Tsu () is the capital of Mie prefecture, Japan, and home to about 290,000 people.


Tsu is often claimed to be the world's shortest pronounceable city name (IPA: [tsɯ]). The vowel is similar to the one in the English word 'too', but is shorter, has less lip rounding, and is typically voiceless; it is perceptible, but sounds 'whispered'. Also, as English speakers may find the [t] hard to hear, the name sounds rather like 'Sue'. Pronouncing the [t], however, is essential in conveying the meaning.

In Japanese, the city name is usually written either using the character 津, or with つ, a 'hiragana' symbol which indicates the syllable [tsɯ]. Tsu is the only Japanese city name which consists of a single kana, making it the shortest name for a place of any size in Japan.

Get in

By plane

Chubu Airport is connected to Tsu by a ferry service which takes 40 minutes. From the port there is a direct bus to Tsu station, costing ¥200. Taxis also queue at the port.

By train

Tsu is on the Kintetsu Nagoya Line between Yokkaichi and Ise, starting at Nagoya. The main station, Tsu (津駅), serves both Kintetsu and JR trains. A basic ticket between Nagoya and Tsu costs ¥980 on the Kintetsu line. In the north is the smaller Kintetsu Edobashi Station (江戸橋駅), where most students get off for the university, while the south is home to Kintetsu Tsu-Shinmachi Station (津新町駅). Travellers can alight at any of the three stations for the same fare. There are other JR local line stations around the city. 'Limited express' trains cost extra and only stop at Tsu.

Tsu is also on a direct line to Osaka; for Kyoto travellers should take the Kintetsu line and change at Yamato-Yagi.

Get around

Tsu is split from north to south by Route 23, a highway which runs down the west coast of Ise Bay from Nagoya. It is therefore fairly easy to orientate yourself relative to the road. Tsu railway station is just off Route 23 towards the centre of town, as is Edobashi station.

Buses run from outside Tsu station all over the city. Routes are written in Romanised Japanese on the front. Stops are signposted only in Japanese. At Tsu Station, passengers alight at one stop and board at another. The stop opposite the local police station and branch of McDonald's by Tsu Station serves several buses which head along Route 23 in the direction of Mie University (三重大学 Mie Daigaku) and the University Hospital (大学病院 Daigaku Byouin).

Board a bus via the centre door and take a ticket; you should look up its number on the board at the front of the bus to find the fare you should pay. Deposit the exact money in the box next to the driver on exit: you can change thousand-yen notes in a little machine.


The tourist offices for both Tsu City and Mie Prefecture are located in the UST Tsu building next to Tsu Station (the tall tower block) on the ground and second floors, respectively. The Tsu City tourist office has a variety of maps, ideas of things to do and information on restaurants in the area.


Tsu is known for its excellent unagi (eel) restaurants. Tsu Gyoza are also unique to the city. In contrast to ordinary gyoza served in other cities, the Tsu Gyoza is much larger at 15cm long. Fillings can include Matsusaka Beef or more exciting fillings, such as the italian style and chocolate banana. Restaurants all over the city which serve Tsu Gyoza are listed on a special Tsu Gyoza map published by the city's tourist office.



Go next

With Tsu as a base, you can easily access most of Mie Prefecture.

Routes through Tsu

Kameyama  N  S  Owase Wakayama
Kameyama  N  S  Matsuzaka Ise

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