WordCamp Kyoto 2017 Photos

WordCamp Kyoto 2017 took place on June 24-25. Around 350 people gathered at Kyoto University and enjoyed the time togeter as WordPress enthusiasts.

Day 0: Travel & Speakers Dinner

On the day before the event, two of my colleagues and I took a bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto. We walked around Kiyomizudera Temple and Nineizaka, then went to the Speaker’s Dinner in Sijō.

Day 1: Session Day

Saturday was a session day. We arrived at the venue early to set up Automattic (Jetpack/WooCommerce) tables. All went by fast – I gave a talk about WordPress.com (video/sildes), attended a session about translation, and mostly talked to people at the sponsorship table.

The organizing team did a great job excecuting the event, closely focusing around session while keeping a relatively simple overall setup. They had beautiful and very original swag too!

I received some more Wapuu stickers and postcards from Tachibana-san, who went to WordCamp Europe in Paris.

At the after party, I talked some more people… For someone who work alone for most of the days and use typed words as the main means of communication, it felt as if I was intensely training my vocal cord during these WordCamp days.

Day 2: Contributor Day

Then on Sunday, about 100 people participated in the Contributor Day. I helped as a mentor for the documentation and polyglots teams.

It was a very well-organized setup and each team got a lot of things done in a day. There were many first-time contributors — it looked like they had a good time while learning how to get involved in many aspects of the WordPress project.

Day 3: Coworking

On the final day, some of us met up at Tenrō-in Bookstore (天狼院書店) for a little bit of coworking. It’s a renovated old house with two floors of coworking/café space.

This trip made me realize it again that the WordPress community in the Kansai region (= Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, etc.) is very strong. With multiple local leaders that have experience in organizing WordCamps and meetups, the team is diverse and giving good infulence to each other.

I’m sure they will put together a great WordCamp next year – you should come and see it yourself, and get to know this part of Japan too!

WordCamp Kobe 2013 and WordPress Meetup at 709ch Kyoto

Last weekend, I went to the Kansai area with my coworker Karim for 2 WordPress events.

WordCamp Kobe 2013

This was the second WordCamp in Kobe since 2011. Many of organizers / volunteers from previous WordCamps in the area (Osaka & Kyoto) also attended and helped out. The greatest thing about the Kobe WordPress community is that they are so enthusiasic about learning together and sharing their knowledge. The concept of WordCamp Kobe this year is “One day school”, and they wanted to make sure that attendees can learn as much as possible during this all-day event. The 300 tickets were sold out and they did an awesome job fulfilling their set goal to have a WordCamp focused on learning.

I spoke about how WordPress is doing in Japan with a few stats and use cases (my slides here). I’m seeing a flood of new, non-techie users for WordPress software in Japan from the kind of books published here, questions asked in the forums, and search keywords to ja.wordpress.org. I think it’s great but this also means we need to try harder to help them learn the right way and grow the community without creating divisions based on skills or background. I am really looking forward to what could happen, and WordCamp Kobe certainly gave me the inspiration & motivation to work toward the goal.

WordPress Meetup at 709ch Kyoto

On Sunday after WordCamp, Karim, @khoshino, @miya0001 and I headed to Kyoto together for another WordPress event (thanks for the ride, Miya-san!!). The venue 709ch is located inside Kyoto Research Park, where WordCamp Kyoto was held in 2009. It brought back a lot of good and funny (!) memories to be back there after 4 years – we talked about how much has changed for all of us since then!

709ch is a really nice event space that’s owned by the company Hiro (the event organizer) works for. This was a very informal event Hiro & co. invited us to speak about WordPress as well as how we work at Automattic. Their company is now growing fast and has an office in Singapore, so we discussed how team members who are away from each other can work effectively. While seeing how volunteers are working at WordCamp Kobe, I was reminded that it’s so important to have a shared high-level goal to feel motivated to do your best. Tools and methods are created and refined as a result of that, not the other way around.

It was great to get to meet some of the people who are really involved in WordPress community in Kyoto. They also have been holding local meetups regularly and are focused on making it a place where anyone can ask anything to each other. Both of communities in Kobe and Kyoto really showed me the importance of building up small pieces to create a strong community. I think the power of these kind of people is the building block of WordPress’ success in Japan more than anything else.

WordCamp Kyoto 2009 Report

I was at WordCamp Kyoto 2009 on Oct. 17th. I don’t think there is any other English blog about it so I’ve written a report to share information with other WordCamp organizers and future attendee (better late than never; I was waiting for the survey results but that will be coming later).

Quick Facts:

  • WordCamp Kyoto was the third WordCamp in Japan, first one outside of Tokyo
  • 150 attendees total + about 15 staff + 15 sponsors
  • Kyoto is the 7th largest city by the population, and is close to Osaka (3rd)

This event was organized in a month or so (which isn’t all too bad – I found that the more time you have, the longer it takes). Kyoto Research Park (KRP) hosted the 1st day & gave a pretty good discount for the venue on the 2nd day. Having sponsors also helped covering the cost. Many of past WordCamp Tokyo volunteers helped out preparing and as staff on both days.

Day 1: “Business Day”

Venue for the first day
Photo by yorozu2009 on Flickr
  • Ktai Style (mobile plugin) presentation by Yuriko Ikeda was highly anticipated and appreciated as always.
  • Contact Form 7 author Takayuki Miyoshi talked about using WordPress as a customer support tool (he’s working on a new plugin called Support Tickets).
  • There was an instruction of real-time collaborative drawing tool “Cacoo“, which just opened up for closed beta testing. It lets you create charts and wireframes. Its WordPress plugin is coming soon.
  • “WordPress Business Community” WPbiz was also introduced. It’s going to be as site with business directory & forums for Japanese business users.

Day 2: “Community Day”

Panoramaic WordCamp Kyoto 2009
Photo by waviaei on Flickr

We made event polo shirts for the staff & as door prizes. This is because of the time/price constraints, but everyone got a bag with the WordCamp Kyoto logo 🙂

I did a presentation on brief history & current state of WordPress. Other topics: DB backup, search/content filtering plugin, Thematic theme framework, GPL commercial theme, server optimization, and Q & A session.
We tried to pick topics based on the past WordCamp survey (Organizers: after-event survey is important! You can get a better bigger picture from this than random feedback).

We did a “video letter” of Matt on both days (Thanks to Matt, Michael P & Ryan M!).

Lightening talks

Each speaker had 5 minutes to talk about various topics: NPO & WordPress, backing up WordPress files with uuenview + Gmail, introducing new WordPress book (by the author), CakePHP & WordPress integration, & Generating Flash xml using custom fields.

It was good to have this kind of mini-presentation (Ignite/lightening talk) open for everyone. Attendees and speakers felt they are welcomed in the community.


We held the after-party at a banquet hall in the same building. That was a good choice because people had time to hang out at the lounge after the main event & didn’t have any trouble finding the place. It was easy for the staff as well. Everyone seemed to enjoy the layout of the hall.

Photo by odysseygate on Flickr

You can check out Flickr photos for WordCamp Kyoto (for some reason, Japanese WP users also love photos & cameras. This seems like a worldwide trend?).