Sakura Mentor

Life in Japanese Countryside – Kochi Prefecture
Lai Hung Wei Updated in April 2022

Konnichiwa and salam sejahtera! It has been a while since I last written a column. I have been busy for the past few months as I was moving to Kochi and started my new job in Kochi University. It was rather tough moving here at first, but thanks to my supportive colleagues, I manage to get used to life in Kochi now.

Kochi Prefecture (高知県) is located in Shikoku Island – East of Kyushu and south of Hiroshima Prefecture. The capital city of Kochi Prefecture is Kochi-shi (高知市), with other major cities such as Nankoku-shi (南国市) and Konan-shi (香南市). Being an island on Japan’s Pacific coast, Kochi is blessed with cheap and fresh seafood throughout the year. It is also slightly warmer due to its close distance to the sea. Kochi Prefecture is home to Kochi Castle, which is one of the most intact Japanese castles which survived till today.

Kochi Castle
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Moving from a big city from Tokyo to Kochi is relatively difficult. Unlike in Tokyo, the number of trains here are significantly lower and does not connect to all places in the prefecture. Most residents here buy and drive their own cars to work and to school. The proficiency level of English here is also significantly lower and there is rarely English menu or English speakers once you exit the city centre. People here speaks Tosa-ben (土佐弁), an ancient Japanese dialect which can be rather difficult to grasp at first, but extremely fun to learn at the same time.

Sunday Market
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With all that being said, Kochi is infamous for their easily available seafood and yuzu. Living expenses here are much lower than in the city and people here are much more friendlier and cheerful. Most people here live a simple life and know how to live their life to the fullest. Kochi Prefecture is also famous of their sake and Kochi people is known to be number 1 in alcohol consumption every year! So, you know where to come, if you are looking for a place for chit-chatting and good sake!

Kashiwajima Island
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Typical Country View
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