Located in the central part of Honshu Island in Japan, Nagano Prefecture is between the Kansai and Kanto regions in the central highlands known as “the roof of Japan." It is adjacent to Gunma Prefecture in the east, Gifu Prefecture in the west, Yamanashi Prefecture and Shizuoka Prefecture in the south, and Niigata Prefecture and Toyama Prefecture in the north. Nagano is one of the eight inland prefectures and the fourth largest prefecture in Japan.
Within Nagano, the cultivation of highland fruit trees and vegetables is well developed and it is one of the few agricultural counties in the country. Within the province, there are abundant alpine lakes and rivers and the breeding of rainbow trout ranks the first in the country. Nagano offers many options for tourists and is well-known for its mountainous scenery. In 1998, Nagano Prefecture hosted the both the Winter Olympic Games and Paralympics.
Located in the northern part of Nagano Prefecture, the city of Nagano was originally a small temple city that developed from the busy market in front of the Zenko-ji Temple. The Zenko-ji Temple is said to have been established in the early 7th century. From the North Exit of Nagano Station, the central highway that extends straight ahead is Omotesando, the largest shopping street in the city.
The Omotesando area was rebuilt in 1998 when the Nagano Winter Olympic Games were held. Rows of buildings were reconstructed in a modern style, which were converted from "dozo-zukuri" (a plastered house on all sides) and western-style buildings. On the avenue, there is a firefighting museum exhibiting items such as water pumps and fireproof clothing from the past. There’s also a watch museum that preserves ancient clocks and watches from all over the world and a glass museum where you can observe various lamps and glass products.
At the M-Wave Skating Rink, one of the venues for the Winter Olympics, there is the Nagano Olympic Memorial Arena where visitors can experience skiing through the use of a simulator. In the 16th century Kawanakajima Kosenjo (the old battlefield of Kawanakajima) of the Warring States period where many legends have been left behind has been rebuilt into the Hachimanharashiseki Park. Many hotels in Nagano are located near these attractions.