Home > Tours > Kochi > Kochi Highlights Private Day Tour with local guide

Kochi Highlights Private Day Tour with local guide

Come experience the wonders of Japan’s South on a full day Kochi tour!


Located on the Pacific coast of central Kochi in Shikoku, this 6-hour tour takes in Kochi City with local guides and public transport. Kochi is a historic city that has prospered as a center of econmic prosperity and culture since the 17th and again the 19th centuries, and made great contributions to the Meiji Restoration, including Ryoma Sakamoto and Mitsubishi Seika of the three largest Japanese corporate powerhouses. It is a town full of enterprising spirits, and this tradition continues today.


① Kochi Castle (9:15 -10:45)
This tour first visits Kochi Castle after leaving the hotel. Kochi Castle, also known as "the best castle on the Nankaido (road)," is a symbol of Kochi City. Currently, there are only 12 castles from the pre-Edo period in Japan, with Kochi Castle being one of the most impressive, with a great view of the city from the top. The current main tower was rebuilt in August 1747. The greatest feature of Kochi Castle is that unlike other castles, the main tower was not just used for military purposes but also housed the lords.


② Hirome Market (10:50-11:40)
Next to Kochi Castle we find lunch time at Hirome Market. "Hirome Market" is a large hall with food stalls from around 40 various restaurants, plus souvenir shops and other shops. Perhaps you will enjoy some of the famous “Katsuo no Tataki,” which is seared bonito fish. It is recommended that you put salt and sliced ​​garlic on it before tasting. Do enjoy the local foods unique to Kochi.
<Boarding time of bus>
11:53 (Harimaya Bridge) → 12:12 (Makino Botanical Garden)
12:53 (Harimaya Bridge) → 13:12 (Makino Botanical Garden)

2294aaabbfddcbaecce5d85ee6a81b6389a8e21d.JPG③ Makino Botanical Gardens (13:15-14:30)
After lunch, take a tour bus and visit the Makino Botanical Garden. The Makino Botanical Garden, located at the summit of Godaiyama, Kochi, was opened in 1958 to honor the achievements of Dr. Tomitaro Makino, the "father of Japanese plant taxonomy" from Kochi Prefecture. About 3,000 hectares, including wild plants related to the doctor, color the four seasons in the approximately 6 hectares of the garden, making it one of Japan's leading integrated botanical gardens where you can feel the joy of meeting plants in nature.

2061bf772d49327bc43c643a0c5b7ba523011853.jpg④ Chikurinji Temple (14:30-14:55)
After being healed by plants, we will visit the famous temple of Tosa, Chikurinji. Chikurinji Temple, adjacent to the Makino Botanical Garden, prospered greatly due to the devotion of the Tosa lord, and monk disciples gathered, becoming the center of Tosa culture as a study temple. Many works of great importance have come out of this place, and there is a “secret” Buddha that is only shown to the public once every 50 years. Further, the five-storied pagoda built in the precinct is the only one in Kochi Prefecture, and the tower contains stupas solicited from Bodh Gaya, India.
<Boarding time of bus>
15:01 (Chikurinji Temple) → 15:19 (Harimaya Bridge)


・Architectural collection at Kochi Castle, one of the few existing installations in Japan of this grandeur and scale.
・Lunch time at Hirome Market, where fresh seafood and local foods are available.
・A walk about the Makino Botanical Garden, where you can enjoy about 3,000 kinds of colorful flowers and trees.
・The five-story pagoda of beautiful Chikurinji.


・Please join us wearing shoes that are easy to walk in because you will walk the mountain paths.
・Tour duration can be extended at a rate of 6,000 yen per group, per hour, payable in cash.
・During the peak travel seasons of March, April, and October, please be aware that there will be an additional charge of 2,000 yen per person for the tour.

  Price ¥16,000

¥16,000 for 2 persons or more
¥32,000 for solo tourist
¥10,000 for children(Age 5 -12)
Free of charge for children(Age under 4)

  Duration 6.5 hours
  Hours of availability

Start Time: 9:00
Ending Time: 15:30
※ Flexible


English Guide / Hotel pick up & drop off / One-day bus ticket / Entrance Fee / Tax


Food & drinks

  Participants 1〜8 people

Reviews (30)


Highly Recommend

I had an amazing time on this tour. I have actually been living in Kochi for a little while but taking a tour to really get to learn about the area seemed like a good idea. The guides were really friendly and spoke excellent English. They were able to answer all of my questions and could translate information that was provided in Japanese. I never felt rushed during the tour and I was able to see everything I wanted to, take pictures, eat snacks herr and therr and if I had wanted to get ice cream, and explore some on my own. They even gave us fans since the temperature was so hot. If there is a place nearby that you are interested in the guides will take you to it as well if time allows them to. When we went to the botanical gardens the guide was very knowledgable on the plant names and what they could be used for. They had a super friendly attitude so we laughed and talked the whole time making the experience that much better. As I said in the title I highly recommend. I don't think you could find nicer people to show you around.


Like being shown around by a friend! 100% worth it

Me and my two friends went on this tour with Madoka and Ryo and had an excellent time! Unlike other tours which are often really rushed, this one gave us the perfect amount of time in each location. The locations themselves were also a good diverse range of things involving Kochi culture, nature, and food.
Our tour guides were extremely knowledgeable and good at English and answered any of our questions about the places we visited and Kochi itself. They were also very flexible and showed us a cafe and souvenir market for when it started to rain. It felt more like friends showing us around than a tour!
Having a local show you around and give you insight on sightseeing spots is 100% worth it! I highly recommend this tour for sightseeing in Kochi.


An excellent tour full of interesting information!

This was a thoroughly enjoyable experience! The guides knew the area well, and I was able to learn a lot about its history. The pace was very relaxed, allowing plenty of time to ask questions and take pictures. I never felt rushed through anything, which was a nice change, and there was also never really a time where I just sat around waiting, either. The guides had many interesting stories and bits of information they disseminated along the way, and I really enjoyed learning about the architecture of Kochi Castle. The Makino Botanical Garden was especially impressive, and I was able to learn of many things I'd never think to ask about. The hospitality of the guides was great and kept our spirits high, despite the inclement weather. They were very friendly and open to conversation. If you'd like to know more about Kochi, I definitely recommend this tour.

Donna Danish(USA)★★★★★

What a wonderful day!

We were welcomed in Kochi by a great group of drummers. We were so lucky to have had a Madoka as our tour guide!!! What a wonderful day! Thank you. Madoka!!



We met Madoka at the bus station where we were dropped off by our cruise ship shuttle bus. We had a fantastic walking tour with her and she is just a wealth of information about Kochi. We enjoyed the castle, market, gardens, observation deck and especially the Chikurinji Temple. Communications prior to the tour were excellent! I would highly recommend using this company if you plan to visit Kochi. This was a much more pleasant and personalized tour than you would get if booking with a cruise ship!! Request Madoka, if you can. She is an absolutely lovely person to spend your day with!!

Molly Anderson(USA)★★★★★

Visit to Kochi

We had a lovely day in Kochi with Yoshiro. We visited 4 separate sites, taking a cab from the ship and from one site to the next. Yoshiro has excellent information and handled the different needs of our group beautifully. We had a wonderful tour!

Molly Anderson(USA)★★★★★

Learned so much about Kochi

We had a great tour of Kochi. We wanted something different than the usual crush ship tours. We were so lucky. Kumiko was outstanding. She provided a great walking tour with insights to the evolution of the country, people and culture. If you have a chance to see the true Kochi, find Kumiko. We wished she could or would have provided tours on the other 13 cities we visited. Kumiko speaks clear and excellent English. We were never rushed and impressed with her insights to the shopping, cultural sites and people. We compared notes with the people on the ship who took the cruise ship tour and found Kumiko covered so much more. The experiences on the trains and Streets were great. Thank you Komiko.

Daniel MacDonald(USA)★★★★★

Surprise, but Delighted

Surprised, but delighted, sums up our day trip in Kochi, Japan. Our private tour was by public transportation; that was the surprise. I must read what I am buying more closely. The Celebrity Millennium had transportation directly to the Kochi bus terminal where we met our English speaking guide, Kumiko. She was delightful. She took us to Kochi Castle, Hirome Ichiba, the Kochi Prefectural Makino Botanical Garden, the Chikurinji Temple, and Godaisan Park. We had a wonderful noodle lunch. Transportation added to our cultural experience. We also did a lot of walking, but it was enjoyable. Kumiko was a wonderful guide who spoke English well. She was knowledgeable, friendly, well-prepared, energetic, and fun to be with. Our day was full and went by quickly. The tour was a delight. We were returned to the bus terminal in plenty of time to return to our ship. Kumiko is definitely a five star guide.

Rosie Moloney(Australia)★★★★★

Enough time to soak in the vibes

I feel like we did so much on our tour today yet we didn't feel rushed at any stage. The places that we went to were a great blend of history and culture. We also had a chance to really soak in the Kochi lifestyle which seems so different to so many other places in Japan. People are truly more relaxed and friendly. Hirome ichiba must be one of the friendliest places in Kochi and the walking through the market made me wish I had an apartment with a kitchen so I could buy all the ingredients and go home and cook. Makino gardens is somewhere I really want to go back to one day. You can see that it must change so much from season to season. I love the way it is designed to allow people to relax in as well. Having the temple so close is amazing. So much to see in terms of scenery and so much to see in terms of the local people living their everyday lives. We loved listening to the monks chanting as the taiko boomed from the temple. So ambient. Our guide Madoko san was really friendly and knowledgeable about history but also of course, local life. She lives there in Kochi so it was great to have someone we could ask so many questions to. It was a great day.

Matt Hall(Canada)★★★★★

Amazing day around Kochi

The tour was fantastic. It starts at the gates of Kochi castle which are a marvel on their own. The sheer size of them is truly impressive. The hustle and bustle of the market where we ate lunch is so different from anything we have at home. You can choose from 40 or 50 restaurants and take your meal to a table in the center of it all. But the highlight of the trip for me was the botanical gardens. The bio dome filled with tropical plants and flowers is well worth it and the views of Kochi city from the top are as good as it gets.

Cheryl Appleby(Canada)★★★★★

Must excursion

Great full day excursion. Beautiful gardens and castles to see among other wonderful sights and tastes in Kochi. Our guide, Choco, was super. Dressed up as a ninja!

Jan Willis (USA)★★★★★

Perfect shore excursion tour in Kochi!

Shoko was an amazing guide! We loved our tour of beautiful Kochi and it was made so much better because Shoko was our guide! She was so enthusiastic, authentic and very interesting. We learned so much and enjoyed the delicious seared bonito with her at a local market. By the end of the day we felt like we were saying goodbye to an old friend! I would encourage anyone looking for a day tour of Kochi to go with Shoko!

Leslie Nathan(USA)★★★★★

Fun day in Kochi!

We had a wonderful time in Kochi seeing many sites including the Makino Botanical Gardens, the Chikurin-ji Shrine, Hiram’s Market and Kochi Castle. Our guide was great and took good care of us. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit!

Suzanne Horne(USA)★★★★★

Loved our ninja guide!

Our ninja guide Shoko was amazing! She was fun, knowledgeable and spoke great English. She guided our group of 8 through the beautiful botanical gardens, shine and Kochi castle with ease.. We had fun going to the local food hall to pick out unique things for our picnic in the park. It was a wonderful day thanks to Shoko!


Lovely day in Kochi

We had a lovely tour of Kochi, and our guide, Yuriko, could not have been better! We were able to see many beautiful sights, and Yuriko's charming nature and knowledgeable enhanced the day.

Michelle Westwood(USA)★★★★★

Beautiful Kochi with a beautiful guide! 10/10

From the moment we booked the tour was well organised with excellent communication. Yuriko was waiting as promised at the port and was so helpful and fun and lovely. She took us to a ramen restaurant on request that we really enjoyed. We saw so many sights and Yuriko helped us to buy souvenirs and play some arcade games. A wonderful day and kochi was stupendously beautiful.
Thank you Yuriko!

Baroukh Levi(USA)★★★★

Guide was lovely

Lunch at the food market, tuna grill, Botanical garden flowering. Lovely guide went out of her way to make our experience memorable.

Mary Haefling(USA)★★★★★

A great day in Kochi despite the rainy weather!

Kumiko was our best guide in Japan! We loved her enthusiasm and she knew all the highlights of Kochi! She had us dancing, eating the best local food, guiding us through the castles and shopping streets and even setting up a special tea service. We loved our time in Kochi with Kumiko. While it was heavy rain the day we visited we were all talking about how much fun we had when we made it back to our cruise ship. We highly recommend this tour and the city of Kochi! What a beautiful place to visit!

Julie Taylor(UK)★★★★★

Best tour of beautiful Kochi

Our guide, Shoko, met us at the cruise terminal dressed as a ninja and that set the tone for a really fun day. I had explained that we had a couple of people in the group that might have some problems with stairs and walking fast. Shoko took this into account and was very attentive and understanding. She even thoughtfully provided binoculars so they could see those of us who climbed to the top of the castle waving at them! As an unexpected bonus we had ‘Hanami’ under the Cherry Blossoms. The garden at the start of the tour was delightful. Throughout the tour we never felt rushed and the whole day was relaxing and very good fun. Shoko even took photographs throughout the day which she sent us a link to. This was by far the best tour we have had in Japan. If you are lucky enough to have Shoko as your guide I can guarantee a fun, informative day.

Jodi Ratica(USA)★★★★★

Great way to see Kochi in a day!

Our guide, Aya, was a great guide. She was very knowledgeable and Kochi. She had all the schedules for the trip planned out in advance so we were able to see everything on the agenda.

Lauren Haefling(USA)★★★★★

Great day in Kochi with Kumiko

Kumiko was an excellent guide. She was so much fun and showed us so many hidden sights in Kochi. She was always smiling and had such a good attitude all day long. We really enjoyed all the planning Komodo did before hand so we could maximize our limited time in Kochi. I highly recommend this tour!

Ming-te Chen(USA)★★★★★

Excellent experience in touring Kochi

This is the best tour we have had in all our travel experiences. Akiko contacted us before the trip to make sure we know the meeting place. Since we arrived the meeting place early, Akiko came early to meet us. She speaks very good English. We went to botanical garden and castle. We are so fortunate to have her as guide. We will definitely use her again if we come back to Kochi.

Malcolm Allen(Australia)★★★★★

Great day in Kochi

We had a great day with Aya albeit it was dampened somewhat by the inclement weather. Aya was very informative and adapted to our needs (and the weather) during our tour. Aya also took lots of photos during the tour and shared them with us, which was a lovely gesture and very much appreciated. The tour organisers Omakase were also very professional and communicated well with us during the planning process. We would recommend Aya and Omakase to anyone considering a tour to Kochi and other parts of Japan.

David Cockroft (UK)★★★★★

Brilliant day tour catered to your requirements

Fantastic day in Kochi, with our guide Norio. The day was tailored around us and Norio was very knowledgable. Thoroughly recommend this tour!

Dennis Cheever(USA)★★★★★

A Splendid Day in Kochi with Rimo, our Delightful Guide

Rimo was a splendid guide and more than met our expectations. We met her at the Kochi Harimayabashi station. With day passes for the trams/buses in hand, we headed off to the Makino Botanical Garden & Chikurin-ji Temple, then on to Kochi Castle for leisurely strolls, filled with lively conversation. With mist beginning we diverted to the walking shopping area and found a typical local restaurant for a late lunch followed by a for fun tram ride. Rimo was very attuned to our interests, an because she is fluent in English, we enjoyed wonderful conversations with her. Our experience was like visiting a friend in her hometown -- a delightful and unrushed day in Kochi...Just what we wished for!

Brenda Gold(USA)★★★★★

We had a wonderful day...

We had a wonderful day with Tomoko. She met us at the shuttle bus station and took us to the beautiful Makino botanical gardens. From there we went to a fabulous restaurant for Sushi , did some local shopping, walked through the fish market and then went to Kochi Castle. She is extremely knowledgeable and personable and we really loved our day with her. Highly recommend!!

Peter STRASCHKO(Australia)★★★★★

A Brilliant tour of Kochi with Kumiko

Our guide Kumiko was excellent, her english clear and easy to understand, she was always smiling, very enthusiastic & a lot of fun.
We traveled around by bus (unusual, tickets paid for by Kumiko ) visiting the Makino Botanical Garden. Chikuriniji Temple, Hirome Market and finishing with a spot of Yosakoi dancing! All organised perfectly & with a delicious lunch to try Kochi specialties. Kumiko also took great pictures of us throughout the day which she emailed to us later. Perfect day!

Valerie Paterson(UK)★★★★★

Wonderful tour

We had a thoroughly good day if a bit of a wet one!!!! Kiyo was a great guide and took us to many places around Kochi and we got to experience using the teams and buses in the area. We went to a cafe also and had wonderful cakes and coffee. A lovely day and one I would highly recommend!

Barbara Lee (Canada)★★★★★

Absolutely outstanding tour with Amazing guides!

Our tour was in April, we took a shuttle bus from the cruise ship terminal into Kochi where we were greeted by our 4 wonderful guides. ( we were a group of 18) Kazuyo, Kumiko, Shoko and Eri ( who came with our guides to help out), they were absolutely amazing! These ladies were very knowledgeable, kind, caring, tentative and very well organized!

Our large group was split into 3 smaller groups. Even though we all travelled to see the same things at the same time, we were spaced far enough apart so as not to hear what each tour guide was saying. We explored the area using public transportation which was looked after by our guides. These ladies introduced us to the history, culture and traditions of Kochi.There were many interesting stories told to us about the area which was very interesting. All of these ladies took the time to answer any questions we had.

Our group stopped for lunch at a local traditional Japanese restaurant, the food was outstanding.
Throughout our tour we never felt rushed, it was a pleasant pace which gave us time to truly enjoy the beautiful sites of Kochi.
After our tour was over, we were guided back to the shuttle bus for our return to the cruise ship.

I highly recommend each of these ladies as a tour guide.
Thank you so much, Kazuyo, Kumiko, Shoko and Eri for a wonderful experience!

Thomas Christian(USA)★★★★★

Kochi with Kumiko

Kumiko our guide was amazing! She greeted us at our pick up with a bubbly smile and burst of energy waiting to show us Kochi.
We did everything by bus and walking-lots of steps everywhere but we couldn’t miss Kochi Castle or the Botanical Gardens. Kumiko knows her history and lots of little known facts that we enjoyed hearing and never would have heard about on our own.
Our favorite part of the day was eating at an authentic Japanese restaurant with her-she made ordering easy and it was a great experience.
When you have only 6 hrs on a cruise stop this is the way to see Kochi!!!

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