Nagano

Restaurant Guide in Nagano

Nagano prefecture is located in the inland area of the main island and is known as a site for the 1998 Winter Olympics. Being inland, the prefecture does not face any water and is adjacent to eight other prefectures. It has also been called “Shinshu” since long ago. The capital city is Nagano, the primary venue for the former winter Olympics. Nagano flourish

ed as the temple town of Zenjoji temple that is designated as a national treasure. Since the prefecture’s major cities such as Nagano, Matsumoto, and Suwa are in the basin, in these places, there is a significant temperature difference between morning and night or between summer and winter. In the high elevation areas, winter is severely cold, and some areas are designated as heavy snowfall areas. Since it is cool and comfortable during summer in Karuizawa, the foothills of Yatsugatake, and Kamikochi, these places have become popular for summer retreats or resorts. Because Nagano is mountainous, there are many skiing grounds including Hakubamura as well as many famous hot springs, such as the Nozawa and Shirahone hot springs. Nagano’s clear natural water attracted many factories for electronic parts and other precision machines have been built there. Since the topography and climate are not suited for rice farming, fruit growing is flourishing here. Next to Aomori, Nagano is the second largest producer of apples in Japan, and grapes, Western pears, and peaches are also grown in large quantity. Nagano’s signature dish is oyaki which is a type of steamed bun. Ingredients like pickled Nozawana leaves, red beans, and eggplant miso are wrapped inside skin made with flour dough and steamed. Nagano is a famous production site for soba such as Togakushi soba, Doji soba, and Gyoja soba. There is also an insect eating culture here, and candied locusts and candied young bees are considered local specialties. Beginning in the late 1990’s, since access from central Tokyo area became much more convenient with the development the Nagano Expressway and Josin-etsu Expressway as well as the opening of a new Shinkansen line, many people now visit Nagano to seek recreation and summer resorts in summer and to enjoy hot springs and winter sports in winter.

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