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2021年8月18日

 Kyoto is not merely a invaluable treasure of Japan, but also a jewel for the entire world.To continue our efforts to conserve and cherish our nature, landscapes, and culture, and hand them down to future generations, we are asking people all over the world to support us through donations.

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Message to People All Over the World form Kyoto, a Treasure of Japan and a Jewel for the World

 Since its establishment in 794, Kyoto has overcome many difficulties and has created new culture without interruption as the center of Japan, carrying out its function as a city for more than 1,000 years. Kyoto is unlike any other city in the world.

 Acclaimed for its scenic beauty, a rich natural environment has been fostered in Kyoto over generations, as is shown in the mountains surrounding the city’s urban areas in three directions, as well as in the Kamo River and the Katsura River. In this city, harmony between the natural environment and people’s daily lives has been achieved since early times.

 In addition, a wide variety of historic and cultural resources still exist in the city, including many assets designated as national treasures, important cultural properties and even World Heritage properties; shrines and temples; architecture and gardens that constitute historic landscapes; excellent landscapes; civil engineering heritage; eating habits and kimono culture; cultural aspects found in annual events and other occasions in the citizens’ daily lives; local communities; traditional industries and intellectual properties. Accumulated for generations, these resources constitute Kyoto’s characteristics and support citizens’ daily lives, while fascinating visitors from both Japan and the rest of the world as Japan’s most representative city.

For works of Kyoto Revitalization PR poster series, click here. (※Only available in Japanese)


Gion Matsuri Festival (Fune Hoko Float) “Thank Goodness We Have Kyoto in Japan” series No. 22 ©Kyoto City

Conservation of a Time-Honored, Sustainable City Featuring Harmony with Nature

 Featuring a compact urban structure with less impact on the environment, Kyoto City has been placing importance on harmony with nature. Kyoto is one of the first cities to conserve mountains, prioritize pedestrians and means of public transportation based on the concept “Kyoto, a city with the joy of strolling,” and conserve the environment and biodiversity.

 Moreover, taking advantage of the traditional values inherited from our ancestors, such as shimatsu-no-kokoro (a mindset which means to be motivated to take good care of things from beginning to end to enrich our personal lives), we have been working on reducing food loss and plastic waste, implementation of a thorough system for the sorting and recycling of waste, and the replacement of existing resources with renewable ones. By doing so, we are striving to accomplish a conversion to waste-free, recycling-based lifestyles, business models, and local communities.

 The world is facing a so-called “climate crisis” due to global warming. Kyoto City is the birthplace of the Kyoto Protocol, established in 1997 to set out reduction targets of greenhouse gas emissions for developed countries and economies in transition. The city is also the site of the adoption of the IPCC Kyoto Guidelines in 2019, designed to underpin the implementation of the Paris Agreement as a product of the Kyoto Protocol. To tackle the climate crisis and hand down a rich global environment to future generations, the mayor of Kyoto City became the first local government head in Japan to announce the goal of achieving Net Zero CO2 Emissions by 2050 ahead of the Japanese government. Followed by many other local governments, this announcement eventually led the Japanese government to work on achieving this target.

<Representative Efforts and Evaluation>

• With pride and responsibility as the birthplace of the Kyoto Protocol, we have achieved many “firsts” in Japan, such as the establishment of an ordinance specializing in measures against global warming, the first announcement made by a local government regarding Net Zero CO2 Emissions by 2050, and participation in the Powering Past Coal Alliance. In addition, in valuing intercity cooperation, we serve as chair of the East Asia Regional Executive Committee of the International Council for Local Environment Initiatives (ICLEI) - Local Governments for Sustainability, in which we participated in 1996, and also as chair of the Japanese operating committee of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. By supporting the activities of intercity cooperation organizations, we have actively been striving to ensure cooperation with other local governments both at home and abroad. Moreover, we actively participate in international conferences, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP), and disseminate to the world our efforts that serve as good models of measures against global warming. While working and cooperating with local governments around the world, we have been proceeding with anti-global warming measures on a global scale.

• In a private survey conducted to evaluate Japanese cities on how well-balanced they were regarding the economy, society and the environment from the perspective of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Kyoto City was placed first in 2019 and second in 2020.


The cityscape with the five-storied Yasaka Pagoda (c)Kyoto Media Support Center

Kyoto – a City Embodying Inheritance and Development of Japanese Culture

 In Kyoto, various forms of excellent tangible and intangible culture have been accumulated and inherited, including tasteful urban landscapes featuring kyo-machiya (traditional residential townhouse with space for a shop at the front), a historical atmosphere exuded by a combination of natural landscapes and cultural assets, and food and daily life culture. At the same time, while inheriting tradition, we have also accepted diverse cultures through both domestic and international interactions and have constantly created new forms of culture. While a wide variety of cultural aspects, from traditional culture to modern arts, are found in citizens’ lives today, our cultural assets accumulated this way are connected to academic research and industry, making Kyoto a cultural and academic city unparalleled in the world.

 We would like to continue to work toward realizing prosperity, peace and harmony for our citizens’ daily lives and industries, fostering creative leaders and encouraging interactions with the rest of the world, and generating a favorable cycle of inheriting, using, and creating Kyoto Cultural Heritage, such as excellent landscapes and daily life culture. By doing so, we would like to create and disseminate the culture of Kyoto and Japan as the cornerstone of the development of a sustainable society.

<Representative Efforts and Evaluation>

• The Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto, consisting of 17 sites (with 14 of them located in Kyoto City), is inscribed on the World Heritage List and recognized as follows: “As the center of Japanese culture for more than 1,000 years, Kyoto illustrates the development of Japanese wooden architecture, particularly religious architecture, and the art of Japanese gardens, which has influenced landscape gardening the world over.”

• Kyoto City is home to many cultural assets, with approximately 20% of the national treasures of Japan, amounting to more than 3,200 assets, located in the city. The city considers Kyoto Cultural Heritage as including not only cultural assets subject to protection under the law, but also all the tangible and intangible elements that are essential to the understanding of citizens’ daily lives, history, and culture. By passing on and maintaining such cultural heritage and helping citizens and many other people enjoy the city of Kyoto and daily lives there, we will continue to hand down Kyoto Cultural Heritage to future generations for 1,000 years to come.

• In 2013, washoku (traditional Japanese cuisine) was inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Behind this was Kyoto’s efforts to hand down to the next generation the rich food culture developed in Kyoto and the rest of Japan, as well as to spread and promote the culture throughout the world. In striving to pass on and develop washoku culture, Kyoto is the only city in Japan to receive aspiring washoku chefs from abroad at high-class traditional Japanese restaurants.

• As the birthplace of Japan's oldest manga, Kyoto has established Kyoto International Manga Museum, designed mainly to collect, preserve and exhibit manga materials, conduct surveys and research on manga culture, and organize exhibitions and other events. As indicated by this, we have been striving to hand down and develop manga culture as a representative form of Japanese pop culture.


Realization of special measure available only in Kyoto City, which allows foreign nationals to work at Japanese cuisine restaurants despite the Immigration Control and Refugee-Recognition Law.

City of Hospitality Utilizing Its Cultural Power for Interaction and Harmony with the World

 In 1978, Kyoto City declared that it would become a city where people from around the world could enjoy cultural interaction in peace without restrictions, regardless of differences in ethnicity, religion or social system, and would continue to create excellent culture (i.e., Declaration of Kyoto as a City Open to the Free Exchange of World Cultures). This declaration represents one of the city's most core principles. Based on this principle, the city welcomes many tourists from around the world so that they can enjoy the landscapes and many other tangible and intangible cultural elements preserved by the city, and this has led to Kyoto receiving high acclaim as one of the best  tourist destinations in the world.

 Welcoming those who visit Kyoto from around the world to enjoy the city’s landscapes and culture, ensuring that this has a positive effect on the city’s local communities and culture and helps to solve a wide variety of social challenges, in turn attracting even more visitors to the city further developed through the process -- the generation of this favorable cycle is Kyoto City’s tourism policy. The city is being committed to achieving harmony between citizens’ daily lives and tourism and fostering leaders for promoting local tourism and culture.

 These efforts of Kyoto City were highlighted as the Kyoto Model at the 4th UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Culture and Tourism, held in Kyoto in 2019. At the conference, the Kyoto Declaration on Tourism and Culture was adopted so that tourism would contribute to promoting the SDGs and achieving peace and mutual understanding between people with different cultural values.

<Representative Efforts and Evaluation>

• Kyoto was ranked first in the World’s Best Awards for two years in a row, in 2014 and 2015, by Travel + Leisure. Even after that, the city was placed in the best 10 for five years in a row.

• The number of overnight visitors to Kyoto from abroad increased considerably from 400,000 in 2000 to 4.5 million in 2018. We have been improving the environment where visitors from abroad can stay in Kyoto even more comfortably, for example by operating our own unique system of Kyoto Certified Interpreter Guides. Permitted by the national government as an exception for Kyoto, the system is intended to develop and ensure interpreter-guides who can communicate the attractive features of Kyoto in depth in foreign languages.

• To promote friendship and goodwill for the purpose of deepening understanding of foreign cultures, as well as to contribute to the solution of common challenges and the promotion of economic interaction and each other’s policies, we have been interacting with many foreign cities, including our sister cities (Paris, Boston, Cologne, Florence, Kiev, Xi'an, Guadalajara, Zagreb, and Prague) and our partner cities (Jinju, Konya, Qingdao, Hue, Istanbul, and Vientiane Special City).

• Kyoto City's Comprehensive Special Zone plan has been first certified by the national government, allowing foreign nationals to work at Japanese cuisine restaurants in the city.  This is a special measure available only in Kyoto, not anywhere else in Japan.


「Declaration of Kyoto as a City Open to the Free Exchange of World Cultures」

Request for Donations

 Kyoto has been greatly impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and the city faces serious financial difficulties.

 Kyoto is not merely an invaluable asset of Japan, but also a jewel of the entire world. To continue our efforts to conserve and cherish our nature, landscapes, and culture, and hand them down to future generations, we are asking people all over the world to support us through donations.

 We will spend your donations mainly for handing down the excellent natural environment and historic landscapes to future generations, passing on tangible and intangible traditional cultural assets to children without interruption, and establishing an environment to welcome visitors from all over the world once again after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

<How to Donate>

 Please click the banner below and enter the necessary information.

  • Donate to Kyoto Now

Inquiries

Kyoto City General Planning Bureau General Policy Office Kyoto Revitalization Section
mail: kyotososei@city.kyoto.lg.jp 
Tel:81-(0)75-222-3375 ※Only available in Japanese

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