Kusatsu, Shiga

This article is about the city in Shiga Prefecture, Japan. For the town with this name in Gunma Prefecture, see Kusatsu, Gunma.

JR Kusatsu Station east gate


Location of Kusatsu in Shiga Prefecture

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
Country Japan
Region Kansai
Prefecture Shiga Prefecture
  Mayor Wataru Hashikawa
  Total 67.82 km2 (26.19 sq mi)
Population (October 2015)
  Total 137,327
  Density 2,000/km2 (5,200/sq mi)
  Tree Sweet Osmanthus
  Flower Aobana (Commelina communis L. var. hortensis Makino)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
City hall address 3-13-30, Kusatsu, Kusatsu-shi, Shiga-ken
Website www.city.kusatsu.shiga.jp

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

As of 2015, the city has an estimated population of 137,327 and a population density of 2025 persons per km². The total area is 67.82 km².


Historical population
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%

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 a 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 relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Kusatsu is twinned with:

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