Kochi may seem expensive to get around because it is so wide, but there are many special services offered that can make getting around cheaper and easier. This page is for traveling around Kochi without a car, with all the tips and tricks you should know!
Noichi Station – Ryoma Airport Taxi
If you are leaving Kochi by plane, there is a flat rate taxi service from Noichi station to the airport for 500 yen per person. You can reserve by email from this site http://www.kochiap.co.jp/taxi/. The green button at the bottom is for reserving from the airport to the station, the blue button is for reserving from the station to the airport. It costs 520 yen to take the train from Kochi station to Noichi station.
Kochi City Bus Programs and Day Passes
For traveling in Kochi City to see some of the best attractions (and get a ride to the beach) the My Yu Bus（MY遊バス） from the Tosa Terrace at Kochi Station offers half price to foreigners who bring their passports. If you are just traveling to the Botanical garden and Godaisan, it costs 300 yen for a day pass after the discount. If traveling to Katsurahama and/or the Ryoma Memorial Museum, it costs 500 yen for a day pass, or 800 yen for a two day pass after the discount. This is a great deal as the regular bus costs 700 yen one way to Katsurahama. The bus ticket also allows you to ride some of the streetcars in Kochi City for free! Link (English Pamphlet)
The bus generally does not run during off season weekdays, but runs holidays, weekends, and the summer. Scroll down the next link for the schedule! https://www.attaka.or.jp/kanko/kotsu_mybus.php#unkoubi
Kochi Streetcar (Romen Densha)
The Kochi Streetcar has a pass that costs 500 yen per day within city limits, and 1000 yen per day for the full route. The city route covers the central city, while the full route goes to Gomen station in Nankoku to the East, and Ino Station in Ino Town to the West. The first trains are generally from 6:30 am, and the last just after 10pm. Specific routes can be checked here http://www.tosaden.co.jp/train/rosenzu.php (click on the station to open its schedule). The day pass can be bought at the Harimaya Service Center, Kochi Station Bus Service Center, Kochi “Tosa Terrace” travel center (located in front of Kochi Station), and also within the street cars themselves. The ticket works by scratching out the day that you are using it on the ticket’s calendar. If you scratch more than one day off, the ticket will become invalid. After that, all you have to do is show the ticket to the driver as you leave the street car.
Local Train Lines
For those of you that live in East Kochi, the Gomen-Nahari line is your only option to get to Kochi city by train. The day pass for the Gomen-Nahari line costs 1670 yen. This means that if you are traveling from Aki station or further, going to and from Kochi city in one day, then the day pass is cheaper. The day pass can be purchased at the Tosa Terrace outside Kochi station, Gomen station, Noichi station, Aki station, Nahari station, and Nakamura Station. It can also be purchased inside the train when a ticket conductor is aboard, but this does not happen all the time. To go to Kochi station, you must also add the cost of the trip from Gomen to Kochi station, totalling 2150 yen for a round trip. Alternatively, you can take the streetcar from Gomen station, and buy its day pass for a total of 2670 yen for unlimited streetcar and Gomen-Nahari line access.
There is also a special three day pass (the Shikoku Migishita 55 Furii Kippu) that costs 5000 yen for unlimited use of the following bus and train lines between Kochi Station and Tokushima Station: Kochi-Gomen-Nahari (Train), Nahari-Muroto-Kannoura (Bus), Kannoura-Kaifu (Train), and Kaifu-Hiwasa-Anan-Tokushima (Train). If you live in Aki and plan travel to Kochi City for 3 consecutive days, this pass will be cheaper than three round trip passes. However, Muroto is really beautiful, and a weekend trip to Tokushima would also make this pass very effective. The Shikoku Migishita 55 Furii Kippu can be purchased at JR Shikoku Ticket Offices, Shikoku Travel Agencies, Sukumo Station, Nakamura Station, Kubokawa Station, Gomen Station, Aki Station, and Nahari Station.
Link (English pamphlet)
For those of you that live in West Kochi, there are three train lines around Kubokawa Station between the Yodo Line which goes to Ehime, the Dosan Line which connects Kochi City to Kagawa, and the Shimanto Kuroshio Line which runs between Kubokawa and Sukumo.
The Shimanto Kuroshio line offers a 500 yen day pass for weekends and holidays only. The tickets can be purchases at Nakamura station, Sukumo Station, Kubokawa Station, Aki Station, Nahari Station, from ticket conductors and drivers on the line itself, and also on the online store. A one way ticket from Sukumo to Kubokawa costs 1360 yen, so this is a fantastic deal.
The Dosan line offers an S kippu, a discounted round trip ticket between two destinations. 2600 yen for a round trip from Kochi to Susaki, and 4900 yen for a round trip from Kochi to Kubokawa station. Similar to this, there is also a round trip option that includes the Kochi City streetcar system city ticket bundled in with the return ticket called the “Kochi Daytrip Street Car Deal/ kochi higaeri romen densha waribiki kippu” which costs 2100 yen from Sakawa, 2720 yen from Susaki, and 5020 yen from Kubokawa including the city streetcar day pass.
Because the Dosan line is a JR line, special ticket deals can be bought at the departure stations, JR Ticket Booths, and Shikoku Travel Agencies. Since JR is linked to most of Japan’s rail network, there are many other sets they offer which include travel around all of Shikoku and leaving Shikoku itself. This link will lead to Shikoku deals, but the green box at the top left will direct you to 本州方面 (honshuuhoumen, towards honshu) and 全商品 (zenshouhin, all deals).
The express buses are a little confusing as multiple companies are involved. There are express bus lines that go farther East and West into Kochi but are not as frequent as those that leave from Kochi City (this is dependent on the bus company). In East Kochi, there are buses that run from Aki to Osaka, and in the far East, there are buses that run from Muroto and Toyo Town to Osaka. In West Kochi, there are buses from Tosa, Susaki, Shimanto, Sukumo and Ashizurimisaki that go to Osaka. When searching for these routes, it is definitely more effective to search specific town names directly (such as “Aki-Destination Bus”). If that does not bring up the results you want, you can then try doing a general search of “Kochi-Destination”.
At https://www.bushikaku.net/ you can search for buses from Kochi Prefecture to the prefecture you want to go to, before refining your search to look for your specific departure town in Kochi and at your destination.
The Japan Bus Pass offered by Willer Express does not require you to have a temporary visitor status when applying, just a foreign passport. http://willerexpress.com/st/3/en/pc/buspass/index.php?aid=184 (Only offers routes on Honshu however)
For more information about highway buses in Japan overall, this website is very helpful https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2366.html
|往復||おうふく oufuku||return (round trip) ticket|
|片道||かたみち katamichi||one way|
|回数券||かいすうけん kaisuuken||multiple ticket booklet|
|～券||～けん –ken||ticket (for example, 往復券 oufuku ken return ticket)|
|フリーきっぷ||furii kippu||“free ticket” (meaning free to ride like a day pass)|
|一日乗車券||いちにちじょうしゃけん ichinichijoushaken||day pass|
Thanks to Aubrey Cameron for contributing this article! (April 2020)