Main City: Maebashi
Population: 1,927,000 people ranking 18/47 prefecture (2021)
Area: 6,363 km2
Geographical / Landscape description
Gunma Prefecture is located in the middle of Honshu, around 100km from the capital, Tokyo.
One of only eight landlocked prefectures in Japan, Gunma is the north western-most prefecture of the Kanto plain. Except for the central and southeast areas, where most of the population is concentrated, it is mostly mountainous.
Because of its inland location there is a significant temperature difference between summer and winter. Thanks to the so called “karakaze” a strong, dry wind which occurs in the winter, and to the protection offered by the Echigo mountains, the prefecture records a relatively low level of winter precipitation.
Recent history, culture
Held in the city of Annaka, the Ansei Tooashi Samurai Marathon is most likely the oldest marathon of Japan. Back in 1855 a local lord organised a race between his troops and the name of the finishers was recorded in the order of arrival. Today the peculiarity of this marathon is that participants are dressed in costumes of any kinds, from wearing samurai armour, running as an anime or video game character, dressed like Santa Claus or even a vegetable there is no limit to participants’ imagination to make the event a joyful one.
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