Nagano Prefecture(長野県,Nagano-ken?) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of the island of Honshu.1 The capital is the city of Nagano.2 Due to the abundance of mountain ranges in this area, the land available for inhabitance is relatively limited.
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 beautiy 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 wintersport destination, and a Shinkansen line to Tokyo.
Nagano is an inland prefecture and it borders more prefectures than any other in Japan. 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.
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.