On August 1, 2005, the city merged with the municipalities of Izumi, Kagami, Sakamoto, Senchō and Tōyō to form the new expanded city of Yashushiro.
As of April 30, 2011, Yatsuhiro has a population of 133,630 and a density of 196.34 persons per km2. The total area is 680.59 km2.
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 is known locally for its banpeiyu fruits which bear a resemblance to hugely over-sized grapefruits.
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 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.