Observation Trips

About 15% of ARI’s training takes place off-campus. Observation trips and study tours are some of the most important activities in the training program. These trips give participants a chance to journey through Japan and visit people, groups, and institutions that are involved in community development efforts and social welfare.

Observation Trips

Short observation trips to neighboring cities and prefectures provide opportunities to deepen various agricultural and environmental issues.

– Visits in Nasushiobara and its vicinity. This includes the study of the Nasu Canal, which was developed 130 years ago by local people and farmers.

– Practical Field Study Related: In Practical Field Study, participants visit organic farmers and communities such as Kinoshijuku (organic farmers’ school), Wind Family organic farm and the Private Rice Reasearch Center

– Ogawa Town, Saitama Prefecture Participants visit leading organic farmers in Japan and study their ecologically sustainable way of farming.

– Ashio Copper Mine, Tochigi Prefecture Participants visit historical sites of environmental destruction caused by copper mine pollution and learn from Mr. Shozo Tanaka, a leader who fought for the lives of the suffering people and the environment.

Study Tours

Rural Community Study Tour

During the summer term, participants have a chance to travel through rural Japan in one of the main agricultural regions of the country. The tour is about ten days in length. The program includes a farm stay, observation trip, discussion, evaluation and a written report. This program will allow participants to study a rural Japanese community.

Visits include:

– Organic farms and farming associations
– Consumer co-ops
– Farmers’ wives groups
– Japan Agriculture (JA)
– Agricultural co-ops, direct marketing schemes
– Compost center
– Food processing group
– Agricultural research institutions
– Government agricultural programs

Western Japan Study Tour

The Western Japan Study Tour focuses mostly on urban issues and social welfare. Through visits to various institutions, participants learn how Japan deals with various social issues. Participants will visit the following four cities:

– Hamamatsu Seirei Social Welfare Community, which cares for the elderly, the physically and mentally disabled.
– Osaka Kamagasaki Day Laborers Town and Taisho region to learn about issues of day labour, homelessness and discrimination
– Minamata Study about Minamata Disease caused by pollution and its effects on humans and the environment
– Iwaijima Anti-nuclear power plant movement
– Hiroshima Visit of Hiroshima Peace Park and study on peace issues