Some 23 million people live in the nine prefectures of the Chubu region. It consists of Shizuoka and Aichi - two warm prefectures on the Pacific side - Yamanashi, Nagano, and Gifu amid the high mountain areas of the central upland zone, and the snow-belt prefectures of Fukui, Ishikawa, Toyama, and Niigata facing the Sea of Japan.
On the Pacific coast, industrial areas have developed centered on Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture, noted for its production of motor vehicles. In Shizuoka Prefecture, tea, fruits, and flowers are grown.
The mountainous areas produce upland vegetables, but precision-engineering industries, including watch- and camera-making, have also developed there. Nagano hosted the 1998 Olympic Winter Games.
Rice farming flourishes in Niigata Prefecture. All four prefectures facing the Sea of Japan produce washi (Japanese paper), textiles, and other traditional artifacts.
Photo:Nagano Prefectural Government