Location of Gōtsu in Shimane Prefecture
|• Mayor||Masuji Tanaka|
|• Total||268.51 km2 (103.67 sq mi)|
|• Density||97/km2 (250/sq mi)|
|• Tree||Black Pine|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
The city lies on the sea, and offers beautiful and uncrowded beaches. The Gono River flows through the city, from the mountains to the sea. The river is the site of festivals, fireworks, and excellent fishing.
Overlooking Gōtsu City is Hoshitaka Mountain, or "Star Mountain", so named for the star pattern carved into the face of the mountain. According to Gōtsu legend, the star was formed by a meteor that had fallen many years ago. A piece of this meteor was saved, and a special shrine was built at the foot of the mountain to honor the meteor. In the winter, snowfall on the mountain creates a beautiful star-shaped pattern, visible from anywhere in the city. In the spring, white azaleas bloom to form a white star, while the area bordering the star remains green. In the summer, in celebration of the Japanese Obon Festival, the star is lit up at night.
Under the auspices of the Japanese Ministry of Education and the Jet Programme, Gōtsu hosts four native English speakers each year, who teach English in the area's public schools. Gōtsu's Sister City in the United States is Corona, California (located near Los Angeles).
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