NAGANO '98 Kids' Info Center



Nagano's Land and People

Nagano is located around the middle of Japan's main island of Honshu. It's surrounded by the towering mountains of the Japan Alps, which range from 2,000 to 3,000 meters (6,600 to 9,800 feet) in height. The high ranges of Nagano divide Japan into two parts: northeastern Japan and southwestern Japan.

Nagano Prefecture measures about 212 kilometers (132 miles) from north to south, and 120 kilometers (75 miles) from east to west. The landlocked prefecture has an area of about 13,584 square kilometers (5,243 square miles), making it the fourth-largest prefecture in Japan.

Because there are so many mountains and streams, the land is very rugged and steep. The climate varies widely in different parts of the prefecture. Nagano Prefecture can be divided roughly into four sections: north, east, central, and south. Almost all of the Olympic facilities are located in the northern section, which is covered by a deep blanket of snow all winter. The southern section, on the other hand, doesn't get much snow.

The population of Nagano Prefecture is about 2.2 million. People in Nagano Prefecture enjoy a long life--maybe because they're surrounded by such beautiful scenery! In 1995, the average lifespan was over 76 years for men and almost 83 years for women. For men, this is the longest lifespan in Japan, and for women, it's the fourth-longest. This makes the people of Nagano some of the longest-lived on earth.