China in 2 minutes a day
Top news and analysis delivered to your inbox
Michael Yamashita

Michael Yamashita

Michael Yamashita is an award-winning photographer who has been shooting for National Geographic magazine for more than 30 years. He specialized in Asia after spending seven years in the region following his graduation from Wesleyan University.

Indoor skiing

People ski at Yinqixing Indoor Ski in Shanghai. Covering an area of 100,800 square meters, it is China’s first and only indoor skiing slope.
   photo by

The Shanghai swing

A couple practices ballroom dancing in Fuxing Park, in the Luwan District of Shanghai. Groups gather here daily, at one of the largest parks in the city, for everything from modern ballroom dancing to traditional taichi.
   photo by

Playing video games in 1991

Children played video games at a makeshift outdoor arcade in Jinghong of Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province in 1991.
   photo by

Tea picking

Farmers pick Longjing tea at Longjing Village in Hangzhou. The green tea, which is produced mostly by hand and renowned for its high quality, can be very expensive depending on the varieties.
   photo by

Taking fencing classes

Two young Chinese women take a fencing class at a club in Shanghai. Although fencing is not as popular as other sports in China, many young people view it as a trendy way to stay fit.
   photo by

Jinshan peasant painting

Fengjing, in the Jinshan district of Shanghai, is one of the three most important towns for peasant painting in China. Handcrafted by peasant farmers, the paintings incorporate folk art techniques such as paper cutting, embroidery, and wood carving, and their content includes pictures of gods and other auspicious images.
   photo by

Taking wedding photos

A couple is having wedding photos taken at the Orange Photography Studio in Shanghai. Chinese couples usually display their wedding photos on a big screen during their wedding banquet later.
   photo by

Square dancing

Women are dancing in the square at Huaihai Park in Shanghai. Square dancing is a popular exercise routine performed to music in parks or squares. Recently, reports on problems created by the activity — such as with loudspeaker music — have risen, leading to the introduction of new regulations governing the site, time, and music volume.
   photo by

Soup dumplings

Chefs are making soup dumplings, the most popular food in Shanghai, at Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant in Shanghai. Established in 1900, the famous eatery is located in the City God Temple precinct in the old Chinese section of the city.
   photo by

Bridge over the flowing river

Fengjing Ancient Town, the best-preserved water town in Shanghai, features 52 bridges and has a history of more than 700 years. Several canals run through and around the ancient town, making it one of the most famous tourism attractions in Shanghai.
   photo by

Playing the violin

Children play the violin at a St. Patrick’s Day parade in an Irish community in Shanghai. Many countries note the holiday, which celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish. In China, it is only commemorated in certain communities and towns.
   photo by

Dressed up for wedding photos

A Chinese woman is getting her hair done for her wedding photos in the Orange Photography Studio in Shanghai. Chinese couples usually prefer having their wedding photos taken prior to their official wedding day.
   photo by

Posing for photos

Tourists are posing for photos on the boardwalk above the turquoise water in Jiuzhaigou in Sichuan Province. Jiuzhaigou is a national park that is known for its blue and green lakes and spectacular waterfalls. It was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1992.
   photo by

Mongolian marriage ritual

A newly married couple toasts guests in a traditional Mongolian marriage ceremony in Subei Mongol Autonomous County in Gansu Province. Mongolian people wear long-sleeved clothes that cover their shoulders at their wedding ceremony, representing a good and complete life for the couple.
   photo by

Jiayuguan at sunset

The Jiayuguan Pass, a section of the Great Wall in China’s northwest Gansu Province, was built during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). It served as an important fortress along the Silk Road, the world’s oldest trading route, which connected China with Central Asia and Europe.
   photo by