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大 津市
Geographical location in Japan
Ōtsu (Japan)
Red pog.svg
Region : Kinki
Prefecture : Shiga
Coordinates : 35 ° 1 '  N , 135 ° 51'  E Coordinates: 35 ° 1 '4 "  N , 135 ° 51' 17"  E
Basic data
Surface: 374.06 km²
Residents : 342,175
(October 1, 2019)
Population density : 915 inhabitants per km²
Community key : 25201-8
Flag / coat of arms:
Flag / coat of arms of Ōtsu
Tree : Prunus jamasakura
Flower : Viola eizanensis
Bird : Black-headed gull
town hall
Address : Ōtsu City Hall
13 - 1 , Goryo-chō
Ōtsu -shi
Shiga  520-8575
Website URL: http://www.city.otsu.lg.jp/
Location Ōtsus in Shiga Prefecture
Location Ōtsus in the prefecture

Ōtsu ( Japanese 大 津市 - shi , German large port ) is a city on the south bank of Lake Biwa in Kansai , western Japan . It is the administrative center of Shiga Prefecture .


Ōtsu was under the Tennō Tenji and Kōbun from 667 to 672 as Ōmi-kyō or Ōmi no Miyako ( 近 江 京 , dt. "Capital of Ōmi ") the capital of Japan .

On May 11, 1891, the Ōtsu incident occurred here , when the Russian heir to the throne Nicholas II was attacked with a saber by the police officer Tsuda Sanzo after a day trip to Lake Biwa .

Administrative history

On October 1, 1898, the Chō Ōtsu ( 大 津 町 ) in the Shiga-gun was appointed to Shi. On May 10, 1932 Shiga ( 滋 賀 村 , -mura ), on April 1, 1933 Ishiyama ( 石山 町 , -chō ) and Zeze ( 膳 所 町 , -chō ), on April 1, 1951 Ogata ( 雄 琴 村 , -mura ), Sakamoto ( 坂 本村 , -mura ), Shimosakamoto ( 下 阪 本村 , -mura ) in Shiga-gun, Ōishi ( 大 石村 , -mura ), Shimotanakami ( 下田 上 村 , -mura ) in Kurita-gun, on 1. April 1967 Seta ( 瀬 田 町 , -chō ) in Kurita-gun, Katada ( 堅 田 町 , -chō ) in Shiga-gun and on March 20, 2006 Shiga ( 志 賀 町 , -chō ) in Shiga-gun in Ōtsu. The Shiga-gun was then disbanded.

The first civil center in Japan was established in Ōtsu.

Sights and events


Many important historical temples, above all the Mii-dera and the Ishiyama-dera , but also the Iwama-dera and the charming location on the shores of Lake Biwa make Ōtsu an attractive tourist destination. The Tenji-tennō is venerated in Ōmi-jingū , and there is also a clock museum there. The Enryaku-ji is part of the UNESCO - World Heritage Historic Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) . The Iwai Shrine was founded in the 7th century at the latest.

The Biwa Lake Marathon , one of the oldest and most important marathons in Japan , takes place in Ōtsu on the first Sunday in March .

Famous all over Kansai is the big bivouac fireworks on August 8th each year over the lake with particularly large fireworks.

The Ōtsu- Matsuri takes place every year on the two days before the day of sport, i.e. the beginning of October. Characteristic is the parade of the 13 Hikiyama, richly decorated wooden wagons declared as important cultural treasures, which, in contrast to the more widespread Mikoshi, are not carried through the streets but pulled. Very similar to the Yoi-yama of Gion-Matsuri in Kyoto, the Hikiyama are exhibited in different streets the evening before, on the occasion of which there is an atmospheric festival in the city center.


Ōtsu Railway Station

Town twinning

  • United StatesUnited States Lansing , USA (since 1969)
  • SwitzerlandSwitzerland Interlaken , Switzerland (since 1978)
  • GermanyGermany Würzburg , Germany (since 1979)
  • China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China Mudanjiang , People's Republic of China (since 1984)
  • Korea SouthSouth Korea Gumi , South Korea (since 1990)

Ōtsu and Würzburg

The poet Max Dauthendey comes from the twin town of Würzburg in Germany , and was inspired by a visit to Japan in 1906 for his work The Eight Faces at Lake Biwasee . The Japanese translation of the work was published in 2004.

A true-to-original replica of a large baroque flower pot from the courtyard garden of the Würzburg Residence has a place of honor right in front of the main entrance of the Ōtsuer town hall. On the shores of Lake Biwase, there is a house built by Würzburg carpenters in the Franconian style with a small museum on the 1st floor and a rustic Franconian inn with a lake terrace called "Würzburg".

sons and daughters of the town

Neighboring cities and communities

Web links

Commons : Ōtsu  - collection of images, videos and audio files
  • Entry on the UNESCO World Heritage Center website ( English and French ).
Ōtsu City Hall