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Kusatsu (草津市, Kusatsu-shi) is a city located in Shiga Prefecture, Japan. The city was founded on October 15, 1954.


JR Kusatsu Station east gate
JR Kusatsu Station east gate
Flag of Kusatsu
Location of Kusatsu in Shiga Prefecture
Location of Kusatsu in Shiga Prefecture
Kusatsu is located in Japan
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 35°1′N 135°58′E / 35.017°N 135.967°E / 35.017; 135.967Coordinates: 35°1′N 135°58′E / 35.017°N 135.967°E / 35.017; 135.967
PrefectureShiga Prefecture
 • MayorWataru Hashikawa
 • Total67.82 km2 (26.19 sq mi)
 (October 2016)
 • Total139,832
 • Density2,100/km2 (5,300/sq mi)
 • TreeSweet Osmanthus
 • FlowerAobana (Commelina communis L. var. hortensis Makino)
Time zoneUTC+9 (JST)
City hall address3-13-30, Kusatsu, Kusatsu-shi, Shiga-ken

As of 2016, the city has an estimated population of 139,832 and a population density of 2,100 persons per km². The total area is 67.82 km².



1920 21,990—    
1930 24,190+10.0%
1940 26,483+9.5%
1950 32,755+23.7%
1960 35,022+6.9%
1970 46,409+32.5%
1980 77,012+65.9%
1990 94,767+23.1%
2000 115,455+21.8%
2010 130,874+13.4%
2015 137,327+4.9%
Source: [1]

In the Edo era, Kusatsu developed as a junction shukuba of Tōkaidō and Nakasendō, Kusatsu-juku. The city and its adjoining city Rittō are still an important traffic junction of southern Shiga; Biwako Line, Kusatsu Line, Meishin Expressway, Shin-Meishin Expressway, Japan National Route 1 and Japan National Route 8. Kusatsu is a regional commercial center next to the capital, Ōtsu.

Kusatsu can be reached from Kyoto within 30 minutes by travelling by train on the Biwako Line. The heart of the city mostly comprises large new apartment blocks and many people chose to live there due to the ease of commuting to work in central Kansai such as Kyoto and Osaka. For similar reasons, there are several business hotels, love hotels and hotels catering for weddings around Kusatsu. Ritsumeikan University of Kyoto has a subcampus in Kusatsu.


There is the Lake Biwa Museum related to the natural history of Lake Biwa located within the city and close to a bridge over the lake, and the Mizunomori Water Botanical Garden features extensive displays of lotus plants.

The city is often confused with Kusatsu, Gunma Prefecture, which is a famous hot spring resort. There is even an imitation of the Gunma Kusatsu hot spring in the local public bath house.

International relationsEdit

Twin towns – Sister citiesEdit

Kusatsu is twinned with:

Huge lotus pond bloom in summer at Karasuma Peninsula in Kusatsu.
Historical site of Kusatsu-juku.

External linksEdit