauchi lords used it as their seat of power in the Edo period.
The city is home to a Sunday market which sees around 500 booths open for business, selling everything from antiques to seafood. In fact, this lively city draws many to its shores, especially in the summer, when Kochi plays host to 20,000 dancers every year in the Yosakoi-matsuri Festival, held in hope of further prosperity after a harvest.
Travellers to Kochi will find that there’s just as much to do within the city as there is to do out of it, as winging your way to beaches, caves, and mountains are little more than an easy day trip away. See the pristine Shimanto-gawa River, where fishing is still done using traditional methods, or relax on the Shira-hama and Ikumi-kaigan beaches, where you can swim and surf. No matter what time of year you head to Kochi, you will find plenty to keep you occupied in this enchanting southern Japanese city.
When should you go?
One of the best things about Japan is that every season has its treasures; from the cherry trees blossoming in spring, to the riot of colour as the leaves turn yellow, orange and red in autumn, to the snowcapped mountains of winter. However, for Kochi it’s worth going in summer to catch the Yosakoi-matsuri festival.
Though this season is typically the hottest, and can be a bit muggy, expect temperatures to be a reasonable 21-30°C. Spring and autumn are very pleasant if you do want to avoid the crowds, sitting between about 10 and 20°C.
What do you need to know?
Currency: The Japanese Yen (JPY)
Visas: Not all foreign nationals need to apply for a visa when travelling to Japan, and a 15-90 day visa will be issued on arrival. However, it is worth checking Japan’s latest restrictions, which can be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, which lists which countries need to apply for a visa in advance of their trip.
Please note all information is current as of March 2016.
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