Nagano Prefecture

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 human habitation 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, as well as a new Shinkansen line to Tokyo.

Nagano Prefecture

Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese長野県
 • RōmajiNagano-ken
Flag of Nagano Prefecture

Official logo of Nagano Prefecture

Location of Nagano Prefecture
RegionChūbu (Kōshin'etsu)
SubdivisionsDistricts: 14, Municipalities: 77
 • GovernorShuichi Abe
 • Total13,104.29 km2 (5,059.59 sq mi)
Area rank4th
 (February 1, 2011)
 • Total2,148,425
 • Rank16th
 • Density158.14/km2 (409.6/sq mi)
ISO 3166 codeJP-20
BirdRock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta)
FlowerGentian (Gentiana scabra var. buergeri)
TreeWhite birch (Betula platyphylla var. japonica)


Nagano is an inland prefecture and it borders more prefectures than any other in Japan, bordering Gunma Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture, Yamanashi Prefecture, and Shizuoka Prefecture to the east, Niigata Prefecture to the north, Toyama Prefecture and Gifu Prefecture to the west, and Aichi Prefecture to the south. 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]


Map of Nagano Prefecture Ja
Map of Nagano Prefecture
     City      Town      Village
Hida Mountains (August 2006)
View of Nagano City from Mt. Asahiyama
Nagano City
Chikuma River Yashima Bridge Nagano
Chikuma River, from Yashima Bridge, looking downstream toward Murayama Bridge, Nagano (city)
Takashima dungeon view (4936834001)
Komagane Nagano and Southern Yatsugatake Volcanic Group
Cityscapes of Matsumoto in 2014-8 No,5
Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.

Nineteen cities are located in Nagano Prefecture:

Towns and villages

These are the towns and villages in each district:



The life expectancy in Nagano prefecture is the longest nationwide with the average life expectancy of 87.18 years for women and 80.88 years for men.[5]





National highways







Nagano Prefecture has a large and diversified economy, with a strong focus on electronics, information technology, precision machinery, agriculture and food products, and tourism, with a total GDP of about 8.5 Billion Yen (2014).[6]

Several large Japanese group have production facilities in Nagano Prefecture, such as Citizen Watch (Citizen Group), MinebeaMitsumi, Seiko Epson or Vaio.


Onbasira Kiotoshi
Onbashira, which festival held once in seven years
Yashima Wetland in Kirigamine Hills
130608 Matsumoto Castle Matsumoto Nagano pref Japan02bs4
Matsumoto Castle
Ushibuseyama observatory
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
  • Yuto Adachi, of Korean boy group Pentagon is from Nagano Prefecture
  • Yasuyuki Kazama, a professional drift driver, is from Shimosuwa in Nagano Prefecture.
  • Keiichi Tsuchiya, a professional racing driver, is from Tōmi in 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. ^ Statistics Bureau of Japan
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^


External links

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

Akiyama Dam

Akiyama Dam (Japanese: 秋山砂防ダム) is a dam in Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

Chiyo Station

Chiyo Station (千代駅, Chiyo-eki) is a railway station on the Iida Line in the city of Iida, Nagano Prefecture, Japan, operated by Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central).

Hime River

The Hime River (姫川) is a river in Niigata Prefecture and Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

Horikirizawa Dam

Horikirizawa Dam (Japanese: 堀切沢雨水調整ダム) is a dam in Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

Ikuta Dam

Ikuta Dam (Japanese: 生田ダム) is a dam in Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

Kinoshita Station

Kinoshita Station (木ノ下駅, Kinoshita-eki) is a railway station on the Iida Line in the town of Minowa, Kamiina District, Nagano, Japan, operated by Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central).

Matsumoto Airport

Matsumoto Airport (松本空港) (IATA: MMJ, ICAO: RJAF), also known as Shinshu-Matsumoto Airport, is an airport located 5 NM (9.3 km; 5.8 mi) southwest of central Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

Opened on July 16, 1965, Matsumoto Airport is located approximately 9 kilometers southwest of the center of Matsumoto city, straddling the border between Matsumoto and the city of Shiojiri, Nagano. The airport is located roughly in the center of Nagano Prefecture. Regularly scheduled flights are for domestic service only. It is located at the highest elevation (657.5 m) of any commercial airport in Japan, and is surrounded by high mountains, which impose restrictions on the type of aircraft which can service the destination. The runway was lengthened to 2000 meters in 1994 to accommodate jet aircraft, and a new passenger terminal building started operation.

In the past, the airport was served by Japan Air System, mostly using MD-87 aircraft before being integrated into JAL. In FY 2013 its load factors passed 70% for the first time since its expansion. The airport and surrounding region cater to mountaineers during summer months and to skiers during winter months. Japan Airlines operated regular service to Osaka until 2010. However, since recovering from bankruptcy, Japan Airlines has resumed seasonal service to Matsumoto Airport from Osaka Itami Airport using the Embraer E170 aircraft. Other airlines from Korea, Russia and China occasionally fly charter flights to Matsumoto.

The 2013 television movie, Big Airport 2013 (大空港2013) was set at the airport. The movie features Teruyuki Kagawa and was directed by Kōki Mitani.

Matsumoto Yamaga FC

Matsumoto Yamaga Football Club (松本山雅フットボールクラブ, Matsumoto Yamaga Futtobōru Kurabu) are a Japanese football (soccer) club based in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture. They currently play in the J1 League. They were previously promoted to the J. League Division 2 for the first time in 2011, but having been relegated after one season in the first tier of Japanese football.

Their nickname is the Ptarmigans (ターミガンズ, Tāmiganzu) (or shortened Gans (ガンズ, ganzu)), symbol birds of Nagano Prefecture.

Miyaki Station

Miyaki Station (宮木駅, Miyaki-eki) is a railway station on the Iida Line in the town of Tatsuno, Kamiina District, Nagano, Japan, operated by Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central).


Miyanokoshi-juku (宮ノ越宿, Miyanokoshi-juku) was the thirty-sixth of the sixty-nine stations of the Nakasendō, as well as the fourth of eleven stations on the Kisoji. It is located in the present-day town of Kiso, in the Kiso District of Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

Mount Naeba

Mount Naeba (苗場山, Naeba-san) is a stratovolcano on the border of Nagano and Niigata prefectures in central Honshū, Japan. It is about 200 km (124 mi) from Tokyo. It was active between 200,000 and 800,000 years ago. It is made of primarily andesite.

Mount Ontake

Mount Ontake (御嶽山, Ontake-san), also referred to as Mount Kiso Ontake (木曽御嶽山, Kiso Ontake-san), is the 14th highest mountain and second highest volcano in Japan (after Mount Fuji) at 3,067 m (10,062 ft).

Seki River

The Seki River (関川) is a river in Niigata Prefecture and Nagano Prefecture Japan.

Shimoina District, Nagano

Shimoina (下伊那郡, Shimoina-gun) is a district located in Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

As of May, 2008, the district has an estimated Population of 65,359 and a Density of 51.4 persons/km². The total area is 1,270.43 km².

Shinano Province

Shinano Province (信濃国, Shinano no kuni) or Shinshū (信州) is an old province of Japan that is now Nagano Prefecture.Shinano bordered on Echigo, Etchū, Hida, Kai, Kōzuke, Mikawa, Mino, Musashi, Suruga, and Tōtōmi Provinces. The ancient capital was located near modern-day Matsumoto, which became an important city of the province.

The World War II–era Japanese aircraft carrier Shinano was named after this old province.

Shinano Railway

The Shinano Railway Co., Ltd. (しなの鉄道株式会社, Shinano Tetsudō Kabushiki-gaisha) is a Japanese third-sector railway operating company established in 1996 to operate passenger railway services on the section of the JR East Shinetsu Main Line within Nagano Prefecture when it is separated from the JR East network in October 1997, coinciding with the opening of the Nagano Shinkansen (Hokuriku Shinkansen) from Takasaki to Nagano. The company was founded on May 1, 1996, and has its headquarters in Ueda, Nagano.

Shinshu Brave Warriors

The Shinshu Brave Warriors is a professional basketball team that competes in the second division of the Japanese B.League. The team was formed in 2011 and as of the 2016-17 season plays in the Central Division (Naka-chiku) of the B2 League. The team name comes from a desire to show the tradition of the Nagano prefecture, formerly called Shinshu. And to liken the players to the ninja and samurai warriors who fought and trained in the area in times past. Their official home is in Chikuma City, just south of the prefectural capital of Nagano City, however games are sometimes played in Nagano itself or in other nearby cities such as Matsumoto.[1]

Shiojiri, Nagano

Shiojiri (塩尻市, Shiojiri-shi) is a city located in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 March 2019, the city had an estimated population of 67,240 in 27,602 households , and a population density of 230 persons per km². The total area of the city is 289.98 square kilometres (111.96 sq mi).

Tokimata Station

Tokimata Station (時又駅, Tokimata-ek) is a railway station on the Iida Line in the city of Iida, Nagano Prefecture, Japan, operated by Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central).

Shadow picture of Nagano Prefecture Nagano Prefecture
Core city
Special city
47 Prefectures


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