Portal:Japan/Geography/Selected prefecture/20

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Flag of Nagano Prefecture

Nagano Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of the island of Honshū. The capital is the city of Nagano. Nagano was formerly known as the province of Shinano, and was divided among many local daimyo during the Sengoku period. Nagano was host to the 1998 Winter Olympics, which gained the prefecture international recognition as well as gaining the prefecture a Shinkansen line to Tokyo. Nine of the twelve highest mountains in Japan can be found in this inland prefecture. Nagano is also the prefecture which is bordered by the highest number of other prefectures in Japan and it contains the location which is the furthest point from the ocean anywhere in Japan. Lakes featured within the region include Lake Kizaki, a beach resort popular for its water attractions and games. The province's mountains have made it relatively isolated, and many people come for its mountain resorts and hot springs. 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.