Field / North Kyoto - 2019

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  • Regular price $3,250.00

An intensive three-night training programme, hosted in an Edo Era minka (traditional lodge) in rural North Kyoto, to discuss and learn the how-to and why-to of running international field research. For anyone that wants to inform and inspire design, product, brand and strategy.

The event is lead by Studio D Founder, Jan Chipchase. Mornings are focused sessions, afternoons more open. The setting provides an opportunity to reflect on your own career and realign to what’s next.

The minka is deep in Japan's timber country, close to a river and surrounded by pine forests. It is also a short walk to the fabled Jōshōkōji Temple. We held the retreat here in 2019 and were impressed by how the venue and our gracious Japanese hosts who are both designers—it made for a compelling experience. 


Limited to thirteen attendees.

Field / Retreats attract people from diverse backgrounds, from different life stages. Past attendees include designers, researchers, strategists, vcs, founders, security consultants and people whose jobs are, well, a little difficult to describe. Many are looking to broaden their skillset and world view.

We also offer one fellowship for local Japanese attendee. Apply here.


7th - 10th October 2019 / 3 nights

We suggest arriving in Kyoto city on the 6th October and staying overnight in the city. Public transport is available to the lodge on the morning of the 7th—the journey takes one hour. 


An incredible Edo Period minka, in rural North Kyoto, Japan, with a nearby loft for those that prefer a bit more privacy. 


The retreat price includes:

  • Four days of informing and inspiring talks, and walks

  • Minka accommodation in two beautiful buildings

  • Breakfast + lunch + dinner + banquet

Excludes: travel to the venue, alcohol, insurance.


In keeping with the spirit of popup studios, we have full access to the kitchen, and treat the space as our home. The main space has an irori (sunken hearth) where we can also slow-cook food.

We’ll take in turns to cook breakfast for the group. For lunch and dinners, local chefs will provide delicious meals, made with grown locally grown/raised ingredients. On the second night, we host a banquet of traditional Japanese food at a nearby venue. We have a celebratory barbeque on the last night.

High quality caffeine is provided.

Let us know if you have any dietary requirements.


We’ll operate popup studio style accommodation. 

Sleeping arrangements are minka style—futons atop tatami flooring—with all attendees sharing (gender split) rooms.

Given we have full run of the two minkas, if you want a bit more privacy you can find a corner and make it your own.


The weather will be cool so bring warm clothes, plus wet-weather gear for hikes. We're surrounded by beautiful nature. The lodge has hot water, and a traditional stove for drying clothes. 

For newcomers to Japan, we’ll provide ample instructions on how to get there.

Sessions will be in English. 

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

Reach out if you have any questions.


Fly to Kansai (KIX) or Tokyo (NRT, HND) airports. Public transport is available to near the lodge.

Most nationalities do not require a visa to enter Japan as a tourist. You are responsible for your visa application. 


Please see our cancellation and refund policy.

(Photo credits to @gyulasimonyi)