Otsu, Japan

Country: Japan

Language: Japanese

Prefecture: Shiga

Population: 327,479

Mayor: Naomi Koshi

Sister City Since: 1968

Otsu is located on Japan’s main island of Honshu, a mere 10 minutes by train from Kyoto. It is situated on beautiful Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest freshwater lake. Lake Biwa is in the center of Shiga prefecture, and is a site of significant relevance to the Japanese tourism industry. Sightseeing tours in Lake Biwa usually last several hours and give tourists the opportunity to swim and take long strolls while taking in the majestic scenery.

Otsu was the capitol of Japan some 1,300 years ago before the capitol was moved to Kyoto, but today it remains the capitol of Shiga prefecture. Otsu is a center of Japanese Buddhism and is well-known for the Enryaku-ji Temple on Mt. Hiei.