Nagano is a prefectural capital of Nagano prefecture. Nagano prefecture is 4th largest prefecture in Japan and population of Nagano city is 370 thousand,the biggest city in Nagano prefecture. Nagano hosted the winter Olympic games in 1998.
Nagano is famous for Zenkoji temple which attracts thousands of prayers each day. Although airport is located nearby Matsumoto, which is the rival city of Nagano in the prefecture, Nagano has Nagano station which Hokuriku Shinkansen calls. Nagano was developed as the temple town. On the other hand, the rival Matsumoto was developed as academic city. Prefectural capital is Nagano but the headquarter of the national university, Shinshu university is located in Matsumoto.
Nagano can be visited easily by Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo. All trains call at Nagano station. There are trains bound for Kanazawa and also trains which terminate at Nagano. Trains continuing to Toyama and Kanazawa are called Hakutaka or Kagayaki. Kagayaki is the fastest type of Hokuriku Shinkansen. Trains terminate at Nagano is called Asama. If you are traveling from west, from Kyoto or Osaka, change trains at Nagoya station and take limited express Shinano which terminates at Nagano.