Nagano-ken (長野県) is located in the Chubu region on the island of Honshua. It is a mountainous and landlocked prefecture and nine of the twelve highest mountains in Japan can be found in Nagano.
Nagano was formerly known as Shinano Prefecture. Its capital is the city of Nagano, due to the abundance of mountain ranges in this area. The land available to inhabit is relatively limited. It occupies an area of 13,585.22 km², with a population of 2,063,865 inhabitants, including about 37,533 foreign citizens, of which approximately 5,044 are Brazilians (in 2010 the number of Brazilians was around 10,000), 9,379 Chinese, 4,722 Vietnam, 4,708 Philippines, 3,640 Koreans, 2,388 Thais and other residents in 59 cities (Prefecture data).
Nagano-ken is one of the most popular prefectures in the country for skiing and snowboarding, as it has the highest snow mountains in Japan and the coldest climate, so tourism is an important part of the local economy. The electronics and technology industry is very strong in the region.
Nagano-ken also offers rich nature, such as Lake Nojiri and Kagami-ike (Mirror Lake). In addition to the beautiful snowy mountains, Nagano is also home to the grandiose castle of Matsumoto, one of the three most important in Japan, and the Zenkoji temple. Zenkoji Temple is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Nagano. Zenko-ji temple was founded approximately 1400 years ago during the Asuka period and is considered a National Treasure.