Kochi-Shinko opening its door to the world

On a sunny mid-morning of March at the downtown tourist bus terminal, about 10 people wearing yellow-green vest with the word “Staff” across the front are walking around and checking various lists again and again. Suddenly, they check their watches, swallow hard and ready their perfect beautiful smiles for the arrival of the long-awaited tourists. Continue reading Kochi-Shinko opening its door to the world

The Embassy of Kochi: Katsuo-Guesthouse

Everyone around the table is smiling and laughing. This evening, three young female backpackers are just back from sightseeing, and naturally join in at the small table. They are like a big family, and the center of this family is Maki, the proprietress of Katsuo-Guesthouse.

“Welcome back from your trip”, says Maki. “Where did you go? I heard you would go to…” Continue reading The Embassy of Kochi: Katsuo-Guesthouse

How to enjoy your stay in Kochi


A hotel guest is welcomed by a room with a strange culture of taking shoes off, and a big surprise comes into view – there are many ‘tatami mats’ on the floor. Tatami mats are commonly used in Japanese ‘washitsu’, and are made of straw and rush, and consists of a thick base and a soft, smooth surface that covers the base. Washitsu is a Japanese style room with tatami mats in the ryokan (Japanese-style hotel). The main difference between a hotel and a ryokan is that a ryokan has a certain number of washitsu. A hotel guest may wonder why there are no beds in the room as there are only two folding chairs and table at the centre of the room upon entering. In all awe, the staff continues to explain where the yukata (casual summer wear in Japan) is, what time dinner time is, and the facilities available within the ryokan. Continue reading How to enjoy your stay in Kochi