Nagano Prefecture

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Nagano Prefecture
Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese 長野県
 • Rōmaji Nagano-ken
Flag of Nagano Prefecture
Official logo of Nagano Prefecture
Location of Nagano Prefecture
Country Japan
Region Chūbu (Kōshin'etsu)
Island Honshu
Capital Nagano
 • Governor Shuichi Abe
 • Total 13,585.22 km2 (5,245.28 sq mi)
Area rank 4th
Population (February 1, 2011)
 • Total 2,148,425
 • Rank 16th
 • Density 158.14/km2 (409.6/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code JP-20
Districts 14
Municipalities 77
Flower Gentian (Gentiana scabra var. buergeri)
Tree White birch (Betula platyphylla var. japonica)
Bird Rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta)

Nagano Prefecture (長野県, Nagano-ken) is a prefecture located in the Chūbu region of Japan.[1] The capital is the city of Nagano.[2]

Nagano has impressive highland areas, including most of the Kita-Alps, Chūō-Alps, and Minami-Alps, which extend into the neighbouring prefectures. Due to the abundance of mountain ranges in this area, the land available for inhabitance is relatively limited. In addition to its natural scenic beauty and rich history, Nagano was host to the 1998 Winter Olympics, which gained the prefecture international recognition as a world-class winter sport destination, and a Shinkansen line to Tokyo.



Map of Nagano Prefecture
     City      Town      Village

Nagano is an inland prefecture and it borders more prefectures than any other in Japan. Nagano contains the point furthest from the sea in the whole of Japan - this point lies within the city of Saku. The province's mountains have made it relatively isolated, and many visitors come to Nagano for its mountain resorts and hot springs. Nine of the twelve highest mountains in Japan can be found in Nagano and one of its lakes, Lake Kizaki, is a beach resort popular for its water attractions and games.

As of 1 April 2014, 21% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks; namely the Chichibu Tama Kai, Chūbu-Sangaku, Jōshin'etsu Kōgen, and Minami Alps National Parks; Myōgi-Arafune-Saku Kōgen, Tenryū-Okumikawa, and Yatsugatake-Chūshin Kōgen Quasi-National Parks; and Chūō Alps, Enrei Ōjō, Hijiriyama Kōgen, Mibugawa Suikei, Ontake, and Tenryū Koshibu Suikei Prefectural Natural Parks.[3]

Hida Mountains (August 2006)
Nagano City


Nineteen cities are located in Nagano Prefecture:

Towns and villages

These are the towns and villages in each district:




The lifespan in Nagano prefecture is the longest nationwide with the average life expectancy of 87.18 years for women and 80.88 years for men.[4]





National highways





Onbashira, which festival held once in seven years
Yashima Wetland in Kirigamine Hills
Matsumoto Castle
Utsukushigahara Hills
Ski resort in Shiga Hills


There are two local J.League clubs: AC Nagano Parceiro and Matsumoto Yamaga FC.

Prefectural symbols

Sister cities


  • Nagano's former governor, Yasuo Tanaka, is an independent who has made a reputation internationally for attacking Japan's status quo. Among other issues, he has refused national government money for construction projects that he deems unnecessary, such as dams, and has overhauled (locally) the press club system that is blamed for limiting government access to journalists who give favorable coverage. Tanaka was voted out from office on August 6, 2006 and was replaced by Jin Murai.
  • Sasuke competitor Shinji Kobayashi, who works as a garbage man, is from Matsumoto in Nagano Prefecture.
  • Tatsumi Yoda (aka Tom Yoda), former chairman of Avex, is from Chikuma-shi.
  • Glim Spanky, the members of the rock band are from Nagano Prefecture

See also


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Nagano prefecture" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 682, p. 682, at Google Books; "Chūbu" at p. 126, p. 126, at Google Books
  2. ^ Nussbaum, "Nagano" at p. 682, p. 682, at Google Books
  3. ^ "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture" (PDF). Ministry of the Environment. 1 April 2014. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  4. ^ Nagano Prefecture has achieved the highest life expectancy in Japan, after long efforts of improving each one’s lifestyle (December 9, 2013). Foreign Press Center/Japan


  • Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 58053128

External links

  • Nagano Prefecture Official Website (in Japanese)
  • Nagano Prefecture Official Website (in English)
  • Nagano Prefecture Tourism Website (in English)

Coordinates: 36°15′N 138°6′E / 36.250°N 138.100°E / 36.250; 138.100

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