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How to Apply for a Japanese Art Residency (2023)

How to Apply for a Japanese Art Residency

Have you ever dreamed of living and creating art in Japan, surrounded by its rich culture, nature and history? If so, you might want to consider applying for a Japanese art residency.

What Is a Japanese Art Residency?

A Japanese art residency is a program that offers artists from different disciplines and backgrounds the opportunity to stay and work in Japan for a certain period of time, usually ranging from a few weeks to a few months. During this time, artists can enjoy the facilities, resources and support provided by the residency organizers, as well as interact with the local community, culture and environment.


Participating in a Japanese art residency can have many benefits for artists, such as:

  • Expanding their artistic horizons and perspectives by exploring a new context and culture
  • Developing their skills and techniques by learning from other artists or mentors
  • Creating new artworks or projects inspired by their experience or surroundings
  • Building their network and reputation by exhibiting their work or collaborating with other artists
  • Having fun and enjoying themselves by immersing in the Japanese lifestyle and traditions


Of course, there are also some challenges and difficulties that artists may face when applying for or joining a Japanese art residency, such as:

  • Finding a suitable residency that matches their interests, goals and budget
  • Preparing a strong portfolio and application materials that showcase their work and potential
  • Securing funding or sponsorship to cover the costs of travel, accommodation and living expenses
  • Adapting to the language barrier, cultural differences and social norms
  • Managing their time, energy and expectations during the residency

If you are interested in applying for a Japanese art residency, you might be wondering how to start your journey. Here are some tips and resources on how to find and apply for a Japanese art residency that suits your needs and aspirations.

How to Find and Apply for a Japanese Art Residency

How to Find and Apply for a Japanese Art Residency


The first step to finding and applying for a Japanese art residency is to do some research on the available options. There are many websites, databases and directories that list various art residencies in Japan or around the world, such as:

  • Res Artis: A worldwide network of artist residencies that features over 600 members in more than 70 countries.
  • Trans Artists: A platform that provides information and advice on international artist-in-residence programs.
  • Art Radar: A journal that covers contemporary art trends and news from Asia and beyond.
  • Japan Foundation: An organization that promotes cultural exchange between Japan and other countries through various programs and grants.

You can use these websites to search for art residencies in Japan by filtering them according to your preferences, such as:

  • Discipline: The type of art you practice or want to explore, such as painting, photography, sculpture, performance, etc.
  • Duration: The length of time you want to stay in Japan, from a few days to a few years.
  • Location: The region or city you want to visit in Japan, from urban centers like Tokyo or Osaka to rural areas like Hokkaido or Okinawa.
  • Deadline: The date by which you need to submit your application materials.
  • Fee: The amount of money you need to pay or receive for participating in the residency.

Once you have narrowed down your choices, you can visit the websites of the art residencies you are interested in to learn more about their features, facilities, locations and programs. You can also read reviews or testimonials from previous or current residents to get a sense of their experience and feedback.

Prepare Your Portfolio and Application Materials:

The next step is to prepare your portfolio and application materials. Depending on the residency requirements, you may need to submit some or all of the following documents:

  • CV or resume: A document that summarizes your education, work experience, awards, publications and exhibitions related to your artistic practice.
  • Artist statement: A document that explains your artistic vision, goals, influences and motivations.
  • Project proposal: A document that describes the project or artwork you plan to create or develop during the residency, including its concept, process, outcome and relevance.
  • Portfolio: A collection of images, videos or other media that showcase your previous or current artworks or projects.
  • Letter of recommendation: A document written by someone who knows your work well and can vouch for your skills, achievements and potential as an artist.
  • Budget: A document that outlines the estimated costs of your travel, accommodation, living expenses and materials for the residency, and how you plan to cover them.

You should make sure that your portfolio and application materials are clear, concise and professional, and that they reflect your personality, style and voice as an artist. You should also tailor them to the specific residency you are applying for, and highlight how you can contribute to or benefit from it.


The final step is to submit your portfolio and application materials before the deadline, and wait for the response from the residency organizers. Depending on the residency, you may also need to go through an interview or a selection process before getting accepted or rejected. You should be patient and respectful during this process, and be prepared to accept the outcome, whatever it may be.

Planning Your Trip

If you get accepted, congratulations! You are one step closer to joining a Japanese art residency. You should confirm your participation as soon as possible, and start planning your trip and project. You should also communicate with the residency organizers and other residents to get more information and guidance on what to expect and what to bring.

If you get rejected, don’t be discouraged. You can always try again next time, or look for other opportunities. You should also ask for feedback or suggestions on how to improve your portfolio and application materials for future applications.

What are Some Examples of Japanese Art Residencies?

Examples of Japanese Art Residencies

To give you some inspiration and ideas, here are some examples of Japanese art residencies that offer studio space and accommodation in different locations and disciplines in Japan. You can use the web search results I found for you as references:

Tokyo Arts and Space Residency

An arts center in Tokyo that supports a wide spectrum of artistic activities, including crossover and experimental projects. The residency offers studio spaces and accommodation in Tatekawa, Sumida-ku, Tokyo, and accepts artists from various disciplines such as visual art, design, architecture and curation.

Address: 1F, 2-14-7 Tatekawa, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 130-0023 Japan

Metropolitan Fukujusou

An artist residency in Kyoto that offers accommodation in a traditional kyo-machiya, a historical building that is over 150 years old and certified by Kyoto city government. The residency accepts artists from various genres who want to experience the japanese traditional life and culture.

Address: 76-8 Okazaki Tennocho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8335 Japan

Hayama Artist Residency

An international artist residency in Hayama, Japan that offers studio space and accommodation in a traditional Japanese house near the beach. The residency accepts artists from various disciplines such as film, painting, dance and performance.

Address: 1-3-2 Horiuchi Hayama Kanagawa 240-0112 Japan

Saruya Artist Residency

An artist residency in Fujiyoshida, Japan that offers studio space and accommodation at the bottom of Mt. Fuji. The residency fosters cultural and artistic exchanges between Japanese artists and foreign artists, and organizes small exhibitions in their studios.

Address: 3-28-8 Shimoyoshida Fujiyoshida Yamanashi 403-0004 Japan

Shiro Oni Studio

An artist residency in Onishi, Japan that offers studio space and accommodation in a renovated sake brewery. The residency works with NPO Art Net Kinuya to revitalize the area by finding new purposes for underused historical buildings.

Address: 529 Onishi Onishi-machi Ora-gun Gunma 370-1201 Japan

These are just some of the many art residencies that exist in Japan. You can find more by doing your own research or asking for recommendations from other artists who have been there.


A Japanese art residency can be a rewarding and enriching experience for any artist who wants to explore a new culture, environment and community. If you are interested in applying for one, start by doing some research on the available options, preparing your portfolio and application materials, and contacting the organizers for more information. You might be surprised by the opportunities that await you in Japan.