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Nagano (prefecture)

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Nagano (prefecture)
Japan nagano map small.png
Flag of Nagano Prefecture.svg
Quick Facts
Capital Nagano
Government Japanese Prefecture
Currency Japanese Yen (¥)
Area 13,585.22 km2
Population 2,148,425(2011 est)
Language Japanese(No official language)
Religion n/a
Electricity 100V/50 or 60Hz (U.S. plug, commonly 2-prong without ground)
Time Zone UTC +9(No DST)

Nagano Prefecture (長野県 Nagano-ken; [1]) is located at the center of Japan. It is surrounded by 8 prefectures. (Niigata, Toyama, Aichi, Gifu, Shizuoka, Yamanashi, Gunma, Saitama)


The population of Nagano is 2,214,356.


  • Nagano — the prefectural capital and site of the 1998 Winter Olympics
  • Azumino — north of Matsumoto and famous for Daio Wasabi Farm, views of the surrounding alpine landscape and the incredible number of museums and galleries
  • Chikuma — just south of Nagano City, on the middle reaches of the Chikuma River, surrounded by mountains
  • Matsumoto — featuring one of Japan's top 3 castles and lots of wasabi
  • Komagane
  • Okaya
  • Omachi
  • Shiojiri
  • Suwa - Resort town with a large lake and access to the Yatsugatake Mountain Range
  • Tomi
  • Ueda

Other destinations[edit]

  • Hakuba — Popular winter area with 7 major ski resorts
  • Iiyama
  • Joshinetsu Kogen National Park — Home to Shiga Kogen, Japan's largest ski resort
  • Karuizawa — Famous mountain resort and a popular summer getaway
  • Kiso Valley — The scenic villages of Magome and Tsumago
  • Obuse — Museums, temples, chestnut confections, hot springs and lots of cultural events and festivals
  • Yamanouchi — Ryokans, Japanese atmosphere, and snowbathing monkeys.



Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

The Nagano Shinkansen line, a branch of the Joetsu line to Niigata, connects to Tokyo in around 2 hours.

By Bus[edit]

Buses from the Shinjuku long-distance bus station run about once an hour. The trip takes about 3-1/2 hours; fare is ¥4000 one-way or ¥7200 round-trip. [2] There is also a similar bus to Matsumoto here, it just goes via Kofu.

123bus [3] is a company which provides daily bus services between Osaka and Nagano. With English online booking service.

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

  • Nagano's Zenkoji temple is a major draw for pilgrims.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • There are many mountains in Nagano, so in winter there are many places to ski and do snowboarding. There are also many campsites and onsen, in easy to access locations.
  • Go see the Japanese Macaques in Jigokudani yaenkoen, you'll be able to get really near to them. Watch out as they can be a bit aggressive! Take the limited express metro to Yudanaka from Nagano, there'll be buses that take you there.

In 1998, Winter Olympics took place in Nagano.

Eat[edit][add listing]

In culinary terms, Nagano is best known for its soba (buckwheat noodles), known as Shinano soba (信濃そば) or Shinshū soba (信州そば), with those from Togakushi considered by some the best in Japan. Miso (fermented bean paste), a staple of the Japanese diet is also a famous Nagano product. Among foods characteristic to the region are oyaki, small grilled doughballs filled with vegetables or meat, and on the unusual side, basashi (raw horse meat) and inago (locusts). There's also the Kamameshi bentō, a type of bento (Japanese home-packed meals), sold at train stations in Nagano prefecture. It is cooked and served in a clay pot. The pot is a souvenir item.

Apples are one of the special products of Nagano. The taste of Nagano apples is sweet and juicy. The yield of apples in Nagano is the second largest in Japan.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Get out[edit]

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