Location of Yatsushiro in Kumamoto Prefecture
|• Mayor||Kazuyoshi Fukushima (since September 2009)|
|• Total||680.59 km2 (262.78 sq mi)|
|Population (April 30, 2011)|
|• Density||196.34/km2 (508.5/sq mi)|
|• Flower||Yatsushirosō (Campanula glomerata var. dahurica)|
|• Bird||Common kingfisher|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|City Hall Address||1-25 Matsuejōmachi, Yatsushiro-shi, Kumamoto-ken
As of April 30, 2011, the city has an estimated population of 133,630 and a population density of 196.34 persons per km2. The total area is 680.59 km2. It is the second largest city in the prefecture after Kumamoto City.
Yatsushiro City is situated on the aptly named Yatsushiro Sea in between Kumamoto and Ashikita City. It has several train lines that run through it as well as a Shinkansen line. In addition, the Kyushu Expressway and Minamikyushu Expressway converges here. The Yatsushiro District is known for connecting the east part of Kumamoto Prefecture with the west part which connects to Miyazaki Prefecture.
Yatsushiro is known locally for several products and dishes. The banpeiyu fruit bears a resemblance to hugely oversized grapefruits. Karashi Renkon is a specialty which is a lotus root stuffed in a mustard-like sauce called karashi. Basashi is raw horse meat and is considered a delicacy within Japan. It is often served with onion and ginger.
The city's landmarks include the ruins of Yatsushiro Castle (now part of a shinto shrine) and the often overlooked port area that offers magnificent views of the nearby Amakusa islands, Yatsuhiro Sea, and the local paper factory.
A flight of 777 stairs into the nearby mountains is located at one end of the town and is a popular attraction. The lookout point provides a panoramic view of the town and the coastal areas.
The main shopping area, the honmachi, is a covered arcade that runs for several city blocks. However, since the opening of two large malls nearby the area has been in decline.
- JR Kyushu lines
- Hisatsu Orange Railway line
- Hisatsu Orange Railway Line; Shin-Yatsushiro, Yatsushiro, Higo-Kōda, Hinagu Onsen, Higo-Futami
- Yatsushiro Gu
- Yatsushiro Shrine
- Gokanosho Suspension Bridges
- Hinagu Onsens
- Myokensai Festival: Yatsushiro is known for its Myokensai festival on November 23 of each year, which includes a parade of horses through the streets of the city. Also, each fall Yatsushiro hosts one of Japan's largest fireworks displays.
- Yatsushiro Fireworks Festival: Usually hosted in late fall, this is one of the largest if not the largest fireworks festival in Kyushu. Firework companies enter into this festival to showcase their designs!
- Kumagawa Festival: Held in early August, this festival celebrates the Kumagawa River which flows through the city. During the festival, various schools, companies, and groups will dance through the streets to music. Some of the festival goers even come in costume! Food stall and festival food are also available.
- Kyushu International Three Day March: Held in mid-May, foreigners and locals join together in planned walks around the city and its surrounding areas. Various routes are available such as 5, 10, 20, 30, and 40 km courses. Food and beverages can also be purchased at the festival and there is local entertainment at the center stage. There is an English speaking staff on hand for those who need English assistance.
Famous people from Yatsushiro
- Aki Yashiro, singer
- Eri Ishida, actress
- Haruto Kō, poet and novelist
- Junichi Kashiwabara, baseball player
- Kaiseki Sata, monk
- Kazumi Sonokawa, baseball player
- Kimiko Jinnai, badminton player
- Kosuke Noda, baseball player
- Matsui Okinaga, samurai
- Matsuki Miyazaki, doctor
- Nishiyama Sōin, haikai-no-renga poet
- Nobuhiko Matsunaka, baseball player
- Nobuyuki Hirai, weather presenter
- Shoko Asahara, founder of Aum Shinrikyo
- Yujiro Fukushima, composer
- Yuriko Hatano, announcer
- Eiji Ezaki, retired professional wrestler best known as Hayabusa
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