Focus / Hida - 2017

  • Sale
  • Regular price $0.00

Update: sold out. To be notified of new retreats, apply here.

A three day retreat hosted by Jan Chipchase and Craig Mod. Focus / Hida takes place deep in Japan’s timber country, surrounded by lush cedar forests, and mountain melt rivers under big skies.

The theme of the retreat is: creative projects.

Mornings will be structured sessions, the afternoons are open for long conversations and walks, and evenings will be spent in lively conversation over great sake and Japanese meals.

Attendees are encouraged to share their own projects.

We’d love it if a year from now you are able to look back and recognise: this gathering has helped shaped who you are, and was a catalyst for a creative project you otherwise wouldn’t have taken on.


25 - 28 October 2017 (3 nights)


The retreat takes place in the town of Hida, in Gifu Prefecture, Japan. We’ve commandeered a large hundred-year old minka (Japanese townhouse) for our private use.


Space is limited to 14 attendees.


Hida is a beautiful five hour train ride from Tokyo. The journey provides enough time to get into the right head-space to make the most of the retreat.

Hida is also just a few hours to Kyoto, and right next to Kanazawa — home to what is considered the be the most beautiful garden in Japan (Ken Roku En) and incredible contemporary art (including a James Turrell sky room) at the 21st Century Museum of Kanazawa.   


The retreat costs $3,000 per person. This includes:

  • Three days of informing and inspiring talks and walks

  • Accommodation in a 100 year old renovated minka (Japanese townhouse, with 7 shared rooms)

  • Sessions are held in the extensive lower ground floor.

  • Breakfast and dinners, plus a banquet dinner on the last evening (lunches will be up to the discretion of attendees in town)

We will also offer a scholarship for two attendees whose work deserves a wider audience.

Excluded in cost: Travel to Japan/Hida, lunch, alcohol. We don't offer refunds, but you're welcome to pass your ticket onto someone you know.


We’ll operate popup studio style accommodation. This means we’ll take in turns to cook breakfast and dinner, except for the banquet (held in a special, separate venue) on the second night.

Sleeping arrangements are ryokan style — futons atop tatami flooring — with the attendees sharing seven rooms. (There’s a ryokan next door for those that require more privacy).

Sessions will be in English, with some Japanese translation, if required. For newcomers to Japan, we’ll provide ample instructions on how to get there.

For those that wish to extend their trip, we can recommend great multi-day hikes, mediation in local temples, crafts, and other adventures around Japan.

Tickets are non-refundable. If you have a booking and can’t make it, we’ll be happy to help you find someone to buy your ticket.

Reach out if you have any questions.


We’re both designers and entrepreneurs, we love nature (especially mountains), and have come to appreciate that sometimes the most meaningful way to learn and move forward is to disconnect and surround yourself with interesting people doing interesting things. Even better if you can do so in a unique, relaxed environment.

Hope to see you at Focus / Hida,

—Jan & Craig