Nagano City is the gateway to Shinshu.

Nagano City is the gateway to Shinshu. The city hosted the 18th Winter Olympics in 1998 and gained worldwide recognition and fame. Nagano City has long prospered as a temple town because of the Zenko-ji Temple. Also, there are several museums located around the city. Zenko-ji Temple, erected in the center of the city, is not affiliated with any one particular sect of Buddhism, and is revered by all. The number of visitors each year exceeds six million people. The proverb says, "Pulled by a bull, one arrived at Zenko-ji," which means an unexpected occurrence may bring you a stroke of good fortune. The original story goes that when an old woman was hanging up a cloth on a laundry pole, a bull passed by, taking the cloth away on its horn. The old woman ran after the bull all the way to Zenko-ji without intending to. That incident made her very devoted to Buddhism, and she was able to go to heaven after her death.

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