With more than 300 thousand inhabitants, Kaunas is one of the most significant cities of Lithuania. It is situated at the heart of Lithuania, at the confluence of the rivers Neris and Nemunas. Once the provisional capital of Lithuania during the interwar period, Kaunas is famous for its colorful history, impressive modernist architecture, remarkable Old Town and rich cultural heritage. Nowadays, it is a fast-growing modern city that became a leading regional center of business, industry, science, studies and culture.
Kaunas is a home town of six universities and is often called as a city of students. Vytautas Magnus University stands out as the stronghold of liberal and social arts studies not only in Kaunas but the whole Lithuania. It is also the leading university in East Asian studies in the whole Baltic Region.
Homepage of the Centre for Asian Studies: http://asc.vdu.lt
For the people related to Japan, Kaunas is also very important in relation of Japanese consul Chiune Sugihara, who lived in Kaunas during 1939-40, and who issued his famous Visas for Life, thus saving thousands of Jewish lives, who were able to escape holocaust via Soviet Union and Japan. Many places that are directly related to this story still can be found in the city. Among them are the former Consulate of Japan (so called Sugihara House), Metropolis Hotel, Kaunas Railway Station, etc. Recently Kaunas develops Sugihara Route, which includes the majority of objects related to Sugihara and Japan.