Nagano prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chubu 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 is an entrance point to the Japan Alps area for skiing and springs in the winter and hiking and walking in the summer.
Nagano has some of the world`s most impressive highland areas, including most of the Kita-Alps Northern Alps, Chu-Alps, and Southern Alps, which extend into the neighboring prefectures. In addition to its natural scenic beauty and rich history, dating back to the Neolithic, 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.
Nagano, with nine of the twelve highest mountains in Japan, is best known for its abundance of mountains and natural parks, its many hot springs, and as a great place for outdoor sports such as hiking, mountain-biking, skiing and snowboarding.
As a large inland prefecture bordered by more prefectures than any other in Japan, is incredibly diverse – drive from the furthermost point in Japan from the ocean to just 50km from the Sea of Japan. A lot of people visit only for the snow and miss everything else there is on offer – while a visit to ski Nagano’s famous resorts should be on everyone’s to-do list, there is plenty more on offer – whether you are a long-term resident of Japan or here for a short visit, be sure to include Nagano in your travels.
For the winter snow, there is a number of interesting hot spring resorts within easy reach of Nagano including Yudanaka , a home to Japan’s snow monkeys and Nozawa Onsen, which is also a famous ski resort as are the slopes at Hakuba.