You do not have to use this kind of graphical representation to tackle these issues but some people find them a succinct way of summarising different kinds of relationships. See if you find it helpful. Start by looking at the top right-hand quadrant. The vertical axis measures the benefits China gets from, for example, trade with the United States gains increase as you move up the line and the horizontal axis measures the benefits the United States gets gains increase as you move right along the line.
Any point in the top right-hand quadrant is positive-sum, and as both China and the United States are benefitting, the gains are positive for both. These are the win—win situations referred to above. As independent states, neither is forced to trade with the other so it would seem trade is beneficial to both states. Now look at the bottom left-hand quadrant. Here both countries make net losses, both lose. These are lose—lose situations. You have seen already that security relations have the potential to descend into a negative-sum game.
Both countries have allies in the region who can act independently and at times unpredictably. Both the United States and China could be dragged into negative-sum conflicts they might otherwise wish to avoid through such alliances. The case of climate change was mentioned above as one example when negotiations can take on a zero-sum character where a gain for China leads to a loss for the United States, or vice versa.
The sections in these two quadrants below and to the left of the zero-sum line are both negative-sum even though in the top left-hand quadrant China gains US losses are bigger and in the bottom right-hand quadrant the United States gains Chinese losses are bigger. To check your understanding of the diagram in Figure 9, identify where on the diagram you would position some key moments from the history of China—United States relations.
Make sure you can explain your reasoning for this. You might choose the Korean War, the Nixon rapprochement with China, normalising trade relations in , or tensions over disputed territory in South East Asia or some other moment. As discussed negative-sum interactions include warfare where neither side achieves its objectives within what they see as acceptable cost — the Korean War might be an example here. This is a complex issue and you will only touch on it in general terms here.
This is often called coercive power. Even in positive-sum, win—win situations where both parties gain, the actual division of the gains may be subject to bargaining between states. In such situations, the state that can gain most without cooperating will have the most influence over the division of gains from cooperation. This is because they can more credibly threaten to walk away from the relationship. In bargaining situations, this is known as the fall-back position : what any party could gain without agreeing to a deal.
If a state can gain much without a deal they will be in a stronger position than a state that can gain little without it. Put a different way, the state that stands to gain most from any negotiation in relation to their fall-back position, is in the weaker position. As noted by Keohane and Nye Section 3. Power can also play a part in such situations if one party is able to impose costs or offer benefits to the other, thus creating an incentive for it to cooperate.
Alternatively, if one state threatens to walk away from a deal over trade, or environmental protection, the other, more powerful state can impose costs on it in the form of sanctions of one kind or another. However, the exercise of power in these kinds of instances also involves costs to the powerful state. Deploying military force or imposing trade sanctions, say, involves costs to the party that is taking these actions.
The ability to exercise coercive power in this sense requires a careful weighing up of costs and benefits. So far you have been exploring the forms of interdependence that arise when states pursue absolute gains. What does the picture look like if you change one of our assumptions and instead think about states pursuing only relative gains?
In this situation, states evaluate their own gains not in absolute terms — are they better off than they were before — but in relative terms — do they gain more than the other party? Or potential gains in one arena trade, say might be set aside because of concerns about the other increasing its relative position in another arena the security field, say.
There are two main reasons put forward. First, realists argue that the primary goal of states in the international system is to ensure their own security and that they have to rely on self-help to do this. They will therefore be concerned about the distribution of power across the system as a whole.
As Joseph Grieco puts it:. Driven by an interest in survival, states are acutely sensitive to any erosion of their relative capabilities, which are the ultimate basis for their security in an anarchical, self-help international context.
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That is the first way in which the structure of international politics limits the co-operation of states. Second, states will be concerned that interdependence, if sufficiently asymmetrical, will create a level of dependence on or vulnerability to other states that might allow those other states to dominate them by threatening to exploit their dependence. Both China and the United States have long-standing concerns over access to resources, especially oil supplies that relate to this kind of worry.
Each fears this creates a vulnerability that could be used against them. Although focusing primarily on military capabilities, economic capabilities also come into the picture because they can provide the basis for developing a bigger or more effective military force. The obvious and most important thing to note about the pursuit of relative gains, so far as the potential for cooperation is concerned, is that it turns every interaction into a zero-sum relationship.
This is because it makes the estimation of gains a ratio. The same is true of military spending — if China can increase its military spending faster than the United States, it can reduce its inferiority in this area. In relations with states that are seen as less of a threat, such concerns may be given less weight and states may be freer to pursue joint absolute gains. Arguably, most international relationships are neither ones of pure conflict zero-sum pursuit of relative gains nor pure cooperation pursuing mutual absolute gains but a more complex mix of the two. And the balance between the two may change over time, as arguably is the case in China—United States relations.
While in Sections 1 and 2 you read some general accounts of the changing relationship between China and the United States and the prospects for cooperation and conflict in that relationship, in Section 3 you studied how to set out some of the different kinds of interaction that arise in international relations, including China—United States relations, in a more formalised way. In the following sections you will be able to apply some of these terms to particular aspects of contemporary China—US relations. In this section and the next you will practice analysing issues of interdependence, cooperation and conflict by applying the ideas you have encountered in Sections 1—3 to a range of issues in China—United States relations.
These sections are intended to consolidate and to extend your knowledge of China—United States relations from Sections 1—3. In this section you will assess military and strategic issues in China—US relations. Some scholars see this course as following the historical pattern by which a declining power refuses to yield to a rising power, and war ensues. In the previous section you observed the shifting relations between the United States and China. The historical record shows that sources of conflict can be military, political, economic or cultural. At the same time, China and the United States have allied themselves and worked together when their mutual interests have aligned.
China—United States relations in military and strategic terms cover a wide field. In this section you will look at points of potential conflict and cooperation involving:. As the war in Iraq winds down and America begins to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan, the United States stands at a pivot point. Over the last 10 years, we have allocated immense resources to those two theaters.
In the next 10 years, we need to be smart and systematic about where we invest time and energy, so that we put ourselves in the best position to sustain our leadership, secure our interests, and advance our values. One of the most important tasks of American statecraft over the next decade will therefore be to lock in a substantially increased investment — diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise — in the Asia—Pacific region.
As you listen, make notes in the box below on the following questions. Now listen to this extract from the subsequent studio debate between US and Chinese analysts. As we saw in Sections 2 and 3, the issue of Chinese military strength is a key one in relations between China and the United States. As with all projections, it is based on a number of assumptions, in this case assumptions about economic growth and the amount of national income devoted to military spending.
Study Figure 14 above and note the assumptions this projection uses. The projection assumes that China continues to grow economically. It also assumes US economic growth which, as the financial crisis of showed, might not be continuous. Slower economic growth would put pressure on both Chinese and US defence budgets, altering the pace at which China might or might not close the gap.
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Other domestic priorities in China social spending to address rising inequalities, or spending on education as a more skilled workforce is needed could also limit the scope to increase military spending. Obviously the amount of money invested in the military reflects the physical strength and capability of the state to engage in war, or to defend itself against aggressors. If states focus on their capabilities in relation to another state, they are focusing primarily on relative gains: how much they have relative to the other state.
As noted in Section 3, a focus on relative gains inevitably gives relations between states a zero-sum character. If a gain by one state is tantamount to a loss by the other, the relationship can be described as having a zero-sum character. Explain, in your own words, why a focus on relative gains inevitably gives relations between states a zero-sum character. As noted in Section 3, if states pursue relative gains then they judge their own gains in relation to how much other states gain or lose.
A focus on the gap between China and the United States is inherently a relative gains calculation — China gains by reducing the gap, but the United States loses as its advantage is eroded. Although overall military spending is one way of measuring military capabilities, the composition of the armed forces is also important. Table 3 below is an estimation of the relative military capabilities of China and the United States.
As China increases its military expenditure, US policy makers fear it could use this increasing power to gain concessions from US allies in the region and exert its power regionally. Study Figure 15 above and make a few notes in the box below about how this distribution of forces Chinese missiles and US bases might be seen differently by China, the United States and by other countries in the region. The size of China in terms of territory, population and military capabilities could understandably make other states in the region very nervous.
This might render US power projection in Asia riskier and more costly and mean that US allies would be unable to rely upon the United States to deter aggression. The danger of situations like this is that what one state sees as a defensive development may be seen by others as an offensive development. Realists like John Mearsheimer emphasise that such uncertainty makes the region unstable and prone to conflict.
While the bilateral relationship between China and the United States is a key part of the picture, there is also a complex combination of mutual and conflicting interests in the triangular relations between China, United States and allies in the region. One example of this is territorial disputes. The islands are close to important shipping lanes, rich fishing grounds and potential oil and gas reserves. In recent years, both Japan and China have made moves to strengthen their claims, including China declaring an air identification zone over the islands.
The dispute between Hanoi and Beijing centres on the Paracel and Spratly Islands in the South China Sea as well as nearby areas considered rich in oil and other natural resources. The two countries have clashed in the past over the two island chains resulting in the death of hundreds of Vietnamese soldiers. Vietnam has been actively modernising its navy and seeking support from other countries. In recent years, China has also been building artificial islands on reefs along the Spratly island chain, increasing regional fears about its territorial ambitions.
Competing claims to the same territory like these are inherently zero-sum conflicts: more for one means less for the other. Where states prioritise territorial claims against one another, there is much scope for conflict. Whether China would prioritise relatively small-scale territorial claims enough to result in warfare — particularly if that were to draw in the United States — is more of an open question. However, there may be areas of mutual interest that could be promoted.
For example, all countries in the region have a shared interest in the maintenance of peace and security, trade interests and the regional tourist industry. Former Chinese premier Deng Xiaoping used to advise the Chinese to marginalise territorial disputes and focus instead on mutual economic interests. Territorial disputes reveal how triangular relationships in the region involving US or Chinese allies complicate the relationship between China and the United States.
In February , North Korea conducted its third nuclear test, flouting efforts to contain the spread of nuclear weapons. In response to international criticism, the isolated communist state made a series of belligerent statements towards both the United States and South Korea. The problem that the United States faces in dealing with North Korea is that North Korea has largely isolated itself from the rest of the world. The United States has little leverage over North Korea. It has no economic or political mechanisms that it can use to force North Korea to abandon its nuclear programme and to stop threatening its neighbours.
However, China does have potential mechanisms for exerting power over North Korea. The United States recognises this. China and the United States do have some shared interests. Both have stressed their shared interests in a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and official policy is to cooperate to achieve those ends. As you have seen, at various points in history when China and the United States have shared mutual interests they have been willing to work together.
However, North Korea is highly dependent on China for critical political and economic support. Although there is a fear that Chinese pressure would lead to North Korea acting even more unpredictably, there are also considerable internal divisions within China and some fear sanctions against North Korea would result in an influx of refugees. In Section 3, you were introduced to a diagram that provided a visual representation of positive, negative and zero-sum games, which is repeated as part of Activity 8 below.
If you need to refresh your memory of these terms, or the explanation of the diagram, take another look at Section 3. Consider the areas of interaction outlined above the diagram below. Then click on the three areas of the diagram — zero-sum, positive-sum and negative-sum — to discover different interpretations of the interaction areas. You'll need to click on all three areas of the diagram to proceed to the next interaction area and there are three in all. The concepts of positive-sum and zero-sum games are important tools in evaluating these different areas of interaction.
By working through contemporary issues like this you also build up a more general picture and evaluation of the overall tenor of China—United States relations. Remember positive-sum games are where the total gains from interaction are positive. Possible candidates here might be the development of extensive channels of communication and negotiation between China and the United States in managing North Korea. Even though territorial disputes are usually key examples of zero-sum interactions, there may be positive gains to be had if compromise solutions could be found, reducing regional tensions.
As you saw in Sections 1—3, much of the debate around China—United States relations concentrates on the remarkable economic growth China has experienced. This section explores some of the issues of conflict and cooperation at stake. Is this an example of a zero-sum competition with the United States? Make some notes in the box below. Secondly, even large levels of US indebtedness to China may not be a problem — in many ways it is of substantial benefit to the United States. Since the scoreboard showed a deficit, the United States was portrayed as losing at trade and it was losing because China perpetually cheats.
And yet, in the BBC World Tonight audio that you listened to in Section 4 you heard claims that there existed numerous levels of contact and discussion, information sharing and cooperation between the United States and China. This is an image of their relationship that sits at odds with some of the more strident commentary on both sides. There are sound issues of economic self-interest that explain why such contacts and discussion go on. Many analysts point to the mutual gains that are made by both states together. In order to try to manage these gains — while dealing with genuine areas of conflict — governments on both sides conduct ongoing and often cooperative exchanges on economic matters.
On joining, China had to make a series of commitments to abide by WTO rules and alter significant parts of its domestic policy to comply with WTO standards.
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Forbes magazine listed the accusations:. Currency manipulation, subsidization of industry, dumping, intellectual property theft, discrimination against imports, forced technology transfer, indigenous innovation policies, raw material export restrictions, and other allegations of cheating came to define Chinese trade practices. Nevertheless, the article went on to say that the state that was most often the subject of WTO disputes was not China but the United States. By , the United States was involved in cases, China in 30 cases.
The EU had 73 cases against it. One of the ways in which China is increasing its economic influence is through developing extensive connections with countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Investment in oil production has been a particular feature of relations with African states, though China has also extended into other raw material sectors, such as copper production in Zambia.
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China has also provided much needed investment in infrastructure in Africa and in Latin America. The implications for relations with the United States are complex. On the one hand, competition for oil and other resources in Africa and elsewhere may be seen in zero-sum terms with the United States losing access to supplies. Supplying aid to developing countries has also given Western donors political leverage. The rise of China as a trade partner, investor and aid donor in developing countries may well reduce this mechanism of Western influence.
In some issues areas, China and the United States have mutual interests and pursue these through strategies of cooperation. In other issue areas there is conflict, and gains for one side will mean losses for the other. In Activity 8 you practised placing issues within positive-sum, zero-sum or negative-sum categories. However, not all issues fit neatly into these three categories.
Figure 20 below is the same diagram you studied in Section 3 but with these additional positions identified. Now look at the version of the diagram below. Point A has the coordinates: 50, — Which country gains if the trade deal places them at this point and which country loses? Why would this be a positive-sum game, and why will cooperation not happen? However, cooperation will not happen because China is making a loss. Unless it is coerced to do otherwise, it will not play the game.
Now look at point B on the diagram. It has the coordinates 30,10, where both China and the United States gain. On the next page, you'll look at how countries can move from A to B through the use of side payments. In situations where an issue — the outcome of a set of negotiations for instance — places one country in a winning position and the other in a losing position such as the situation in Activity 10 , any voluntary agreement and most international agreements are voluntary will fail.
Could the United States do anything to persuade China to cooperate? The country that stands to gain in this case the United States can make a side-payment that incentivises the other China to cooperate. The parties move to point B, a win—win situation, and cooperation takes place. In reality this kind of deal making might involve one party giving concessions to another in the matters under discussion the trade deal or might give a concession in a different policy area. However, both states have pledged to make progress on this issue. In negotiations in the US—China Strategic Economic Dialogue — one of the multiple forums of discussion and cooperation between the two governments — the United States and China agreed the following:.
Both sides commit to further strengthen capacity building in, and resources devoted to, law enforcement against intellectual property rights IPR infringement. China is to improve IPR related laws and regulations and study further strengthening of measures for the pursuit of criminal liability for IPR infringement. But, China might agree to a deal in this issue area if it were to get concessions from the United States on other issues. This was a reference to the fact that China feels it is treated unfairly by US rules about what sort of products can be exported to China, preventing China from getting access to certain types of technology.
By rolling together different issues, countries may be able to use a variety of side-payments and bargains to turn areas of potential conflict or non-agreement into areas of cooperation. In fact, if you read press releases of negotiations like the one just quoted, they contain a large number of commitments that each side is making to the other.
World Trade Organisation agreements are much the same: a huge package of agreements and trade-offs. When engaged in such negotiations across a range of issues, each side tries to ensure that it comes out in overall terms with positive gains. So, while there are undoubtedly a large number of specific issue areas where actors on both sides of the relationship think they are losing out economically, a judgement of the overall costs and benefits of the relationship has to take a broader and more all-encompassing view.
Indeed, this is part of the task when thinking about the potential for cooperation and conflict between China and the United States. So far you have examined problems from the point of view of China or the United States. In the cases outlined, the benefits or costs were largely felt by either the United States or China. However, in an increasingly interconnected world, fewer and fewer problems are contained within the states involved.
Many are global in nature and require multilateral negotiations to address them. One of the key global problems is the issue of man-made climate change. One of the key difficulties in reaching a global agreement to tackle climate change is the economic conflict between China and the United States. Emissions of carbon dioxide CO2 are considered to be one of the major causes of climate change. China and the United States are the two states that produce the largest amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
For both states, cuts in CO2 emissions involve costs of either closing or reforming industries to limit emissions. The damage to their economies might be significant at least in the short run. International negotiations around climate change, centred on the United Nations, involve a huge number of countries and other actors. However, the difficulty of resolving the core dispute between China and the United States affects the whole global process of negotiation. For example, in the Copenhagen Summit known as COP15 attempted to extend cooperation on climate change.
This time the United States was in favour of a new agreement but only if it included China. Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao refused to enter the negotiations directly. China's primary goal in the conference: to block any proposal that threatened its capacity to expand. Negotiators played the conference like a football team intent on a 0—0 draw. Their strategy was defensive, their tactics were tough and their tackling of opponents occasionally brutal …With the support of other emerging economies — India, Brazil and South America — they shot down all attempts to make emissions cuts legally binding or to set long—term goals for reducing greenhouse gases.
Progress was eventually made, for instance at the Durban summit of , where China and the United States agreed to further negotiations, leading eventually to a new climate change agreement at Paris in Other multilateral issues like trade and nuclear proliferation are also affected by the tone of China-United States relations: conflict between these two key players has the ability to affect prospects for wider cooperation in the international system. In this section, you can now look back over the varied areas of interaction between China and the United States and consider what overall picture emerges about the prospects for cooperation or conflict.
The section reviews emerging issues in the economic and military fields before reflecting on the impact this relationship might have for international order as a whole. As you have seen, a central focus of debate on China—United States relations concerns the economy.
Here there are strong arguments and historical evidence that each nation reaps substantial benefits for example, in terms of burgeoning trade between the two countries. Many therefore see this aspect of the relationship as positive-sum where large absolute gains are available. If this is so, then it creates an important basis for both states to foster cooperative relations in the future.
However, it is worth noting that even here, there is much to disentangle. Although the estimation of costs and benefits of different courses of action is important, and governments do often try to evaluate the economic benefits they can get from a particular relationship or trade deal in monetary terms, it is never an exact science. Moreover, there may be a divergence between the benefits to the economy as a whole and the costs and benefits to particular groups within that economy.
It is claimed they lead to relocation or closure of domestic business and the loss of jobs. Yet, for the Western capitalist economies as a whole, these costs are countered by the benefits to domestic consumers of cheap imports and the overall boost to world economic growth that China and other Asian economies have provided.
Both of these have made a significant contribution to maintaining Western standards of living while also benefitting China, strengthening the view that this is a win—win relationship. In real political debates as well as in the analysis within international relations, these are competing claims that you need to be able to work through carefully in arriving at your own assessment. Even if it were conceded that there are large absolute gains to be had from cooperative economic relations, a counter argument suggests that consideration of military and security issues will temper any possible cooperation.
The future of disputed areas of territory including the future of Taiwan is an example where state preferences on each side can be seen to be opposed and the interaction zero-sum. Others take this a step further still. In the United States, analysts such as Mearsheimer see Section 2 argue that the potential threat that China poses means that the United States should seek to limit any relative gains China might make.
The entire relationship in this view should be seen in zero-sum terms. On the Chinese side, too, some analysts argue that the historical record suggests that the United States can never be trusted and will always look for ways to dominate China and frustrate its development. It is also true that in military matters the United States retains a huge advantage accounting for nearly half of world military spending.
Indeed, because of its advanced military industrial sector, the productivity of its spending probably far outstrips that of other states Bromley, , pp. As you have seen this also involves costs. Can the United States use its military capabilities to secure goals in the economic field? Conversely, can China use relative economic advantages to secure wider influence over the United States? Michael Cox has argued that too many writers assume that a shift in economic gravity is the same thing as a shift in power.
These are questions you will continue to consider when exploring the future of China—United States relations further. As commentators in both the United States and China note, much of this institutional order is Western in origin and liberal in character. Does China want to utilise its increasing influence to change existing rules and norms in the international arena to better suit its priorities? Statements such as that by Zheng Bijian Section 2 suggest a recognition that China does seek some changes to that order even if he is at pains to claim this will be incremental and democratic.
The axis of authoritarianism shares a distinctive approach to the world that contrasts sharply with liberal attitudes … A world in which the authoritarian powers wield considerably more influence looks very different from the years —, when the world order was informally based on two central facts — American power and globalization.
Against this view are those who suggest that the preferences of the West and China are not so opposed. The Californians invented it, of course. The name of the roll was not intended for ironic effect, and the sober story is well-documented. It also had a small sushi bar. There was little of this to be had in California. What was readily available, however, were truckloads of fresh avocados crossing the Mexican border. With almost a third of its content being fat, avocados offered the texture and melt-in-your-mouth qualities of toro.
Later, due to prohibitive costs, he switched from shrimp to shirimi made sausage-like from non-usable bits of white fish , which until then was tossed to the seagulls from the docks of Cannery Row in Monterey. It is still used today. Finally, to hide the cheap quality of the nori that was being used, he turned the roll inside-out, to keep it forgive me under wraps. These two innovations replacing tuna belly with avocado and putting rice on the outside rocked the sushi world almost as much as Prince hating sushi shook the Rock world.
Purists back in Japan mocked the roll for creating simulated flavors and deemed the hiding of the nori sacrilegious. So began our undying love affair with, not to mention the misappropriation of, the California Roll. If weather permits, you can pop out to the rooftop Sky Deck additional Yen. The stunning glass facade of the architecture itself, designed by Kurosawa Kisho, is worth a visit. The art center has no permanent collections, but boasts the country's largest exhibition space for visiting shows.
This is home to major international modern and contemporary exhibits as well as smaller shows usually free. As of writing Niki de Saint Phalle  is on the show [Sep. Check the web site above to schedule your visit. From its beginning, this museum has subscribed to an underlying philosophy of lifestyle art. Rotating exhibits focus on the beauty of useful things: Japanese ceramics, lacquer-ware, glass, dyeing, weaving and such. The architecture was designed by Kuma Kengo.
In Tokyo's TV networks desperately needed a tall antenna array to transmit signals to all around the city. The m 1,ft vintage tower remains a beloved symbol of the city's post-WWII rebirth, which is 13m taller than the inspiration for the design - the Eiffel Tower, with great views of the city. It's also painted bright orange and white in order to comply with international aviation safety regulations. The Main Observatory, set at m ft above ground, and the Special Observatory, up and additional m ft , quickly became major tourist attractions; they still draw many visitors a year, the vast majority of them Japanese youngsters on their first trip to the big city.
There is an aquarium on the 1st floor. In Edo period when Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first Shogun, made Edo his capital, Shinjuku was at the junction of two important arteries Koshu-kaido and Ome-kaido leading into the city from the west. It became a thriving post station, where travelers would rest and refresh thrmselves for the last leg of their journey. When the Tokugawa dynasty collapsed in and ended Samurai period finally, year-old Emperor Meiji moved HIS capital to Edo from Kyoto , renaming it Tokyo , and modern Shinjuku became the railhead connecting it to Japan's western provinces.
But the area was virtually leveled during the bombings of a blank slate on which developers could write, as Tokyo surged west after the war. Shinjuku is, now, a whole city within the city. Its breadth and scale are simply awesome - over three million people a day pass through the station alone. To the west of the station is Nishi-Shinjuku West Shinjuku , a planned district of soaring skyscrapers.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government offices are here, along with many company headquarters; it's full of dark-suited office workers. East of the station is one huge entertainment district. Commuters who pass through Shinjuku on their way home stop off for something to eat and drink, and sometimes stay out until the first morning trains start running. Shinjuku is that rare Tokyo neighbourhood that truly has something for everyone. Back in '60s the master plan that moves the water reservoir and purification plant and build skyscrapers to make this west side of Shinjuku Station as a huge commercial area - called Shinjuku Sub-downtown was established.
When economy of Japan was flourishing the first building Keio Plaza Hotel opened in Since then a number of high-rise buildings more than m ft were sprang out one by one, which have become the symbol of the town. At the same time department stores owned by private railroad companies such as Odakyu and Keio were built adjacent to Shinjuku Station and the development of the underground plaza in front of west exits of the station started.
Once the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building designed by Tange Kenzo has joined the row of the skyscrapers in , most of the buildings we currently see were complete and the shape of town have been established. There are, however, still many old residential houses on the edge or just outside of the developed area. But they're gradually decreasing year by year. East side of Shinjuku Station is a huge entertainment district.
Every night when this side of town starts lighting up, lots of commuters who otherwise pass through Shinjuku by trains get off and browse through the shops and in many occasions they as groups from work places or college students directly walk into their favourite isakayas Japanese bars and spend hours drinking and eating with loud conversations.
Those places are always packed by the people and very noisy without music. Among the whole entertainment district, Kabuki-cho is the most notorious red-light district, which covers several blocks north of Yasukuni-dori, was famously named after a kabuki theater that was never built. Instead you'll find numerous different kind of theaters just shy of anti-prostitution laws, cabarets, love hotels and fetish bars.
It's generally safe to walk through but not recommended to go there alone. You may attract unwanted attention. Though it was designed as an imperial retreat completed in Meiji period, Shinjuku-Gyoen was finally opened to the public after WWII. It's a perfect place for leisurely walks: paths, ponds and bridges, artificial hills, thoughtfully placed stone lanterns, and more than 3, kinds of plants, shrubs, and trees.
There are different gardens in Japanese, French, and English styles, as well as a greenhouse the nation's first, built in filled with tropical plants. The best times to visit are April, when 75 different species of cherry trees - some 1, trees in all - are in bloom, and the first two weeks of November, during the chrysanthemum exhibition.
Since Emperor Kammu moved the nation's capital to Heian-kyo current Kyoto in , for more than 1, years every Emperor had residency in Kyoto until Emperor Meiji moved it to Tokyo in after Tokugawa Shogun's government collapsed. The astonishing number of temples, shrines, and places that adorn the city make Kyoto's architecture its most famous feature to visitors literally from around the world.
Japan's capital for more than 1, years, Kyoto was the center not only for politics, but also for religion, philosophy, art, culture, and cuisine. Virtually every one of Japan's refined cultural arts blossomed from seeds that were planted here long time ago, such as the tea ceremony, Kabuki theater, Zen, Tantric  Buddhism. If you fly into Narita or Haneda airport, the chances are you're getting on a Tokaido Shinkansen train, the original Shinkansen line started its operation in the year the first Tokyo Olympics was held the second one is coming in , to get to Kyoto.
Once you got off the Shincancen at Kyoto station, you want to walk toward north exits. Because the current JR Kyoto station is located closer to south-east corner of Heian-kyo 1, years ago, and most of historical sites - either inside of Heian-kyo or just outside of it - are spread around on the north side of the station.
The general idea of transportation inside of Kyoto I recommend is if you need to move between the regions in the map above, I would use trains or subways.
If you're planning to get on subways more than 2 times that day, the pass would save you some money. But there are only two subway routes. Depending on where you are planning to walk around that day, you might use only two times, getting there and coming back. If so, the pass would cost you more.
There are zillion of bus routes by multiple bus service providers in Kyoto. However, if you select only a little more than handful of Shi-Bus routes in the image below, it's manageable and you can get to the most of the destinations you want to visit using even bus service only. As you might have noticed, series seems to be loop routes. This covers the entire range in the bus routes I recommended in the right image for not only Shi-Bus but also Kyoto Bus, which is operated by a separate private company.
To me it's almost free ride all day!!! Enjoy the rides! Kyoto is a basin surrounded by mountains on three directions; east, north and west. Also this area has most concentration of temples, shrines, museums, and other cultural sites in Kyoto. Although you have to walk up the slope for quite distance to get to the sites, you would be definitely rewarded by beautiful vista of the city from higher up, like Kiyomizu-dera. You could spend an entire day to walk around this area from south to north, or north to south, and spend some time at each site. The original temple, called Rengeo-in, was built in almost at the end of Heian period when Kyoto was the center of politics, before Samurais took over and moved the center of politics to Kamakura then Edo, at the request of the retired emperor Go-shirakawa.
After it burnt to the ground in , a faithful copy was constructed in Sanju-San means 33 in Japanese. But it's quite complicated to explain how exactly gen is equivalent to meters about ft 8in for the length of the building while "gen" is not a unit of length but Japanese old architectual unit to describe the number between posts. Anyway one thing for sure is it's very long. At the center there is a main statue of Senju-Kannnon sitting figure. Just walking up about a half block from Sanju-Sangen-do you would be waking through a smaller gate San-mon across Higashi Oji Dori into the temple.
The garden is arranged with a narrow long pond, a man-made mound and water falls to provide depth in a small space. When I visited in winter in it was under maintenance and the pond was dried up. But in late spring azalea and rhododendron add dramatic colors to the greens. Hasegawa School is one of two major painter clans who made traditional Japanese paintings in Azuchi-Momoyama Period as well as well-known Kano School. Hasegawa Tohaku, and his son Kyuzo, made their name famous with their shiny and gogeous Fusuma-e sliding partition paintings and Byoubu-e screen paintings in the period right before Tokugawa family's Edo period.
There is a dedicated exhibition room for paintings. Comapred to Kano School's paintings they are more comlicated in composition with more details. This Meiji-era brick structure holds an extensive array of sculptures, textiles, ceramics, and metalwork. It's worth checking on the special exhibitions. Between April and May they're showing "Zen - shaping spirits" is on a show. The museum is on the corner of Shichijo-dori and Higashi-oji-dori, across from Sanju-sangen-do and Chishaku-in.
This temple is arguably the most famous and favourite place in Kyoto among visitors from around the world. Maybe at the same level with Kinkaku-ji and Ginkaku-ji officially Jisho-ji. Since it's built on a hill side, the view of downtown Kyoto is breath taking especially in the evening and seasons for cherry blossoms or turned-color maple leaves. From Kyoto Station, you can use Route bus to get to the bottom of the hill. Then need to walk up either Go-jo-zaka or Kiyomizu-michi , both routes are a little less than a mile.
After climbing through many small tea shops and craft shops along the narrow cobble-stone streets, then passing the main gate, you're approaching the three-story pagoda. You need to pay admission fee to walk into the buildings behind including the main hall. The huge veranda of the hall, jutting out over the valley, has become one of the city's quintessential images like below. Gion is the famous entertainment and geisha quarter on the eastern bank of the Kamo-gawa river.
At the same time, part of this district has been declared a national historical preservation district. The old-style Japanese houses called machiya and ochaya or "tea houses" are well kept in the style centuries ago especially along Shinbashi-dori. The origin of Gion started in teahouses catering to weary visitors to Yasaka-jinja. By the midth century the area had become Kyoto's larget pleasure district.
C.S. Black (Author of Sternenseele)
Kyoto's premire kabuki theatre, Minamiza , is located on the corner of Shijo-dori therefore often called as Shijo-Minamiza and Kawabata-dori in Gion. If you're interested in Japanese traditional performance art, and if there's a show while you're in town, it's highly recommended that you see at least a few acts. For more detail about Minamiza and history of Kabuki, below article explains you very well. It goes for the entire month of July, but the main event is the parage, the Yamaboki Junko on July 17 and july It takes the name from Gion district.
The parade course is, however, on the west side of Kamo-gawa near the city hall, which is just outside of Gion. As you can imagine, it would be really tough to book hotel rooms in Kyoto in the week. This is considered the guardian shrine of the Gion entertainment district. It's often called intimately "Gion-san" by locals Just like I would be called "Toshi-san" or "Esumi-san". The origin of this shrine goes back to the 7th century, but the current buildings you can see are mostly from the 17th century, with an exception that the west gate, Nishi-ou-mon in the right image , is from This shrine is popular as a spot for hatsu-mode first shrine visit of the New Year.
If you don't mind a stampede like in the left image , come here around midnight on New Year's Eve or on any of the days following. The number of people visit the shrine for the first three days of the year is recently estimated about one million , which is the second in Kyoto after Fushimi Inari. The enormous San-mon the entrance gate, right built in and Hon-do main hall built in are designated as National Treasures. The upstairs of the San-mon is open to public in spring and fall, and you can see the Shaka Nyorai Budda and sixteen Rakan Arhats statues, and dragon murals on the ceiling in narrow and dark rooms after climbing up very steep stairs.
Currently the main hall is in the middle of large scale building repair, which would last for 8 years. Therefore access to some areas might not be available. Nanzen-ji was opened by a retired emperor Kameyama in But they're a little smaller and the location is recessed or tucked against the Higashiyama Eastern Mountains , which provides quieter atmosphere. Inside, folding screens and sliding doors with impressive 16th-century paintings by Kano School painters divide the chambers.
Kobori Enshu created what's commonly known as the Leaping Tiger Garden, an example of the kare-sansui style , attached to the Hojo. This fine museum hods several major exhibitions a year, as well as a variety of free shows. Two images, left and right, are examples from two different shows in early this year It's always worth stopping by after checking what's going on at the web site above while you're in town.
It might give you a very pleasant surprise. This massive shrine with vermilion and white wall and green roof was built in to comemorate the th anniversary of the founding of Kyoto. The colorful buildings are replicas, reduced to a two-thirds scale, of the Imperial Court Palace of the Heian period , destroyed in The architecture reveals China's strong influence on the early Japanese court.
The astonishing steel red torii shrine gate is the biggest in Japan, which is about m 1,ft in front of the shrine. The vast garden behind the main shrine is a fine place for a wanter and particularly lovely during the cherry-blossom season. Whith its large pond and Chinese-inspired bridge, the garden is a tribute to the style that was popular in the Heian period. The complex hosts one of Kyoto's biggest festivals, the Jidai Matsuri, which is held on the 22nd of October.
On the 2nd and 3rd of June, Takigi Noh is also held here on the stage outdoor. Takigi Noh is a picturesque form of Noh stylized dance-drama performed on a bare stage performed in the light of blazing fires. Kyoto's famed Silver Pavillion Ginkaku-ji was built in by shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa for his retirement villa. Carefully sculpted gardens surround a two-story mansion that the shogun, in a theory, originally intended to be wrapped in silver leaf, which was abandoned later due to continuous wars causing government funds for the project to dry up. However, the name Silver Pavillion came around only Edo Period.
He picked this place intentionally because it's on the opposite end of town from his grandfather Ashikaga Yoshimitsu 's Golden Pavillion. Don't miss the footpath that leads to a viewpoint over Kyoto and all the way to the western mountains. The major sites in central Kyoto are along two subway lines; Karasuma-line and Tozai-line. This part of Kyoto was original inside of Heiankyo so the avenues and streets generally go east-to-west and north-to-south and they intersect squarely.
Amida-do, where Amida Buddha is enshrined, is now under restoration and won't be open to public until spring of In when Tokugawa Ieyasu became shogun, he was also afraid of the power of the Honganji and declared that the Hongan-ji be split in two after continuous conflict inside of the chief priest clan and between hawkish and dovish groups of monks.
Higashi Hongan-ji was built at the spot less than m east higashi from Nish Honganji. This is the original Hongan-ji before it was split and Higashi Hongan-ji was built in However, before they found this permanent location ordered by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in , they had to move around Kyoto after Hongan-ji was founded by Shinran in mainly political reasons and by conflict with another sect of Buddhism temple, namely Hieisan Enryaku-ji.
It's intimately called as "O-Nishi-san" by locals. By the way, the official name of this temple is "Ryukoku-zan Hongan-ji". Nish Hongan-ji is actually an alias. If you want to see all strange but wonderful foods that go into Kyoto cuisine at one place, this is where it is! It's commonly known as Kyoto's Kitchen. This pedestrian-only reasonably market is home to shops.
It's said that there were stores here as early as the 14th century and the street was a whole sale fish market in Edo ZPeriod. After the end of Edo Period as Japan entered the moern era, the market became a retail market, which it remains today. Here you can find locally produced Japanese food items like tsukemono Japanese pickles , tea, beans, rice, seaweed and fish. But nowadays some souvenir shops selling Kyoto-style souvenires are mixed in the food stalls.
It came back in historical spot light years later when the last shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu returned the power to the Emperor in , called Taisei-Hokan. The Momoyama-era Kara-mon gate features lavish, masterful woodcarving and metalwork. The five buildings behind the gate is Ninomaru Goten palace.
In addition to spectacular screen paintings at Ninomaru, don't miss the impressive garden created by landscape designer Kobori Enshu. The original palace in Heian Period was located about one mile west from the current palace, and the current one was temporary when the original one was burned down by fire. However, it had become the official palace since the early 14th century until Emperor Meiji moved it to Tokyo in for about years. Although the historical significance of the site is without a question, the access to even the grounds requires ahead permission to get in an hour guided tour, which is sort of underwhelming, since the site still remains an imperial household property.
There are 5 day open periods to public in spring and fall when you don't need permission. Also the current buildings were rebuilt in and relatively new. All combined many visitors choose to admire the grounds from the outside. There are not so many tourist destinations in southern part of Kyoto. However, Fishimi Inari Taisha is one the most visited destination by foreign tourists. As the role of agriculture diminished, deities were enrolled to ensure prosperity in business.
The shrine is one of Japan's most popular, and the head shrine for some 40, Inari shrines. Many visitors find the shrine's thousands of red lacquered gates to be the quintessential image of Japan. You would see a lots of stone and bronze foxes as well, which is considered the messenger of Inari. The path goes up the mountainside. The walk around the upper precincts of the shrine is a pleasant day hike.
This area is a little detached from other Kyoto destinations. Or Keihan-honsen train ride is another option if you're staying around Higashiyama area. This area of Kyoto is facing the northwest mountains and major temples like Kinkaku-ji is along Kita-Oji Dori, which turns into Kinukake-no-Michi. They're quite spread east-to-west and it would take longer to cover all destinations if you're on foot. A rental bike is an option but you should expect some work out around Kinkaku-ji where you would climb up and down the hill.
I would recommend utilizing buses. Although it shouldn't be too difficult to figure out if a route takes you to your destination or not, if you have a good map as well as a partial bus route map handy, you can always ask the bus driver "XXXX ni iki-mas-ka? On the last day of Obon festival, Aug. The origins are obscure. There are some theories it started in Heian Period or Edo Pediod but either of them don't s have solid basis. There are two Daimonji-yama mountain in Kyoto.
One is in Higashiyama, which is regularly called as Daimonji-yama. The one north from Kinkakuji is called as "Hidari left Daimonji-yama" because it's on your left side when you look at both from the city facing north. Each bonfire lasts for 30 min. Not all Tatchus are open to public but you can get inside of below in images with a fee each to see their gardens.
In addition to the gardens each Tacchu is housing awesome screen paintings and sumi-e black ink painting as well. Don't miss them. Without any doubt this shiny 'Golden Pavilion' is one of the world's most impressive religious monuments, which is on everyone's 'must-see' list. Kinkaku-ji was originally built in as a retirement villa for shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu.
After his death it was converted into a Buddhist temple by his son in compliance with his wishes. The current temple was reconstructed in the s after a young monk set fire to the standing structure. The monk attempted committing suicide on Daimonji-yama but was caught by the police and sentenced to seven years in prison. However he was released because of mental and physical illnesses. Later he died of tuberculosis in A fictionalized verion of these events is at the center of Mishima Yukio' s famous novel The Temple of the Golden Pavilion.
Nonetheless, the structure was one of the symbols of Kitayama Culture in Muromachi Period, still proudly showing off the power of shogun at that time more than years later. The combination of classical Japanese painting's muted colors with a more abstract approach to figures and subject matters from everyday life makes his work very appealing. He worked in wood, stained-glass, oils, and watercolors.
The museum is located along Kinukake-no-michi across the road from the main gate of Ritsumeikan University. The area is rich with nature and culture. Among all those famous rock gardens in Kyoto, including Nanzen-ji's and Daitoku-ji's I introduced above, the solemn stones set into the sand at Ryoan-ji's rock garden has become one of Japan's quintessential images.
You've probably seen a picture of the rock garden here. Ryoan-ji belongs to the Rinzai school and founded in in Muromachi Period. After the anti-Buddhism movement in Meiji Period once the temple almost faded into history. But it made a big come-back and earned a world famous status when Queen Elizabeth II strongly requested to visit Ryoan-ji and praised the rock garden in when she visited Japan.
There is no doubt that it is Japan's most famous hira-niwa flat gardenvoid of hills or ponds and reveals the stunning simplicity and harmony of the principles of Zen meditation. If you're in Kyoto in the fist half of April, you have to go to Ninna-ji to see late-blooming multi-petalled cherry trees called Omuro-no-Sakura. It's mentioned even in Tsure-zure-gusa , medieval Japanese literature  in 14th Century. Emperor Uda who completed this temple in stepped down and built an additional building called Omuro to live and became the first chief priest at this temple.
After him until Meiji Period many of chief priests at Ninna-ji were from imperial families and they kept strong political power for long time. Therefore this temple is often called as Omuro Palace. The buildings you see now were constructed in the 17th century. Especially Kondo used to be Shishinden at the Imperial Palace and moved here at that time, and the oldest Imperial Palace structure that still exists now.