A bronze statue of Sakamoto Ryoma — an Edo-period patriot who brought about the Meiji Restoration — peacefully overlooks the blue Pacific ocean from the picturesque Katsurahama Beach. Although you can't swim here (the currents are too strong), you can wander the shore and visit the nearby Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum.
Unlike most castles in Japan, Kochi Castle is an original and not a restoration. One of 12 castles that survived the feudal period, its historical significance radiates from the walls built in 1601. The castle is a short bus ride or 25-minute walk from the main city station, and it offers of a panoramic view of the city and landscape from its top level.