NAGANO '98 Kids' Info Center



Nagano's Food and Business

Nagano is blessed by nature. Because the land is so rich, it's one of Japan's best farming areas. A variety of fruits, vegetables, and flowers are grown here. Northern Nagano is famous for apples and grapes. Japanese apples are bigger and sweeter than apples from other countries. A lot of lettuce, bok choy (a leafy Chinese vegetable), and cabbage are grown in the eastern part of the prefecture. Nagano also produces a lot of miso, the fermented soybean paste that the Japanese use as a flavoring in many dishes. Another Nagano specialty is soba, a Japanese buckwheat noodle. Soba is one of Japanese people's favorite foods. On the last day of the year, people like to eat "New Year's Eve soba." They hope that eating long soba noodles on that night will give them a long life.

Nagano has plenty of industry too. Most of its factories produce computers and other electronic equipment. The prefecture is also Japan's leading producer of small motors, microscopes, and camera parts. Nagano exports many of its products to Southeast Asia and the United States. A lot of precision machinery is produced in and around the city of Suwa. At one time, this part of the country was called "the Switzerland of the East." In recent years, the communications industry has been growing in eastern Nagano. This area is also home to many research laboratories.