Kusatsu is a city located in Shiga Prefecture, Japan. The city was founded on October 15, 1954, and as of 2008, the city has an estimated population of 123,690 and the density of 1,820 persons per Square kilometer. The total area is 67.92 Square kilometers. In Edo era, Kusatsu developed as a junction shukuba of Tkaid and Nakasend, Kusatsu-juku. The city and its adjoing city Ritt 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. So Kusatsu is a regional commercial center next to the capital city Otsu. Kusatsu can be reached from Kyoto within 30 min 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.