Tono Summer 2019

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Introduction of Tono:

Located in rural Iwate prefecture, Tono is rich in history and is renowned as the cradle of Japanese folktales. It boosts a rich traditional culture including more than forty traditional performing arts groups, an original gastronomy and fermentation culture. It is also a centre of social entrepreneurship and sustainable agribusiness, a pioneer in rural tourism and a hub for risk prevention and resilience.

This year, we will be working with Tono Natural Life Network- a local NPO founded in 2003 with the objective of promoting Tono’s farmers and citizens lifestyle and make their slow life appealing especially to stressed out dwellers from metropolitan areas.

Our activity this year is called a “In-Tono Field Experience”- a short stay program directed at national and international university students. It aims to become a platform for new knowledge sharing and to offer different perspectives on lifestyle and small businesses in regional Japan.


Learning Points:

  • Learn about the challenges faced by Tono- an aging population and declining industries, and how Tono and its residents are overcoming them.

  • Discuss with local players to come up with ideas on how they can utilize their natural resources to revitalize the local region.

  • Do a farm stay with local organic farmers, helping them with simple agricultural work and gain a hands-on experience on organic farming in rural Japan.

  • Become friends with the farmers and learn abut their way of thinking and way of life.

Participation Fee: ¥15,000

Participation fee covers accommodation, meals* and workshop experience for four days.

Note: Transportation to Tono is not covered.

*Lunches on the first and fourth day are not covered.

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General Flow of Registration Process:

Registration Deadline: July 10, 2019

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

Program Date: September 11 ~ 14, 2019

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

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


Below is a rough schedule for the program.

Day 1

Arrival at Tono Station at 11:00.

Self Introduction and Orientation to Program

Visit to Tono Museum

Visit of City Center

Pick up by hosts and transfer to destinations.

Day 2 ~ 3

Work in the field with your hosts. Includes planting, harvesting vegetables, clearing up weeds, feeding or looking after farm animals, dog training etc., depending on the needs of the farm. Students will adjust their rhythm to that of the farm and help in preparing meals and tidying up, as if they were temporary members of the family. During meals, time will be devoted to the exchange of ideas and opinions, sharing of knowledge or impression with your hosts.

Day 4

Meeting at Itoke after breakfast.

Workshop, followed by lunch.

Program ends.

Meet Your Hosts

a) Mr and Mrs Uchikoshi

TSUKUSHI FARM (organic blueberries, Tsukimoushi area)

Website (Japanese)

Article in English

b) Mr Shigeto Sasaki

SASAJYU FARM (organic spinach, Otomo area)

Website (Japanese)