NAGANO '98 Kids' Info Center



Nagano City: Snowy Home to the Winter Olympic Games

Nagano City, with a population of 360,000, is the capital of Nagano Prefecture. The traditional symbol of the city is Zenkoji, a temple built some 1,400 years ago that attracts 7 million visitors every year. Many worshippers stay at nearby temple guesthouses and eat vegetarian food in accordance with Buddhist religious rules. To make the meals more palatable, though, some vegetarian dishes are prepared to make them look and taste just like meat!

Nagano not only has a long history, but also is rich in wildlife. Iizuna Kogen, the heights in the northern part of the city where the bobsleigh and luge events are to be held, is known for its many birds. Nagano is also famous as a leading apple-growing area.

In addition to the stadium for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, the city has venues for ice hockey, speed skating, figure skating, short track speed skating, freestyle skiing, bobsleigh, and luge. Nagano City will be the central location for the Olympic Games, and many athletes and spectators will stay here during the Games.