Nagano Prefecture (長野県 Nagano-ken?) is located in the centre of Honshu island. One of the only land-locked prefectures in Japan, Nagano nonetheless is home to many beautiful lakes and rivers, hiking trails, mountains, and outdoor onsens. Ample ski and snowboarding opportunities make this prefecture one of the most requested placements in Japan, though there's still plenty to do for those uninterested in winter sports. The Shinkansen (bullet train) network connects Nagano city and the eastern part of the prefecture with Tokyo and there are express train services that connect to Nagoya.
Nagano is one of the largest blocks in the JET programme, with just under 80 JETs for the 2011-2012 year, along with a comparable number of other ALTs . It takes over four hours to drive from the southernmost to the northernmost towns in the prefecture. Nagano is also very mountainous, meaning road and rail networks are to some extent constricted to the prefectures numerous valleys. Despite this, it is easy to connect with others if you chose to.
Because of such a large population and landscape, Nagano impliments a block system, wherein senior JETs in their block help to welcome the incomers, assit at meetings, submit bi-monthly block reports and organize a yearly prefecture-wide event in their own block. Currently, there are four blocks in the ken, divided along geographical and acessibility lines; north, south, east and central.
Alongside the block system NaganoAJET also holds regular events around the prefecture to bring people together and socialise. Nagano AJETs "Thanksgiving Dinner" is the biggest event in the year in terms of attendees, however they also hold a number of other equally popular cultural, and seasonal, events across the year. Finding Nagano AJET on social networks is also arguably the quickest way to connect with those currently living in Nagano, and get involved with life in the prefecture.
Cities, towns and villages
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The following is a list of places in Nagano Prefecture where JETs are placed.
- Nagano (capital)
- Nozawa Onsen
- Naganojet - Official prefectural JET website, with information about the blocks and useful links for those currently living in and/or getting ready to move to Nagano.
- Nagano AJET - Nagano AJET is extremely active within Nagano, running events and helping to keep everyone connected. Thier website contains information on upcoming events as well as links to social network groups where you can connect to other ALTs in the prefecture.
- Yomoyama Magazine - The offical magazine of Nagano AJET, Yomoyama is an English-language magazine written and contributed to by foreigners living and working in the ken.
- Go Nagano! - Nagano prefecture's offical tourism website.