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Introduction to Nagano Prefecture > Prefectural Symbol

Updated:June 21, 2014

Prefectural Symbol

Prefectural Bird [Ptarmigan]

Slightly larger than a pigeon, this alpine bird has been designated as a national natural monument. Its legs are covered in feathers, enabling it to survive in cold regions. In summer its feathers are brown, but in winter they turn snow-white.
The ptarmigan in Nagano prefecture inhabit the rocky areas of the Japan Alps at altitudes of over 2,400 meters where they raise their heads from among the creeping pines in their friendly way.


Prefectural Flower [Gentian]

The gentian grows wild in dry mountainous regions and grassy areas, producing beautiful purple flowers between September and November. The stems are generally 30-60 centimeters long, with some reaching lengths of one meter.
The graceful flowers of this plant signal the passing of autumn.


Prefectural Animal [Japanese Serow]

Designated as a special natural monument, the serow is about the size of a goat and is brown in colour. Both the male and female have black horns.
It lives in the mountains of Nagano prefecture within the coniferous forests of Mt. Yatsugatake and the Japan Alps, and represents the lonely struggle against the harshness of nature.


Prefectural Tree [White Birch]

Also known as the "shirakanba", this tree is characterized by its smooth, white bark and grows to heights of 20m.
Beautiful forests of white birch trees can be seen around Lake Shirakaba and on Shiga Highlands and Tateshina Highlands. The white trunks harmonize with the natural surroundings which change with the seasons, bringing the charm that is an indispensable part of the Shinshu highlands.