Tosashimizu, Kōchi

Tosashimizu (土佐清水市, Tosashimizu-shi) is a city located in the southwest of Kōchi Prefecture, Japan. The city was founded on August 1, 1954. As of 1 February 2021, the city has an estimated population of 14,666, with 7,608 households and a population density of 55.02 persons per km2. The total area is 266.54 km2.


View of Pacific Ocean and Cape Ashizuri
View of Pacific Ocean and Cape Ashizuri
Flag of Tosashimizu
Official seal of Tosashimizu
Location of Tosashimizu in Kōchi Prefecture
Tosashimizu in Kochi Prefecture Ja.svg
Tosashimizu is located in Japan
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 32°47′N 132°57′E / 32.783°N 132.950°E / 32.783; 132.950Coordinates: 32°47′N 132°57′E / 32.783°N 132.950°E / 32.783; 132.950
PrefectureKōchi Prefecture
 • MayorShinichirō Nishimura
 • Total266.54 km2 (102.91 sq mi)
 (1 February 2021)
 • Total14,666
 • Density51.3/km2 (133/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+09:00 (JST)
City hall address11-2 Tenjinmachi, Tosashimizu-shi, Kōchi-ken
BirdBlue Rock-thrush
TreeAkō (Ficus superba Miq. var. japonica Miq.)
Japanese name

Of the 11 cities in Kochi Prefecture, Tosashimizu has the second lowest population which was over 30,000 in 1954 compared to 14,937 as of March 31, 2015.[1]

It is the only city on Shikoku island that hosts an Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) base.


The largest industry is fishing, especially deep-sea fishing. Sōdabushi, locally called mejikabushi, is one of the main seafood produce in the area with a market share of approximately 70%. It uses sōdagatsuo (frigate mackerel) and is manufactured using a similar process to katsuobushi.[2] The local fishermen's union registered their catch of blue mackerel Scomber australasicus as "Tosano shimizusaba", or blue mackerel of Shimizu, Tosa[clarification needed].[3]

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan has a branch in Tosashimizu, and Osaka Aquarium Biological Research Institute of Iburi Center (OBIC) provides one third of those marine animals displayed at the aquarium in Osaka. The center conducts scientific studies at its facility including a 1,600 ton tank.[4]

Roadside stationsEdit

Mejikano sato Tosashimizu roadside station is near scenic Tatsukushi along route 321. Mejika means sōdagatsuo (frigate mackerel) in the local dialect, and they manufacture and sell sōdabushi, the main sea food produce of the city, processed for demonstration[clarification needed] at the factory at the back of the store for direct selling.[5] Farm produce is also sold at this roadside station.[6]

Tourist attractionsEdit

Cape AshizuriEdit

The 70 km coastline stretching from the northeast to southwest boundaries of Tosashimizu attracts over 800,000 tourists to Tosashimizu each year.[7] Ashizuri-Uwakai National Park includes Ashizuri, the largest peninsula in the area. Tosashimizu is the nearest city to Ashizuri peninsula which is protruding into the Pacific Ocean.[8] Cape Ashizuri is 80 meters above sea level at the southeastern end on the peninsula. The peninsula is covered by subtropical plants including camellia, holm oak, and colony of Livistona Livistona chinensis,[9] and the sea is a prime fishing ground for katsuo fish, or skipjack tuna Katsuwonus pelamis. While there are small islands to the south of it, the cape is recognized as the southernmost location on Shikoku island at 32°43′24″N 133°1′12″W / 32.72333°N 133.02000°W / 32.72333; -133.02000.

Tatsukushi geologic strata with layers of sandstone and mudstone form joints and layers. A gate-like rock on the coast, Hakusandōmon is on the west side of the cape. Tōjindaba Site is a prehistoric megalithic site with stone circle, located on the west hill on Cape Ashizuri.[10][11]

Birthplace of Nakahama ManjirōEdit

On the western shore of Ashizuri peninsula, lies the village of Nakanohama within Tosashimizu, where Nakahama Manjirō was born and became one of the first Japanese to travel to the United States. Manjirō, a young fisherman, was shipwrecked off the coast of Japan in 1841 and rescued by whaling captain William H. Whitfield of Fairhaven, Massachusetts.[12] Whitfield brought the young Manjirō back to Fairhaven and New Bedford at the end of the whaling voyage, and Manjirō spent several years there before eventually making his way back to Japan. Because of this history, Tosashimizu became the sister city of both Fairhaven and New Bedford in 1987.[12] He became popular as John Manjirō after Ibuse Masuji depicted him in his novel John Manjiro. The Castaway: His Life and His Adventures.[13]

Wildlife toursEdit

There are several wildlife tours popular on Ashizuri peninsula; wildlife swims are organized in the town of Iburi on the foot of Ashizuri peninsula.[14]

Whale shark swimEdit

Whale sharks migrate off the Ashizuri Peninsula between June and September, and some are kept captive in a cage 300 m offshore.[15]

Ocean sunfish swimEdit

Between April and the end of July each year, ocean sunfish are kept in a net cage 10 m by 10 m and 5 m deep. When the water temperature rises, they release the fish into the wild.[16]

Whale watchingEdit

Whale watching is also offered on the east side of the peninsula, based at Kubotsu town to the middle and Shimonokae to the north.[17]

The Shikoku PilgrimageEdit

The Shikoku Pilgrimage passes through the city, and the longest stretch of 80.7 km on the route is between the 37th temple (Iwamoto-ji (岩本寺))[18] in Shimanto and the 38th temple (Kongōfuku-ji (金剛福寺))[19] on Cape Ashizuri. Descending from Itsuta pass (伊豆田峠) toward Tosashimizu, there is Shinnenan (真念庵), a small wayside hermitage 28 km from Kongōfuku-ji. It was designated to provide a free lodging for pilgrims on that section, where people could also leave their luggage while visiting Kongōfuku-ji, come back to Shinnenan and continue on to the 39th Enkō-ji in Sukumo 50.8 km away.[20]



The nearest train station is Nakamura Station, the terminus of the Tosa Kuroshio Railway Nakamura Line, located in Shimanto. A bus service connects Tosashimizu with Nakamura Station, taking approximately 60 minutes.

Sister citiesEdit


  1. ^ "The aging rate shift - Population and household in Tosashimizu City Community planning report - North to south, Tosashimizu City, Kōchi Prefecture" (PDF) (in Japanese). Tosashimizu City Office. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  2. ^ "What is Sababushi" (in Japanese). Katsuobushi Museum. Retrieved 2016-08-12.
  3. ^ "Gomasaba" (in Japanese). Kōchi Prefecture Kochi Marugoto Network. Local Food and Produce Merchandise Division, Industrial Development and Promotion Department, Kōchi Prefecture. Retrieved 2016-03-05.CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ "Research Activities". Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  5. ^ "Point of Interest around Tatsukushi and Minokori" (in Japanese). Tosashimizu City. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  6. ^ "kochi - mejikano sato tosashimizu" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  7. ^ "Fishery". Tosashimizu City. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  8. ^ "Ashizuri-Uwakai National Park". Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  9. ^ "Colony of Livistona on Cape Ashizuri - Natural Treasure Designated by Tosashimizu City" (in Japanese). Tosashimizu City. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  10. ^ "Tōjindaba Stone Circle Site". Tosashimizu City. Archived from the original on 2015-11-07. Retrieved 2015-11-17.
  11. ^ "Tōjindaba Archaeological site" (in Japanese). Public Interest Incorporated Foundation Kochi Visitors & Convention Association. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  12. ^ a b "Manjiro Trail". Whitefield-Manjiro Friendship Society, Inc. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  13. ^ Ibuse Masuo (1940). John Manjiro. The Castaway His Life and His Adventures. H. Kaneko (Translator). The Anglo-Japanese Cultural Corp. Ltd.
  14. ^ "Tourist attraction in Tosashimizu" (in Japanese). Tosashimizu City. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  15. ^ ジンベエザメと泳ごう! ジンベエスイム [Swimming with whale sharks!] (in Japanese). Tosashimizu City. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  16. ^ マンボウスイム [Swimming with ocean sunfish] (in Japanese). Tosashimizu City. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  17. ^ "Tourist guide to Shimonokae, Ōki, Iburi and Kubotshu area" (in Japanese). Tosashimizu City. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  18. ^ "Fujiisan Gochiin Iwamo-ji" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  19. ^ "Sadasan FudarakuinKongōfuku-ji" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  20. ^ "Sadazan Fudarakuin Kongōfuku-ji - Shikoku Pilgrimage in Kochi" (in Japanese). Shikoku Hachijū-hakkasho Reijōkai. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  21. ^ a b "Sister Cities and John Manjirō" (in Japanese). Tosashimizu City. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  22. ^ "Sister Cities" (in Japanese). Tomigusuku City. Retrieved 2016-03-05.

External linksEdit

  Cape Ashizuri travel guide from Wikivoyage