English, Japanese
6 weeks
Paid by artist:

In 2020 there is a flat participation fee of 200000 yen (approx. 1550 Euro or 1800 USD) for 6 weeks. The fee covers: artist support (3 bilingual staff members to help with anything from research to figuring out which foods are vegan at the supermarket), workshop expenses, a private bedroom, studio space, all building utilities, a bicycle, access to the wood shop tools and equipment, and flyer printing expenses.

Artists also need to cover travel expenses, food costs.

Application guidelines:

The application is open to any form of expression but preference will be given to artists with professional standing in their fields. Shiro Oni Studio encourages artists from all backgrounds and levels to apply. Musicians may want to look at the Onishi Summer festival in July. Attendance and Japanese drum and flute lessons are free.

While Onishi is only a few hours from Tokyo, the majority of the residents’ time will be spent in the secluded town. Therefore the hosts ask that only adventurous, independent artists apply, preferably people with experience abroad. Residents must also be able to communicate in English or Japanese.


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Shiro Oni Studio

Shiro Oni Studio

Art Residency

Shiro Oni Studio is made of 6 buildings, plus a 2-acre brewery complex, all just a few minutes walking distance from one another. The program introduces the Japanese countryside to artists. Shiro Oni Studio offers private studios, opportunities to work with the surrounding community, workshops, exhibition spaces, comfortable accommodations, and a central location that allows guests to shop and get around town without the need of a car.

1. Individual work: Away from the congested urban life of Japan and surrounded by mountains in the small town of Onishi (ogre stone) in Gunma prefecture, artists can work free from outside distractions. Shiro Oni Studio's first priority is to provide each artist with individual studio space to focus on their work.

2. Exchange of ideas: Shiro Oni Studio was founded with the belief that while artists produce much of their work individually, the development of ideas going into that work benefits from a strong social network. Studios located in the center of town foster a spirit of exchange between artists and also with the surrounding community.

3. Connecting rural Japan to the rest of the world: While most foreigners visit Japan's urban areas, the popularity of those destinations overshadow the larger rural landscape. Visitors staying in the countryside have the opportunity to meet and work with the people living there. The town of Onishi is typical of the larger economic and population aging problems Japan faces. Artists staying at Shiro Oni studio will be bringing diversity and cultural exchange to an area of Japan too often overlooked.

Shrio Oni Studio gives artists an opportunity to collaborate and learn outside the studio. They introduce artists to Japanese rural culture, building personal relationships that benefit both artists and area locals. Workshops are chosen by artists at the beginning of their stay. Residents in the past have participated in tea ceremony, calligraphy, zen meditation and other workshops.


Shiro Oni Studio organizes an exhibition and farewell party at the end of each group's residency. Exhibitions are a chance for residents to summarize their project in Onishi and meet up with friends met during their stay. Artists exhibit their work at the 2-acre, 280 year-old former sake brewery in the middle of town.

Studio Information

There are 4 buildings used as studios, all a few minutes walk from the residency. Artists have 24 hour access to their studios. There is also a wood shop with a table saw, miter saw, lathe, etc. and a ceramics studio with 4 electric wheels.

Accommodation Information

Residents stay in a 10 bedroom house. The 3-story building overlooks the surrounding mountains and is located just a few minutes walk from restaurants, the residency studios and a 24-hour convenience store. The house has wifi, a living room with a projector, netflix and a 300+ film collection. Shiro Oni Studio will provide a private bedroom, with a Japanese-style futon, a bicycle, English maps, menus and local shop information. Artists are responsible for cleaning their own room and shared spaces.

Technical Information

Shiro Oni Studio art residency is made of 4 buildings a few minutes walking distance from one another in the small town of Onishi in Gunma, Japan (2 hours north of Tokyo, population 6,000).

There is a main community space (Kinuya), public studios (Shiro Oni Studio), a building dedicated for housing (Yamori House), and private studios (Kotoriya).


Town of Onishi in Gunma, Japan (2 hours north of Tokyo, population 5,500).

Contact information

Onishi 562
Fujioka, 10

shiroonistudio [at]