Tono Summer 2018


Introduction of Tono:

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. 

Description of Program:

Participants will be split into four groups- Education, Agriculture, Forestry and Fermentation. (The themes are subject to changes.) Each group will focus on the respective fields, do research with local high school students, local residents and university students, to think of new ideas on how to utilize local resources to contribute to regional revitalization. 

Tentative Schedule:

Day 1: 

  • Orientation and Ice Breaking 

  • Lecture 1: You will learn about what innovation is, how to create innovation, and why we need innovation to create changes.

  • Lecture 2: You will be given a brief introduction of Tono, its history, tradition, culture as well as the challenges that they are currently facing.

Day 2:

  • You will be split into four groups based on the respective themes: agriculture, education, forestry and fermentation (subject to changes).

  • Fieldwork: In your assigned groups, you will move around the city to interview people, take down notes and do analysis on your observations of the city and its resources.

Day 3:

  • Idea Creation Workshop: This is a workshop to generate ideas based on the fieldwork on the previous day. The groups will present their idea to the local residents and high school students.

  • Homestay: You will be doing a homestay at a local resident's house where you get to experience authentic local culture by mingling with local residents.

Day 4:

  • Facilitating high school students' workshop: After crystalizing your ideas on how to innovate with local resources, you will be facilitating workshops for the local high school students. You will also discuss with the locals on what kind of change they wish to create in their hometown.

Day 5:

  • First Presentation: You will be working with local high school students to brush up your ideas and do a first presentation. You will also come up with creative ways of presentation, such as simple skits.

Day 6:

  • Final Presentation: After several rounds of rehearsal, you will be delivering your final presentation to the local government officials, residents and other participants. This is your chance to express your ideas after days of intense fieldwork.

  • Mingling Session: Share your experiences and reflect upon your work with other participants, engage in casual conversations and enjoy a mingling session with the locals.

Learning Points:

  • Experience cutting-edge Innovation Education, as well as the local cities’ unique cultures.

  • Acquire skill-sets required for innovation.

  • Experience mindsets that are conducive to innovation.

  • Get an opportunity for personal development through new experiences and make a difference to the future of local Japanese cities through the creation of ideas.

  • Study the social contexts of natural resource management in Tono.

  • Discuss the principles and ideas of sustainability and how they are adapted to the complex reality.

  • Discover how innovative solutions to problems caused by population decline, aging population and tourism require an integration of social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainability.

Participation Fee: ¥30,000

Participation fee covers everything- accommodation, transportation, meals, workshop materials and workshop experience.

*Please note that only transportation within Japan is covered. If you live outside Japan, you have to cover for your own transportation to Japan and back to your own country, and any other expenses such as visa applications and travel insurance, if necessary.

***The participation fee above does not include tax. The actual participation fee will include 8% tax.

General Flow of Registration Process:

Registration Deadline: June 22, 2018 (First come first served)

After you register, we will have a simple Skype chat to talk in more detail.

Pre-Trip Gathering: July 21 or July 22 (TBC)

Program Dates: 8/7 ~ 8/12

*This program is organized by and Fuji Xerox. Click here for more information.

** The program schedules and requirements are subject to change without advanced notice. 


Photos of Last Year's Activities in Tono