Tosa, Kōchi

Tosa (土佐市, Tosa-shi) is a city located in Kōchi Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 August 2022, the city had an estimated population of 26,427 in 12671 households and a population density of 290 persons per km2.[1] The total area of the city is 91.50 square kilometres (35.33 sq mi). The city of Tosa should not be confused with the historical Tosa Province, which covered all of modern-day Kōchi Prefecture.

Tosa city hall
Tosa city hall
Flag of Tosa
Official seal of Tosa
Location of Tosa in Kōchi Prefecture
Location of Tosa
Tosa is located in Japan
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 33°30′N 133°26′E / 33.500°N 133.433°E / 33.500; 133.433Coordinates: 33°30′N 133°26′E / 33.500°N 133.433°E / 33.500; 133.433
 • MayorYoshifumi Itahara (since October 2007)
 • Total91.50 km2 (35.33 sq mi)
 (1 August 2022)
 • Total26,427
 • Density290/km2 (750/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+09:00 (JST)
City hall address2017-1 Kinoe, Takaoka-chō, Tosa-shi, Kōchi-ken 781-1192
WebsiteOfficial website
BirdWhite-cheeked starling
Niyodo River in Tosa
Aerial view of Tosa city center


Tosa is located in central Kōchi Prefecture on the southern coast of the island of Shikoku, and faces the Shikoku Mountains to the north and Pacific Ocean to the south. The Niyodo River flows through the Takaoka Plain in the town, where rice is grown.

Surrounding municipalitiesEdit

Kōchi Prefecture


Tosa has a Humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) characterized by warm summers and cool winters with light snowfall. The average annual temperature in Tosa is 15.9 °C. The average annual rainfall is 2631 mm with September as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in January, at around 25.9 °C, and lowest in January, at around 5.8 °C.[2]


Per Japanese census data,[3] the population of Tosa has remained relatively stable for the past century.

Historical population
1920 28,057—    
1930 28,067+0.0%
1940 26,804−4.5%
1950 34,107+27.2%
1960 31,803−6.8%
1970 29,905−6.0%
1980 31,677+5.9%
1990 31,564−0.4%
2000 30,338−3.9%
2010 28,698−5.4%


As with all of Kōchi Prefecture, the area of Tosa was part of ancient Tosa Province. Remains from the Jōmon period dated to 4000 years ago have been found within the city limits. During the Edo period, the area was part of the holdings of Tosa Domain ruled by the Yamauchi clan from their seat at Kōchi Castle. Following the Meiji restoration, the village of Takaoka (高岡村) was established within Takaoka District, Kōchi with the creation of the modern municipalities system on October 1, 1889. Takaoka was elevated to town status on March 1, 1899. Takaoka was elevated to city status on January 1, 1959, and renamed Tosa.


Tosa has a mayor-council form of government with a directly elected mayor and a unicameral city council of 15 members. Tosa contributes one member to the Kōchi Prefectural Assembly. In terms of national politics, the city is part of Kōchi 1st district of the lower house of the Diet of Japan.


Benefiting from the warm climate and abundant water, the area has long been a prosperous region for agriculture, with greenhouse horticulture in the plains and fruit tree cultivation in the surrounding mountains. In addition, the rich subsoil water of the Niyodo River has nurtured the paper industry, and in the Usa neighborhood, which faces the Pacific Ocean, coastal fishing and seafood processing have developed as key industries.


Tosa has nine public elementary schools and three public middle schools operated by the city government and two public high schools operated by the Kōchi Prefectural Department of Education. There is also one private high school. The Kochi Professional University of Rehabilitation is located in Tosa.



Tosa does not have any passenger railway service. The nearest train station is Ino Station on the JR Shikoku Dosan Line.


Sister city relationsEdit

Local attractionsEdit

Noted people from TosaEdit


  1. ^ "Tosa city official statistics" (in Japanese). Japan.
  2. ^ Tosa climate data
  3. ^ Tosa population statistics

External linksEdit