Nagano Prefecture (長野県 Nagano-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Nagano. Due to the abundance of mountain ranges in this area, the land available for inhabitance is relatively limited.
Nagano was formerly known as the province of Shinano. This province was divided among many local daimyo during the Sengoku period.
Nagano was host to the 1998 Winter Olympics, which gained the prefecture international recognition and a Shinkansen line to Tokyo.
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 2012, 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.
Nineteen cities are located in Nagano Prefecture:
Towns and villages 
These are the towns and villages in each district:
National highways 
Onbashira, which festival held once in seven years
Yashima Wetland in Kirigamine Hills
Ski resort in Shiga Hills
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.
External links 
Coordinates: 36°15′N 138°6′E / 36.250°N 138.100°E