Many people venture to Godaison (五台山) to enjoy a scenic view of Kochi, but there are other beautiful ‘night views’ (yakei) hidden amongst Kochi’s green hills. Hitsuzan Park (筆山公園), not far from Kochi’s downtown, is one such place.
To the casual passer-by, Hitsuzan looks like little more than a small hill curled up beside a baseball stadium and a pair of temples. While riding my scooter toward the summit, I noticed how quiet it was beneath the canopy of trees.
First, I passed what seemed to be an unused hotel just to the side of the road and stopped to take a few photos as the sun was setting. Aside from one friendly black and white cat, there seemed to be no one else around.
I continued up past the Hitsuzan Cultural Centre and Hostel where I had had the pleasure of attending a small cultural festival this past fall. There were food stalls run by local vendors, a few performers, and various handicrafts for sale. Now that it was spring, there was sakura blooming nearby and was the first place I had seen sakura blooming this spring. The ones near Kochi Castle were still green and tightly closed.
Next, I came across a cemetery set into the side of the hill. I continued higher and eventually came to the park at the top of the hill. There was only one empty car parked there. As I sat on one of the benches near the edge of the hill, the river and city lights glimmered in the pinkish-red light of the setting sun. It was a great place to unwind alone while enjoying the fresh spring air. In fact, it could be the perfect spot for a date and a quiet romantic evening too.
Hitsuzan Park is one of Kochi’s many hidden beauties. If you happen to be in Kochi and are interested in enjoying a wonderful night view that is easily accessible, be sure to stop by!