Kochi Municipal Ryoma's Birthplace Memorial Museum 龍馬の生まれたまち記念館
The airport is named after him, statues and images of the man are omnipresent around town and, of course, not surprisingly, museums dedicated to Ryoma are in abundance.
The best museum on Ryoma is the Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum out near Katsurahama Beach on the coast, but if you don't have time to take a bus out to the sea, the next best museum on Ryoma is the worthy Kochi Municipal Ryoma's Birthplace Memorial Museum located near the great man's actual birthplace, which is celebrated with a large stone plaque outside Kamimachi Hospital.
The Kochi Municipal Ryoma's Birthplace Memorial Museum recreates the old Kamimachi district of Kochi where Ryoma grew up in the family of lower ranked samurai using video, wall panels and models.
Washi paper dolls, calligraphy and a reconstruction of part of the Sakamoto family home recreate the atmosphere of Ryoma's early life. A time-slip map and a miniature model of Kamimachi at the end of the Edo Period focus on the places associated with his life.
Further exhibits introduce materials associated with Ryoma and the Kaientai (aka Kameyama Shachu) - a shipping company founded by Ryoma in Nagasaki, an important port city in Kyushu, that is seen as a forerunner of the modern Japanese navy.
Visitors to the Kochi Municipal Ryoma's Birthplace Memorial Museum can make use of a free headset and guide with language options in English, Korean and Chinese to navigate the exhibits.
In the inner garden of the museum is a life-size statue of Ryoma sitting on a bench that was installed in 2010. The statue is based on the last photo of Ryoma in the autumn of 1867 before he was assassinated by the Tokugawa secret police in Fushimi, Kyoto in 1867.
Kochi Municipal Ryoma's Birthplace Memorial Museum Access
Kochi Municipal Ryoma's Birthplace Memorial Museum
2-6-33 Kamimachi, Kochi-shi, Kochi 780-0901
Tel: 088 820 1115
Hours: Daily 8am-7pm (last entrance 6.30pm)
Admission: 300 yen for adults; free for school students.