Nagano Prefecture (British: Nagano Prefecture) is a prefecture located in the Chubu region of Japan.The prefectural capital is Nagano City.
It is also called 'Shinshu' after Shinano Province, the name of the country under the ruling system. It is an inland prefecture that does not face the sea, and has a low inhabitable land area because there are large-scale mountainous areas such as the Japanese Alps. The catchphrase is Shiawase Shinshu.
The current Nagano Prefecture area is almost equivalent to Shinano Province, which is a ryosei country. However, because there are slight differences, such as the former Kamisaka Village and the former Yamaguchi Village being incorporated into Nakatsugawa City, Gifu Prefecture, it is often called 'Shinshu', especially in tourist guides. call. In ancient times, it was written as Shinano. Known as one of the prefectures with the longest life expectancy among all prefectures in Japan, as of 2020, both men and women ranked first in terms of healthy life expectancy by prefecture.
With many hills and mountains and good access from the three major metropolitan areas, Karuizawa and Kamikochi are known for their many highland resorts and mountain resorts. Karuizawa and Lake Nojiri, which were counted as "Japan's three major summer resorts for foreigners," the Japanese Alps discovered by the British, and the Sugadaira Plateau, which became famous after being introduced to Austria, as an international ski resort. It has a long history of being a base for leisure activities for Westerners, such as Hakuba Village, which is establishing its status. In addition to the above, there are many regions called ``Japan's XX (European region name)'' (Shimoguri no Sato: ``Japanese Tyrol,'' Suwa Basin: ``Switzerland of the Orient,'' etc.).
Nagano Prefecture is located in the central part of Honshu and is adjacent to eight surrounding prefectures. It is short in the east-west direction and long in the north-south direction, measuring about 128 km from east to west and about 220 km from north to south. The southern half of the prefecture is close to the Pacific Ocean side, much of the Minami Shinshu region is further south than Tokyo, and the northernmost part of the prefecture is at roughly the same latitude as Nasushiobara City and Iwaki City. The area of Nagano Prefecture is 13,562.23 square kilometers, which is close to the total area of the three prefectures in the southern Kanto region, and is the fourth largest prefecture in Japan after Hokkaido, Iwate Prefecture, and Fukushima Prefecture.
This prefecture is adjacent to eight prefectures: Gunma, Saitama, Yamanashi, Shizuoka, Aichi, Gifu, Toyama, and Niigata. However, although these prefectures are connected by land, there are cases where it is not always easy to come and go depending on the traffic between them. For example, the length of the prefectural border with Saitama Prefecture is only about 10 kilometers, and direct access is possible only on Kawakami Village Route 192 Azusayama Line. In addition, although it is connected to Toyama Prefecture by land, it is blocked by the 3,000-meter-class Northern Alps, and is geographically rugged. It is impossible to come and go by private vehicle. Another prefectural border that vehicles cannot cross is the border between Gunma and Fukushima. Also, due to topographical problems, there are many municipalities such as Iida City and Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Matsumoto City and Shimosuwa Town, Otaki Village and Okuwa Village that are connected by land but cannot be visited.
The reason why it is geographically difficult to cross the prefectural border is that Nagano Prefecture is not a mountainous terrain with highlands in the center, but rather the Hida Mountains on the northwestern border and the Akaishi Mountains on the southeastern border. It is mentioned that it is an area centered on the Kano Basin (Inadani, Matsumoto Basin, Saku Basin, Nagano Basin, etc.). The mountains near the prefectural border are also called "the roof of Japan".