Thursday, December 22, 2011

Roadside Station Tosa Washi Kogei Mura “QRAUD”

An old preserved storehouse
stands nearby. Inside is a gallery.
   When driving long-distance in Japan, most people make stops at “roadside stations.” That goes to show that there are many roadside stations in this country where you can take a break, shop, eat and gain traffic and tourist information.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Roadside Station Shimanto Towa

This large billboard with the logo attached
 acts as a landmark for the station
   Another roadside station we went to conduct an interview at was “Shimanto Towa,” located in Towa, Shimanto Town. “Shimanto Towa” opened in July of 2007, and currently has about 150,000 visitors annually, which is almost 50 times the population of the town it is located in. With some of the foremost tourist facilities in the area, the appeal of “Shimanto Towa” lies in its proximity to the nationally renowned Shimanto River, as well as in the love and care that has been put into the various local foods from the mountain (chestnuts, tea, etc.) and river (sweetfish, eel, etc.) served by the passionate staff that work there.

Roadside Station Otsuki

   Otsuki Town, located at the most western edge of Shikoku Island, is a treasure trove of nature. The town is famous for its sublime and beautiful scenery of granite and coral, and is considered a mecca of marine sports. Popular experiences are sea cruising, snorkeling and sea kayaking.

Roadside Station Konoka

   Roadside Station Konoka stands along National Road No.194 leading to Saijo City, Ehime Prefecture. It is an excellent station for drivers traveling to Ehime and is also a good starting point for climbers because it is surrounded by the Shikoku mountain range.

Roadside Station Bios Ogata

   Bios Ogata is located in Ukibuchi, Kuroshio Town, and it takes about two and a half hours by car from Kochi City. “Hinataya Market” and “Restaurant Hinataya” are two must-see locations in the roadside station.

Kinkon Tosanikki ④

A series of four-panel comics called Kinkon Tosanikki appears in the evening edition of the local Kochi Shimbun newspaper.

Kochi’s other 16 roadside stations

1. Osugi   see map
TEL: 0887-72-1417
Location: Otoyo Town, 15 minutes from Otoyo Interchange.
Characteristics: Near Osugi, one of the oldest trees in Kochi. The udon here is delicious!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Preparing for the Nankai Earthquake ③

Emergency supplies for evacuation and supplies for life in a shelter

Lifestyle Information ③ - Using a Taxi

   In the banquet season now when you have more opportunities to go out for drinks and may use a taxi more often, how do you pick one out of all the vehicles waiting for passengers downtown? There are two types of taxis that are usually running through the city. One is Kogata (small) and the other is Chugata (middle).

Let’s Make Kochi More International

Expat Column No.17
By Douglas Eric Marsalis, Owner, Chef and Manager of The Delta Blues Cafe from America

2009 Tosa-ben Musical
   I came to Japan in 2005 with the thought that I would stay just one year and go home soon after. Six years later, I am still here. I am sure that many of you find something special about Kochi just like I do such as the kind people, good food and the great culture that makes this area unique. That is why I have decided to make it my home.

Sunset Snowmen

   Have you ever seen a gigantic snowman out beyond the sea? During the winter season in Kochi Prefecture, from around the middle of November to the middle of February, you can see the sunset make a silhouette of a snowman near Cape Ashizuri and Cape Muroto.

Let’s play in the snow!

   There are not many winter-related sports in Kochi, but that does not mean you can not appreciate the snow during the winter! In northern Kochi’s Reihoku region, the snow falls freely during the winter, and if you are brave enough to drive up there you can see it for yourself. It takes about an hour and a half to get there from Kochi City. Make sure you bring snow tires!

Avocado Hot Pot

Ingredients (4 Servings):
 ・ 2 avocados
 ・ Assorted vegetables as desired


 ・ 1 avocado 
   ・ 700ml consome
 ・ 700ml milk
 ・ 1/2 box (5 servings worth) cream stew roux

Monday, December 19, 2011

Lunch Passport Part Deux

Due to popular demand, the Lunch Passport, which I have previously written about, is back!
Purchase this book for 990 yen and you can enjoy lunch at participating shops usually priced 700-1000 yen for just 500 yen. This time around, the area is limited to just Kochi City, but there are still over 60 restaurants you can explore.
It seems that numbers of these books for sale are already running low, so you’d better go find one quick! There may be some left at local bookstores, TSUTAYA, combinis and supermarkets.
A third Lunch Passport with an expanded area is also in the works, scheduled to be published sometime in spring.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Events in Kochi

“2011 Kochi Castle Glittering of Winter”
Enjoy a holy night with your family, boyfriend or girlfriend and friends surrounded by glittering illumination at Kochi Castle!
 ★Christmas Illumination
 ★Food Stands
 ★Mini Concerts
 ★Christmas Gifts (visitors of the Kaitokukan Palace by lottery)
Date: Friday, Dec 23rd-Sunday, Dec 25th (17:00-21:00 Last Entry to the Kaitokukan Palace at 20:30)
Location: Kochi Castle (1-2-1 Marunouchi, Kochi City)
Admission: 400 yen (over 18), Free (17+under)
Inquiries: Kochi Castle Park Management Center
Tel: 088-824-5701
Website (Japanese):

80th Anniversary Celebration of Ryugadou Cave “Christmas Candle Night”
This is the very first candle lighting event in Ryugadou Cave. You will see a fantastic collaboration between the primeval cave and candle lights!
 ★Candle Decorations
 ★Night Cafe
 ★Candle Making Class
 ★Mini Concerts
Date: Saturday, Dec 24th (18:00-21:00 Last entry to the Cave at 20:30)
Location: Ryugadou Cave (1405-3 Sakagawa, Tosayamada Town, Kami City)
Admission: 500 yen (over 16), Free (15+under)
Inquiries: Ryugadou Conservation Group Gururi
Tel: 0887-52-1032
Website (Japanese):

KUT +illumination presents “Xmas Event’ 11”
KUT students host this illumination event, aiming to interact with the locals. The theme of this year is “PEACE”, as about 30 thousand LED lights are on display to wish you all the peace and happiness.
 ★Candle Art on Campus
 ★Events by KUT students and laboratories (Movies, Planetarium, Electric Lab and Christmas Concerts)
 ★KUT students and the locals Cooperation Events (Paper-bag Art and Food Stands)
Date: Friday, Dec 23rd (17:00-22:00)
Location: Kochi University of Technology (185 Miyanokuchi, Tosayamada Town, Kami City)
Inquiries: KUT +illumination
Tel: 0887-53-1111

“A Tropical Christmas in Conservatory” in The Kochi Prefectural Makino Botanical Garden
Why don’t you spend a tropical Christmas in the warm conservatory while it is cold outside?
 ★Christmas Tree made of Poinsettias
 ★Decorating Christmas Plants and Flowers
 ★Plant Ornaments
Date: Friday, Dec 23rd-Sunday, Dec 25th (9:00-17:00)
Location: The Kochi Prefectural Botanical Garden (4200-6 Godaisan, Kochi City)
Admission: 700 yen (over 19), Free (18+under)
Inquiries: The Kochi Prefectural Botanical Garden
Tel: 088-882-2601
Website (Japanese):

Posted by R.I

Midori no Mercado

    The market, named in a mix of Japanese and Spanish meaning “Green Market”, contains local vegetables, delicious international food, and a wide variety of unique international and local handicrafts. Located in lush natural surroundings, locals and visitors alike are welcomed into a European style open marketplace with promises of unique finds with each new visit.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Let’s make your own Buckwheat noodle for New Year’s Eve!

Buckwheat noodle ‘’soba’’

   Many people love noodles and so do I! In Japan, soba noodle is made of buckwheat and is one of the favorites for people of all ages. Soba noodles are of darker brown color and thinner than wheat noodles such as Udon. In Japan, the unique custom is that Japanese people eat soba at home on New Year’s Eve. This traditional soba noodle dish is called Toshikoshi-Soba, meaning year-passing soba.