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Ashizuri Uwakai National Park: Tatsukushi Marine Park & Minokoshi coastal walk 足摺宇和海国立公園: 竜串海岸 & 見残し海岸

Setting & history

The Tatsukushi Marine Park and Minokoshi coast are part of the Ashizuri Uwakai National Park, located 8 kilometers west of the town of Tosashimizu. These areas are renowned for their uniquely shaped rocks—sandstone and mudstone formations dating back 14 to 20 million years, sculpted by wind and water erosion. The ocean surrounding them is rich with coral reefs, and in 1970, this area was designated as Japan’s first National Marine Park. Efforts are also underway to gain official Geopark recognition.

The Walk

While it is possible to go directly to the beach formations from the nearest parking lot, we chose to follow a walk described on the Shikoku Nature Trail map website. Our walk, starting from the Tatsukushi coast, took about 4,5 hours with many stops along the way to take photographs. The trail is 7.2 kilometers one way, making it a 14.5-kilometer round trip.

Most of the walk is rocks and asphalt, except for the forest area of in the Minokoshi Chihiro Peninsula, where we descended and ascended to the beach. Given the uneven terrain of the beach and rock formations, non-slippery walking or hiking boots are recommended. For those who prefer not to hike the entire distance, boat tours are available that provide a brief visit to the peninsula and allow for some exploration on foot.




Lunch at Tatsuya

We arrived just in time for lunch at Tatsuya, a family-run restaurant that closes at 3 p.m. The friendly husband and wife team welcomed us warmly and even served us coffee at the end of our meal. We enjoyed the Katsuo Tataki set meal (seared bonito), which was extensive, tasty, and great value (1100 yen).

Set meal at Tatsuya

Ashizuri Underwater Aquarium (天然ミュージアム・足摺海底館)

After our walk, we visited the Ashizuri Underwater Aquarium (entrance ticket 900 yen p.p). This unique structure, built in 1971, stands 24.3 meters high and is located 54 meters from the coast. Visitors descend a circular staircase to the underwater observatory, where they can view tropical fish swimming through the reef from round windows. The observatory extends 7 meters below the surface, offering a fascinating glimpse into the marine life of the area.

Other activities in the area

Other attractions in the area include the Ashizuri Aquarium (高知県立足摺海洋館 SATOUMI) and the Seashell Gallery (海のギャラリー). For the more adventurous, there are scuba diving opportunities and for the less adventurous, glass-bottom boat trips. In the Visitor Center you can find different brochures and get the info you need.

Practical info

We visited Ashizuri Uwakai National Park as part of our 3 night trip to Cape Ashizuri. Read more about The Mana Village Hotel where we stayed, the walk to the Ashizuri Cape and the visit to Kashiwajima, all in the same Area.

We last visited here on April 2nd 2024.