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Women from all over Japan attend the Women’s Conference, which this year will be held at the Asian Rural Institute in the town of Nasushiobara in Tochigi, about 160km north of Tokyo. Whether housed in one of the ARI Dorms or the nearby Nogi Onsen Hotel, conference attendees will experience the warmth of fellowship and time for quiet outdoor reflection.
ASIAN RURAL INSTITUTE
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The Asian Rural Institute (ARI) is more than simply an organic farm. It is an educational institute that uses organic farming as a platform to train participants (many of whom are from marginalized racial, ethnic, or religious groups) in three conceptual pillars: servant leadership, ‘foodlife’, and community building. Using methods of integrated organic farming, ARI produces most of their food, including rice, wheat, soybeans, and about 60 kinds of vegetables.
From the ARI website:
Founded in 1973 by Rev. Dr. Toshihiro Takami the aim of the program is to invite and train local grassroots leaders to more effectively serve in their communities as they work for the poor, the hungry, and the marginalized.
Each year from April to December we bring together about 30 leaders from countries primarily in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific to take part in our Rural Leaders Training Program.
The training focuses on sustainable agriculture through integrated organic farming techniques, community building, and servant leadership. It is community based and hands-on learning is emphasized in all areas. Working together we grow and share our own food.
At the heart of the program is the concept of ‘Foodlife‘ – a term designed to recognize and value the interdependency between life and the food that sustains all life.
Facilities + Accommodations:
For conference costs, please click here.
About half the accommodation at ARI is 2 occupancy (twin) Western style rooms. In addition, there are Western and Japanese-style rooms that accommodate 3-4 people each. Each floor has shared bathrooms and showers/bath. Ground floor rooms are available for those with mobility issues. Meals are made with produce from ARI. On the Saturday afternoon of the Conference, there is the option for attendees to sign up for bus transport buses to visit a local onsen.
NOGI ONSEN HOTEL
For those who would prefer a hotel, 16 Western twin rooms at Nogi Onsen Hotel (http://www.nogionsen.com/) are available. In addition there will be central heating, a hot buffet breakfast for 2 days (in addition to ARI’s lunch and dinners),private bathrooms, and access to a beautiful onsen. Free access to ARI provided via microbus or carpool and transport to and from station as needed. Priority is given for those requests from persons with mobility concerns. If interested, please apply for these spots as soon as possible.)