Summer Innovation College 2019 in Tono

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Join us this summer in Tono, Iwate Prefecture together with 14 university students, 36 local high school students and 4 professional mentors, all for one goal: to innovate and create a new future of rural Japan in the 21st century!

Summer Innovation College is established and organized by “Create the Future in Tono College” (powered by Fuji Xerox) since 2012. Every year, we welcome university students to Tono- a beautiful city in the mountains of rural Iwate prefecture, to work with local high school students to discover social problems that lead to the declining of the region, and then carry out fieldwork and brainstorming workshops in order to come up with ideas and solutions to tackle the conundrum. International students became a key component of this project since 2018 with the support of BOUNDLESS (Sosei Partners).

This year, we are looking for four international students who fulfill the following requirements to join us in this exciting journey delving into the future of rural Japan.

A group of international students and working professionals visit Tono in the summer of 2017 as part of a Sosei Partners program.

A group of international students and working professionals visit Tono in the summer of 2017 as part of a Sosei Partners program.


  • Able to convey your ideas in Japanese (The entire program will be conducted in Japanese, and you will be expected to communicate in Japanese with high school and university students.)

  • Interested in working with local high school and university students.

  • Interested in education, community development and regional revitalization.

  • Age: Preferably younger than 25 years old.

  • Preferably non Japanese (since we already have a group of Japanese university students), unless you have some international background or experiences.

  • Able to attend group meetings on 30 July (afternoon) and 31 July (morning) in Tokyo.

  • There will be other meetings apart from the two above mentioned dates. Please try your best to attend and participate in all meetings. The two meetings on 30 and 31 July are mandatory.

  • Preferably living in Tokyo (or near Tokyo) since you are required to attend meetings in Tokyo.

We are specifically looking for people with the following two skill sets:

  • Experience in programming and able to teach simple programming (such as Scratch or Raspberry Pi) to high schools students


  • Experience in videography and able to teach video taking and editing to high school students.


In this year’s program, we will be splitting into two groups- a) Science & Technology and b) Art & Music.

For the Science & Technology group, students will move around in groups to discover and do fieldwork in Tono, in order to identify social problems in the city, particularly issues related to well-being, elderly and people with disabilities. You are then required to create solutions using programming or by creating a video to convey your ideas about the identified issue. You will then present it on the last day to the local residents of Tono.

For the Art & Music group, students will spend one day to create an art piece or music piece to express the beauties of Tono. There will not be international participants in this group.

*Please note that your task is NOT to use your skills to create an app or take videos, but rather to teach high school students and work with them to create the required output.

Regarding Expenses:

You will be paid ¥60,000 (assuming you stay for the entire period and attend the two required meetings) after the program. ¥60,000 should be sufficient to cover all your expenses if you come from Tokyo.

Therefore, you are required to pay for the following first, before the reimbursement after the program.

  • Transportation to Tono and back home (You are strongly encouraged to extend your stay to explore Tohoku region!)

  • Lodging and meal expenses: ¥22,040

You will be staying at this accommodation facility run by Tono Mirai Zukuri College, together with other participants.

Flow of Selection Process:

Application Period: May 18 ~ 31, 2019

Interview: June 1 ~ 3, 2019

Results: June 4, 2019

First Gathering: June 8, 2019 (tentative)

Group Meetings: 30 July (afternoon) and 31 July 2019 (morning)

Summer Program: 7 ~ 11 August 2019

Tentative Schedule of Summer Program:

Day 1: Fieldwork

Day 2: Fieldwork

Day 3: Creation Day

Day 4: Presentation

Creative Communicators

It is our pleasure to announce that BOUNDLESS will be playing a part in the Local Creator’s Market (hereafter written as LCM) whose aim is to support the overseas expansion and brand promotion of the regional products from Japan. LCM is organized by All About Co., Ltd., which runs All About Japan- a website that showcases Japanese culture to an international audience. This project is sponsored by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) under the “Promotion of Regional Brands” project.

この度、弊社(株式会社BOUNDLESS)は、海外マーケットに精通する有識者を起用し、地域産品の産地ブランド化の推進、海外展開に向けた活動を支援するプロジェクト「Local Creator’s Market (ローカル・クリエーターズ・マーケット;以下LCMと称す)」 に携わらせていただくことになりました。LCMは、外国人目線で日本の魅力を海外向けに発信する情報サイト「All About Japan」を運営する株式会社オールアバウト(本社:東京都渋谷区、代表取締役長:江幡 哲也)が経済産業省「産地ブランド化推進事業」の補助事業を受けて2017年より実施しています。

Looking for Sosei Partners Project Members (Jan ~ March 2019)


Sosei Partners started in 2017, where we have been connecting international students and working professionals of over 20 nationalities living all around Japan and the world, with various parts of rural Japan. Our main activities currently take place in Ishinomaki (Miyagi Prefecture), Shimokawa (Hokkaido), Urahoro (Hokkaido) and Minami Ashigara (Kanagawa Prefecture). 

Over the past two years, we have built a strong rapport with the local communities of our activity areas, and our international participants have injected fresh and international perspectives into the local regions and worked with the locals to find new ways to revitalize. This ranges from creating learning experiences about sustainability and innovation, doing research to find out current traveling trends in other countries, proposing new ways to reutilize abandoned schools and more.

With this foundation in place, our next step is to put our ideas into shape, by creating experiential learning programs for international travelers in rural Japan. Our aim is to attract travelers from around the world to experience rural Japan, interact with locals, learn about sustainability and possibly do social good by contributing to Japan’s regional revitalization. 

For more information on Sosei Partners, please click here.

We are looking for project members (interns) who share the same vision and wish to contribute to this project, over the span of 3 months in 2019.

Below are the details.
Project (Internship) period: January ~ March 2019

Working place: Tokyo/ Yokohama

Number of work days: Ideally at least twice a week (negotiable)

Info session: December 8, 2018 at Takadanobaba (We will give you more information about the venue after you sign up.)

*This info session will be held in Japanese. If you do not speak Japanese, which is perfectly fine, please let us know and we will arrange a separate session for you.

Deadline for registration: December 2, 2018

A simple interview will be held after December 8, 2018.

Work description: 

  • Planning and creating experiential learning programs in rural Japan

  • Sales and marketing

  • PR


  • Interested in sustainability or regional revitalization

  • Have a global perspective

  • Proactive and enthusiastic

  • Good at communication

  • Shares the same vision as us

*This is a non-paid job.

It will be great if you are…

  • A native speaker of Japanese, English or Chinese, or equivalent

  • Good at design (graphic/ web design)

Sosei Partners (Seiyo)- Jan 2019

Seiyo is a city located in Western Ehime of the Shikoku island. In 2004, as part of a nationwide movement to merge municipalities for efficiency and cost-effectiveness of governance, Uwa, Akehama, Nomura, Shirokawa and Mikame towns merged to form what is Seiyo today. Due to the merger, Seiyo now spans over a large area, covering the Sea of Uwa, all the way to the mountains in inland Ehime. Seiyo is famous for its orange farms, growing a wide variety of citrus fruits, and its pearl industry, where it breeds natural pearls. Also, during the Edo period (1600s ~ 1868), the area around Seiyo served as important Shukuba (post-stations), which provides lodging and rest areas, restaurants and teahouses for public officials of the Shogunate. As such, old buildings lasting from the Edo period still exist today, giving the streets of Seiyo a uniquely retro atmosphere, blended with its rich nature.

Minami Ashigara Innovation Summer College

The Minami Ashigara Innovation Summer College is a multi-stakeholder collaboration between BOUNDLESS, Fuji Xerox, Yokohama National University and Minami Ashigara city government. The purpose of this college is to inject fresh perspectives to the revitalization movement of the local regions of Minami Ashigara and Odawara. This program involves a wide range of participants- Japanese university students from Yokohama National University, international students, local high school students, as well as local residents and stakeholders.

Ishinomaki Learning and Experience Program

Ishinomaki was the most devastated area by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, both in terms of economic and life losses. However, this city has transformed itself from a disaster stricken area into a innovative hub with startups engaging in various industries ranging from fishing to craftsmanship. This program also allows participants to meet and interact with friendly locals and inspiring entrepreneurs. Below is a summary of the activities and what you can expect from this program.

Sosei Partners (Shimokawa) 2018

Sosei Partners (Shimokawa) 2018 will take place in three parts- May, July and September. This year we will be collaborating with Hokkaido University and bringing students specifically from Hokkaido University to learn about Shimokawa’s charms, challenges, as well as its impressive town planning, energy policies and forest management.

Iki Summer 2018

Tono is a city located in central Iwate Prefecture, surrounded by three mountains, and covered with lush greenery in summer and shimmering white snow in winter. It is also known as the folklore capital of Japan as it is the origin of the Tono Folklore, a repository of Japanese folklores about spirits and supernatural creatures. Tono has prospered as a trading centre between the inland areas and the coastal regions of Iwate prefecture. 

Minami Ashigara Summer 2018

Minami Ashigara is located in the western part of Kanagawa prefecture, which is made up of 9 other towns including the famous hot spring paradise Hakone and popular beach resort of Odawara. Despite being situated just one hour away from Tokyo, it is surrounded by mountains and blessed with rich nature. 

Seiyo Summer 2018

Seiyo is located in the Shikoku island of the Japanese archipelago. It is divided into three distinct parts- the mountainous area, the coastal region and the traditional village. Each part has its own charms- the mountainous region is where you can find rustic sceneries and old lifestyles, the coastal region is where oranges are grown and marine activities are bustling, and the traditional village is lined with merchant houses from the 18th century. 

Tono Summer 2018

Tono is a city located in central Iwate Prefecture, surrounded by three mountains, and covered with lush greenery in summer and shimmering white snow in winter. It is also known as the folklore capital of Japan as it is the origin of the Tono Folklore, a repository of Japanese folklores about spirits and supernatural creatures. Tono has prospered as a trading centre between the inland areas and the coastal regions of Iwate prefecture.