The Artist-in-Residence Soni Program (AIRSoni) is open to all applicants across the world.

 Residency is located in the heart of the mountain village, famous for its beautiful landscape and being the birthplace of Urushi. We are looking for local and international artists who are interested in exploring the Japanese countryside.

Soni village

Soni Village has been declared one of the most beautiful villages in Japan. It is situated between the valley and the serene Soni River basin, which is in the northeast of Nara Prefecture, next to Mie Prefecture. Despite being located on a mountain, the village is easily accessible by train and bus from Osaka or Nagoya, which takes about two and a half hours.

Local wisdom blessed by nature

Soni Village is situated on a plateau with a cool climate throughout the year, and it is in close proximity to a source of mineral-rich water, which contributes to the high quality of its agricultural products. With a population of over 1,400, the main industries are highland vegetable agriculture, forestry, and tourism.

To the east of the village, the Soni plateau is a famous tourist attraction. In the spring, the entire valley turns bright green, covered with silver grass, and in the fall, the fields turn golden, creating a spectacular view. “The Soni Lion Dance” is also performed in the fall and is designated as an intangible folk cultural asset of the prefecture. Soni Village is also known as the birthplace of Urushi, a tree which produces a sap of the Japanese lacquer. According to the ancient document “Iroha Chiruisho” in the late Heian period, there is an inscription mentioning the Urushi tree in the area of ​​the village that marks the beginning of the history of “Nurube no Sato,” which is what the area of Soni was once referred to due to the artists known as Nurube who worked with Urushi Lacquer.

Artist-in-Residence program

The Artist-in-Residence program was established with the vision to increase the artistic activities of the village. Our mission is to build creative networking between villagers and the global community. Through this residency program, chefs, artists, and designers from all disciplines are welcome to interact and share their work with locals.


Artist-in-Residence Summer Program
I’m Always Watching You
Artist: Risa Sato
2022.9.17 sat – 11.13 sun (10:00 – 17:00)
At そにのわの台所 katte 


Program support  by Soninowa GLOCAL

Contact us

Email : airsonivillage@gmail.com
Address : 495 Soni Village Office, Imai, Soni village, Uga-gun, Nara Pref. 〒633-1212

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