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Those who love mountains and a more relaxed lifestyle will enjoy living in Nagano, the capital of Nagano Prefecture and the host of the 1998 Winter Olympics. It developed as a temple town, centred around the Zenkoji Temple, which was founded in the 7th Century.

With most of Japan’s highest mountains located in Nagano, as well as several top ski resorts, it is the place to be when it comes to skiing and snowboarding. It’s also a great city to access places like Yamanouchi (where you can find bathing snow monkeys), mountain resort town Karuizawa and Matsumoto, famous for its original black castle.

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