Kōchi Prefecture

Kōchi Prefecture (高知県, Kōchi-ken, pronounced [koːtɕi ꜜkeɴ]; /ˈki/) is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Shikoku.[1] Kōchi Prefecture has a population of 757,914 (1 December 2011) and has a geographic area of 7,103 km2 (2,742 sq mi). Kōchi Prefecture borders Ehime Prefecture to the northwest and Tokushima Prefecture to the northeast.

Kōchi Prefecture
Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese高知県
 • RōmajiKōchi-ken
Shimanto River and Iwama Bridge, famous sights in Shimanto City, Kōchi Prefecture
Shimanto River and Iwama Bridge, famous sights in Shimanto City, Kōchi Prefecture
Flag of Kōchi Prefecture
Official logo of Kōchi Prefecture
Anthem: Kōchi kenmin no uta
Location of Kōchi Prefecture
Coordinates: 33°26′N 133°26′E / 33.433°N 133.433°E / 33.433; 133.433Coordinates: 33°26′N 133°26′E / 33.433°N 133.433°E / 33.433; 133.433
Country Japan
SubdivisionsDistricts: 6, Municipalities: 34
 • GovernorSeiji Hamada
 • Total7,103.93 km2 (2,742.84 sq mi)
 • Rank18th
 (December 1, 2011)
 • Total757,914
 • Rank45th
 • Density106.68/km2 (276.3/sq mi)
ISO 3166 codeJP-39
Symbols of Japan
BirdFairy pitta (Pitta nympha)
FlowerYamamomo (Myrica rubra)
TreeYanase Sugi (Cryptomeria japonica)

Kōchi is the capital and largest city of Kōchi Prefecture, with other major cities including Nankoku, Shimanto, and Kōnan.[2] Kōchi Prefecture is located on Japan's Pacific coast surrounding a large bay in the south of Shikoku, with the southernmost point of the island located at Cape Ashizuri in Tosashimizu. Kōchi Prefecture is home to Kōchi Castle, considered the most intact Japanese castle, and the Shimanto River, one of the few undammed rivers in Japan.


Kōchi Prefecture was historically known as Tosa Province and was controlled by the Chōsokabe clan in the Sengoku period and the Yamauchi clan during the Edo period.[3]

Kōchi city is also the birthplace of noted revolutionary Sakamoto Ryōma, who became one of the main instigators of the Meiji Restoration.


Kōchi Prefecture comprises the southwestern part of the island of Shikoku, facing the Pacific Ocean. It is bordered by Ehime to the north-west and Tokushima to the north-east. It is the largest but least populous of Shikoku's four prefectures. Most of the province is mountainous, and in only a few areas such as around Kōchi and Nakamura is there a coastal plain. Kōchi is famous for its many rivers. Inamura-yama in Tosa-cho is the highest peak in Kōchi prefecture with an altitude of 1,506 meters above sea level.

As of April 1, 2012, 7% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely the Ashizuri-Uwakai National Park; Ishizuchi, Muroto-Anan Kaigan, and Tsurugisan Quasi-National Parks; and eighteen Prefectural Natural Parks.[4]

Map of Kōchi Prefecture
     City      Town      Village
Skyline of Kōchi City


Eleven cities are located in Kōchi Prefecture:

Flag Name Area (km2) Population Map
Rōmaji Kanji
  Aki 安芸市 317.34 17,810  
  Kami 香美市 537.95 26,526  
  Kōchi (capital) 高知市 309.22 332,059  
  Kōnan 香南市 126.75 32,786  
  Muroto 室戸市 248.25 14,006  
  Nankoku 南国市 125.35 47,776  
  Shimanto 四万十市 632.42 34,433  
  Sukumo 宿毛市 286.11 21,097  
  Susaki 須崎市 135.46 22,508  
  Tosa 土佐市 91.59 27,602  
  Tosashimizu 土佐清水市 266.54 14,666  

Towns and villagesEdit

Kochi prefecture population pyramid in 2020

These are the towns and villages in each district:

Name Area (km2) Population District Type Map
Rōmaji Kanji
  Geisei 芸西村 39.63 3,846 Aki District Village  
  Hidaka 日高村 44.88 4,896 Takaoka District Village  
  Ino いの町 470.71 22,155 Agawa District Town  
  Kitagawa 北川村 196.18 1‚328 Aki District Village  
  Kuroshio 黒潮町 188.38 11,559 Hata District Town  
  Mihara 三原村 85.35 1,627 Hata District Village  
  Motoyama 本山町 134.21 3,605 Nagaoka District Town  
  Nahari 奈半利町 28.32 3,359 Aki District Town  
  Nakatosa 中土佐町 193.19 7,156 Takaoka District Town  
  Niyodogawa 仁淀川町 332.96 5,676 Agawa District Town  
  Ochi 越知町 111.58 5,847 Takaoka District Town  
  Ōkawa 大川村 95.28 521 Tosa District Village  
  Ōtoyo 大豊町 314.94 4,950 Nagaoka District Town  
  Ōtsuki 大月町 103.03 5,719 Hata District Town  
  Sakawa 佐川町 101.21 13,223 Takaoka District Town  
  Shimanto 四万十町 642.06 18,269 Takaoka District Town  
  Tano 田野町 6.56 2,644 Aki District Town  
  Tosa 土佐町 212.11 3,997 Tosa District Town  
  Tōyō 東洋町 74.09 2,598 Aki District Town  
  Tsuno 津野町 197.85 5,680 Takaoka District Town  
  Umaji 馬路村 165.48 737 Aki District Village  
  Yasuda 安田町 53.03 2,614 Aki District Town  
  Yusuhara 梼原町 236.51 3,640 Takaoka District Town  



Cape of Ashizuri
Cape of Muroto
Shimanto River


The 2021 movie Belle (Ryū to Sobakasu no Hime) is set in Kōchi.

The 2013 movie Hospitality Department (Kencho Omotenashi Ka) is set in Kōchi.[5] The film shows views of Kōchi Prefecture.

The 2009 movie The Harimaya Bridge starring Danny Glover was set in Kochi.[6][7]



Like most areas of Japan, Kōchi advertises itself as specialising in a major food item, in this case, katsuo no tataki. Katsuo no tataki is skipjack tuna or bonito, lightly seared.[8] Traditionally this is done over the straw generated as a by-product of the rice harvest.

Sawachi is a term which refers to "a style of meal" in Kochi prefecture, according to Kochi-City Tourism Association. It says that the characteristic of the style of eating is "its freeness in the arrangement of food on a large dish" People eat Sawachi in the situation of "Enkai" which refers to a gathering of family, friends and relatives. They surround "Sawachi", feasts on large dishes, and take own portions by themselves. The style represents the cultural climate of Kochi Prefecture, which dislikes formal arrangements and respects freedom.

Festival and eventsEdit

  • Yosakoi Festival - Yosakoi (よさこい) is a unique style of dance that originated in Japan and that is performed at festivals and events all over the country.


The sports teams listed below are based in Kōchi.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Kōchi prefecture" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 538, p. 538, at Google Books.
  2. ^ Nussbaum, "Kōchi" at p. 538, p. 538, at Google Books.
  3. ^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" at p. 780, p. 780, at Google Books.
  4. ^ "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture" (PDF). Ministry of the Environment. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  5. ^ "Yukiyo Teramoto Makes Short Insert Anime for "Prefectural Office Hospitality Department: The Movie" - Tokyo Otaku Mode News". otakumode.com.
  6. ^ Matt Alt; Hiroko Yoda; Melinda Joe (27 March 2012). Frommer's? Japan Day by Day. John Wiley & Sons. p. 532. ISBN 978-0-470-90826-6.
  7. ^ Iris-Aya Laemmerhirt (March 2014). Embracing Differences: Transnational Cultural Flows between Japan and the United States. transcript Verlag. p. 254. ISBN 978-3-8394-2600-5.
  8. ^ Lafferty, Jefferey (2020-10-16). "Japan's delicious fire-seared delicacy". BBC.


External linksEdit

  Media related to Kōchi prefecture at Wikimedia Commons