Kochi, on Shikoku Island, is quite rural. In fact, 85% of the prefecture is covered in forests. This lush, green area is perfect for adventurers and is famous for exciting outdoor activities. Shirahama Beach is popular for swimming and surfing. From Cape Muroto you can go on whale-watching cruises or walk the trails for unparalleled views from the rocky cliffside. Kochi City, the prefectural capital, is small and casual with a welcoming atmosphere, historic sites, a feudal era castle and it was the hometown of Sakamoto Ryoma. Sakamoto-san played an important role in the transition from the Edo to Meiji eras. Inland you can enjoy hundreds of kilometres of camping, canoeing and kayaking along the Shimanto-gawa, one of the only natural, undammed rivers in Japan. There are many beautiful temples in the mountains, valleys and towns of Kochi, and they are all a part of the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage, otherwise known as the Hachijuhakasho.