Our trip to Kochi was partly accidental; it started with a flat tire that I needed to replace. Kochi was the largest city around, we had thought about going earlier, and I knew there would be an open tire shop there if we hurried.
The local >Autobacs was indeed open, so while I negotiated for a pair of Dunlops, Nam used my laptop to look for a good hotel online. We stayed in the Comfort Hotel (related to the comfort Inn chain) in front of Kochi Station, which I would link except that their air conditioning really sucks (I think this is a large factor in how they keep their prices down), and this is an unforgivable sin in the heat of the Japanese summer. They are a new hotel and a deluxe double went for 8,000 yen, so I might try staying there in the spring or fall.
Anyhow, we checked into the hotel and went looking for a likely place to eat and wind down. Lo and behold, there was a little robata-yaki place next to our hotel, where you are served by the hosts with a long wooden paddle. The food was excellent – local and fresh.
Story continued in the extended entry…
I knew I would sleep well after trying a couple bottles of the local sake and a few cold ones.
I woke the next day to inspiring poetry written on the refrigerator door. Thus, reminded, I did remember to remove my residue and was careful not to spill the bong water, either.
A nice printed-foam cup of coffee provided further amusement…
As did a T-shirt selling at the covered market nearby…
And a nearby office buiding.
We passed a stall where they were grilling unagi (eels). It smelled really good, but it was a bit early in the morning for such hearty fare.
This crossing guard waved his magic wand at us, which emitted a high pitched melody from its tip and made us do his bidding. I was really jealous of that wand.
Next, we entered another shotengai (covered shopping arcade) where a local fish shop was putting on an exhibition, cutting up a whole tuna.
The ritualistic carving drew quite a crowd, and my man was skilled with the blade.
Next, we were lucky to stumble on to a dance exhibition in the shotengai, with dance troupes blending traditional Japanese, Chinese, and Korean dances with modern dance steps.
The Japanese dance troupe:
Nice costumes, but the dancers weren’t well-coordinated IMHO.
The Chinese dance troupe:
The Chinese dance blended modern dance steps with a wushu accent – spinning kicks, reverse punches, and circular blocking moves. They had the most coordinated routine and inspired dancers.
An old drunk guy dressed in a traditional samue invites one of the dancers over for a nip of something potent.
The Korean troupe:
The Korean dancers bowed to the Buddha. ‘Nuff said.