Nagano (長野市, Nagano-shi, pronounced [nagaꜜno ɕi]) is the capital and largest city of Nagano Prefecture, located in the Nagano Basin (Zenkoji Daira) in the central Chūbu region of Japan. Nagano is categorized as a core city of Japan. Nagano City is the highest prefectural capital in Japan, with an altitude of 371.4 meters (1,219 ft). The city is surrounded by mountains, near the confluence of the Chikuma River - the longest and widest river in Japan - and the Sai River. As of 1 June 2019, the city had an estimated population of 370,632 in 160,625 households, and a population density of 444 persons per km² The total area of the city is 834.81 square kilometres (322.32 sq mi).
Nagano City, located in the former Shinano Province, developed from the Nara period (AD 710 to 794) as a temple town (monzen machi). The city of Nagano is home to Zenkō-ji, a 7th-century Buddhist temple that is listed as a Japanese national treasure. Zenkō-ji was established in its current location in 642 AD. The location of Zenkō-ji is approximately 2 kilometers from the present-day central Nagano Station. During the Sengoku Period, the Age of Warring States, Nagano was the site of a series of battles, the Battles of Kawanakajima, between 1553 and 1564. During the Edo period (1603 and 1868), as the city developed, Nagano became an important post station (shukuba) on the Hokkoku Kaidō highway which connected Edo (present day Tokyo) with the Sea of Japan coast. Following the Meiji restoration, Nagano became the first established modern town in Nagano prefecture on April 1, 1897.
The city of Nagano and several surrounding communities hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics and the 1998 Winter Paralympics. Nagano City is an important historical location, an industrial center, as well as a travel destination and a center for accessing surrounding sightseeing spots, including Japan's onsen-bathing snow monkeys in Yamanouchi and world-class ski resorts of Hakuba and Nozawaonsen - throughout the year.


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