Minami Ashigara Summer 2018

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Introduction of Minami Ashigara:

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. 

Learning Points:

  • Learn about the town’s charms and challenges together with local high school students and other university students.

  • Learn about the integration of agriculture into the city in order to make it sustainable and self sufficient.

  • Explore the possibilities of community gardening and modern agriculture in Minami Ashigara.

  • Engage in workshops with different stakeholders to discuss about the challenges the city faces and brainstorm solutions together.

  • 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.

Tentative Schedule:

Day 0 (Pre- Trip Gathering):

  • Orientation: You will be given a brief introduction on the geography, history and culture of Minami Ashigara, so that you grasp the basic information on the ground in which you will be doing your fieldwork with fellow participants.

Day 1:

  • Upon arrival in Minami Ashigara, you will be split into groups consisting of local high school students, Japanese and international university students. 

  • Learning about Permaculture: The theme for this program is "modern agriculture and community gardening", so you will discuss on the topic and how you think modern agriculture can be incorporated into the city.

  • Learning about Sustainability: Learn about how modern agriculture leads to the sustainability of the city, and why it is important to stay sustainable in our world today.

Day 2:

  • Fieldwork: In your assigned groups, you will explore the city and how community gardening is being planned out in the city. Interact with locals and learn about their views on community gardening.

  • Plotting out challenges: As part of your fieldwork, you will be plotting out the challenges, resources, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis) of Minami Ashigara, and how you can go about carrying out the project.

  • Mapping out ideas: After your fieldwork, you will gather back in the base camp, where you will share your ideas with other participants and map out your ideas in a coherent manner.

Day 3:

  • The Next Leap: With your creative ideas on how to creatively incorporate modern agriculture into Minami Ashigara, the next step is to communicate this to the local residents and government. It is crucial to think ahead on how this plan can be carried out by the locals even after the program ends.

  • Presentation and Sharing Session: Finally, we will gather and have a final sharing session where each group will present on their final findings and reflect upon the activity itself.

Participation Fee: ¥20,000

Participation fee covers accommodation, meals, workshop materials and workshop experience.

* Transportation to Minami Ashigara is NOT covered.

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

General Flow of Registration Process:

Registration Deadline (Extended): July 15, 2018 (First come first served)

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

Pre-Trip Gathering: July 22 (Details will be given to you after your registration)

Program Dates: 8/16 ~ 8/19

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

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Photos of Last Year's Activities in Minami Ashigara