Difference between revisions of "Tsu"
Revision as of 06:07, 4 February 2008
Tsu (津) 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 ('[tsɯ]' in the international phonetic alphabet). 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.
Chubu Airport is connected to Tsu by a ferry service.
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 (津駅), serving both Kintetsu and Japan Rail (JR) trains, is just off Route 23 towards the centre of town; in the north there is the smaller Kintetsu Edobashi station (江戸橋駅) which is where most students get off for Mie University. JR also have separate stations around the city.
Buses run from outside Tsu station all over the city. Board via the middle 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.
Tsu is known for its excellent unagi (eel) restaurants.