Kochi city

Mar. 22nd, 2017 01:11 pm
[personal profile] cycleboy1957
Having left our previous lodgings we tried visiting the Monet Garden here. "Monet?" you ask. Well, we visited Monet's garden in France last year, which included a Japanese garden. The house was also full of Japanese art. Monet was a big fan, it seems. That said, I'm not quite sure of the connection with Shikoku, but there is a Monet garden here too. Sadly, though, it turned out to be closed on Tuesdays. Who'd have thought? We certainly hadn't. So, we drove up to Kochi.

En route, we stopped for coffee and cake in a restaurant overlooking a rather wild sea. Then to Katsura-hama, a beach near Kochi where the national hero, Sakamoto, loved to spend time. It's a wild bit of coastline. Whether anyone swam in the old days, but you are strongly advised not to these days.

Sakamoto was a local lad, born in the mid-1800s. As a low class Samurai, he became disenchanted with the rigid hierarchy of the day. Also, while practicing martial arts in Tokyo (then called Edo) he witnessed the arrival of Commander Perry in his US war ships. Along with many others, Sakamoto was shocked to realise just how backward Japan was in comparison to the 'West'. He then conspired with others to change the system. Though they succeeded, Sakamoto himself was assassinated before the old Shogunate gave way to a more modern form of government. However, he is still remembered as a national hero.



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