4 Best Places to Shop in Shikoku, Japan

Hirome Market

The best place to mingle with locals is at the Hirome Market. A few stores at the busy market sell interesting pottery, jewelry, and souvenirs, but everyone's really here for the food. Serving everything from sushi to ramen and fried chicken to curry, the dozens of tiny eateries and food counters have so many delicious dishes that you couldn't try them all in a year. If your chosen spot doesn't have a picture menu, you can always point to someone else's plate across the broad wooden tables. The market is at the western end of the main arcade, close to the castle, about 15 minutes by foot from JR Kochi Station. Look for the mass of bicycles parked around a squat ramen stand beside the entrance, a big orange-and-green sign above the hangar-bay door, and a large crowd of well-fed locals.

Kitahama Alley

The former warehouse district of Kitahama Alley escaped the wrecking ball, and thanks to a cohort of young entrepreneurs it now contains funky shops, craft workspaces, cafés, and a large gallery space. The challenge is finding the place: the salt-blasted wooden and metal buildings look so derelict you might pass by without realizing it. Kitahama Alley is a 10-minute walk from Takamatsu Station. Follow the coastline east past Tamamo Park until a canal cuts back toward the city. You'll see the warehouses on your right. Poke into stores like Depot, which sells funky fashion and home items, and Peeka-Booya, whose baby clothes are likely more fashionable than anything in your own wardrobe. For a quick bite, try the quiche and cake at 206 Tsu Ma Mu.

Omori's Wax Workshop

The highlight of Yokaichi Street is this shop where an elderly gentleman and his sons make distinctive candles by hand. The smaller ones are inexpensive, but the larger are surprisingly costly. This is the largest candle shop in the shopping arcade.

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Sunday Market

Dating back to the late 17th century, this popular weekly market offers a mile of fruits and vegetables, flowers, snacks, and a smattering of crafts. It's not a great place for souvenir shopping, but why not try some yuzu-an in a pastry pocket? This Kochi specialty replaces the red beans often found in desserts with a paste made from the sour yellow yuzu citrus grown in the prefecture. Nichiyo-ichi runs along broad, palm-lined Otetsuji-dori Street from Harimaya Bridge right up to the gates of Kochi Castle. The 300 or so stalls operate from roughly 6 am to 3 pm.

Otetsuji-dori, Kochi, 780-0823, Japan
Shopping Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon.--Sat.