Shikoku: Kochi Castle

 Boy does Shikoku have a lot of castles. Then again, so does Japan. But Shikoku has a larger concentration of original castles, and I managed to visit a bunch of them during my short stay on the island. Kochi's castle was a last-minute addition to my itinerary - I wasn't expecting to go to Kochi on this trip but the weather canceled other plans... and seriously messed up even these simple plans.
After hiking up yet another mountain, I found myself looking at Kochi's keep. It looks great on the well-landscaped grounds, but most of the building is fairly low-lying.
 It does have one thing going for it - it's an original castle. You can wander through the building's original halls and rooms.
 While a lot of people make a big fuss about Japan's whaling industry, in the past those gigantic animals were a major source of food and materials.

As you travel through the castle, you can get a few good views of the town and other parts of the castle structure.
 As one would expect, a good collection of artifacts are found throughout, and this castle has multiple dioramas showing life in Kochi during the feudal era.

While the castle itself is nice and I still enjoy visiting ones I have yet to see, it is a bit tough to find something unique about many of them. I think the dioramas are pretty cool, especially that whaling one I showed above.
 Kochi Castle is located near the Kochijo-mae tram stop. Using the tram costs 200 yen, takes 15 minutes, and requires a transfer. Alternatively, you can just walk from JR Kochi Station in about 20 minutes and save a little money. The downtown area of Harimayabashi is about 10 minutes away on foot, with shopping arcades and famous tiny bridge.

The castle is open 9:00-17:00 (closed around the last week of the year), and admission is 420 yen.

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