The Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum 坂本龍馬記念館
An ultramodern museum dedicated to a legendary young rebel
Built on the grounds of Urado Castle Park, the Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum is dedicated to one of Japan's most pivotal figures. Though he lived just 31 years, the young samurai's passion for ending the feudal system and modernizing Japan made him a legendary tragic figure.
Sakamoto's life has inspired dozens of movies, animations, TV dramas and songs. The museum introduces you to his world through scrolls, letters, videos, and even a replica of a Smith & Wesson pistol he used to fend off assassins.
Sakamoto Ryoma was born in Kochi and killed by assassins in Kyoto
Below the museum lie pleasant strolling paths, shrines, the Katsurahama Aquarium, and Katsurahama beach
How to Get There
The museum is easy to get to by taxi, bus, or rental bike from Kochi Station. Take the orange Kenkotsu bus bound for Katsurahama and get off at the second-to-last stop, Ryoma Kinenkan Mae.
The man and the myth
The museum holds documents and artifacts from Sakamoto's life, including a replica of the blood-soaked folding screen from the inn where he was murdered. Sakamoto died young, but his actions had a major impact on the Meiji Restoration.
As you pass through the museum, the exhibits lead you toward a majestic full-length window with a view of the ocean below you.
Traces of another pivotal historical figure
Sakamoto and his fellow rebels were fired up by the tales of Nakahama Manjiro, a 14-year-old castaway rescued in 1843 by an American whaling ship. Manjiro became one of the first Japanese people to visit America; he stayed there for almost a decade and came back to tell the country about the United States.
The museum features a copy of the alphabet Manjiro wrote and a recounting of his adventures in America.
Other attractions just a short walk away
Katsurahama beach , the Katsurahama Aquarium, shrines, and shops are close to the museum, which makes this area just outside the city of Kochi a great place for a day out. The beach is reportedly an excellent place for moon viewing, and the aquarium lets you interact with and feed the creatures there.