Volunteer in Japan

There are many ways to volunteer in Japan, whether in your communities or helping with disaster relief. If you are looking for something close to where you live, we recommend you first contact your local AJET chapter and JETs. Second, internet searches are amazing, but there are few sites in English. Grab a friend who can read Japanese or check with your supervisor or coworkers for help. The following are some of the domestic and international volunteer opportunities available. If you would like more information or know of an organization that can be added to this page, please email the Director of Volunteering.

Nationwide

OrganisationDescriptionContact InfoLanguage
Smile Kids JapanSmile Kids Japan’s mission is to have all of Japan’s orphanages visited once each month by dedicated teams of culturally diverse volunteers
Website
English
To Be One in a MillionHelp translate Satomi Urano’s book “To be one in a million” (100万人にひとりの病気になって). Contact Nami Sasaki for more info.
Facebook
Google Doc
Amazon book description
日本語, English
For Empowering Women (FEW)For Empowering Women (FEW) in Japan has a great English directory of places to volunteer. PDF about FEWEnglish
Foreign Volunteers JapanForeign Volunteers Japan is an English resource with volunteer advice and information for Tohoku disaster relief work.WebsiteEnglish
United Sports FoundationAims to us the power of sport to contribute to development of the public's mental and physical health. Runs camps for students. Requires volunteer leaders!Website
日本語, English

Block 1 – Hokkaido, Aomori, Akita, and Iwate

OrganisationDescriptionContact InfoPrefectureLanguage
Hokkaido International FederationA non-profit organization that promotes international understanding and contributes to the advancement of world peace through Japanese language study programs and cross-cultural activities in HokkaidoWebsiteHokkaido日本語, English (but links are Japanese only)
NPO HokkaidoPrefectural call for volunteersWebsiteHokkaido日本語
National Land Afforestation Promotion OrganizationEnvironmental work. This website lists many environmentally focused volunteer organizations for many prefectures.Tel: (011) 261-9022
Website 1
Website 2
Hokkaido日本語, English
ArtepiaVolunteer work that focuses on the preservation of the fine arts in HokkaidoTel: (011) 644-4025

Website
Hokkaido日本語
TetoteVolunteering for the handicapped.Tel: (011) 818-0801
Website
Hokkaido日本語, English, Français
MoriasobiAn organization focused on protecting the forests in Hokkaido by holding events for children, students, and the elderly.Tel: (011) 592-1030

Website
Twitter
Blog
Hokkaido日本語
Aomori Prefecture pageGeneral listing of volunteering opportunitiesTel: (017) 734-9207

Website
Aomori日本語
Let’s Raise Vegetables and Flowers for Akita!Replanting vegetables and flowers in Akita prefecture.

Website
Akita日本語
Volunteer AkitaUpdates on volunteer work done in Akita.
Website
Akita日本語
Kizuna Baby (Morioka)Get trained to visit and massage babies and toddlers in orphanagesComplete this application

Website
IwateEnglish
Volunteer Akita’s Rikuzentakata
Carnival Event
Help plan and run the Carnival event scheduled for August 31, 2013.
Website
IwateEnglish
NGOJENPreparing meals for those in need in Iwate Prefecture. Help clean mud and debris from the tsunami.
Website
Blog
Iwate日本語, English, Français
Iwate prefecture websiteA general listing of volunteer opportunities in IwateWebsiteIwate日本語
Iwate Social Welfare officeSocial welfare volunteer centers WebsiteIwate日本語
Volunteer InformationA compilation of volunteer work focusing on tsunami relief WebsiteIwate日本語

Block 2 – Yamagata, Miyagi, Niigata, and Fukushima

OrganizationDescriptionContact InfoPrefectureLanguage
International Volunteer center of Yamagata (IVY)Nursery schools that continued their services after the tsunami disaster.NPOs that strive to establish startups in the areas.Tel: (023) 634-9830

Website
YamagataEnglish, 日本語,

中文, 한국어
Japan Civil NetworkJCN is a broad coalition of Japanese NPOs, NGOs, CBOs and private enterprises providing disaster relief.WebsiteYamagataEnglish, 日本語
Association for International

Relations in Yamagata
At this association, we facilitate cooperation among volunteers, private international exchange
organizations, municipalities and

the prefecture.
Tel: (023) 647-2560
">Email
Website
YamagataEnglish, 日本語,

中文, 한국어
Yamagata NPO and Volunteer InformationThis is a Japanese website that catalogs volunteer organizations in Yamagata and has a great event calendar.Tel: (023) 630-2122
">Email
Website
Yamagata日本語
Yamagata City Community Activity Support CenterCommunity activities in Yamagata city.Tel: (023) 647-2260
">Email
Website
Yamagata日本語
Yamagata Volunteer CenterVolunteer activities listingsTel: (023) 674-7312
Website
Yamagata日本語
Volunteer BusClean up of Miyagi Prefecture from the Tohoku earthquakeTel: (043) 483-5551
Website
Miyagi日本語
Habitat for HumanityBuild houses and community centers, clean tsunami debrisTel: (03) 6459-2070

Website
Facebook
MiyagiEnglish, 日本語
It’s Not Just MudAnything to help with Tohoku effortsWebsite
Facebook
MiyagiEnglish
Be One Tohoku AidActivities range from manual labor to helping at community eventsTel: (080) 4491-1721

Website
Facebook
MiyagiEnglish, 日本語
Oxfam JapanThe volunteer group aims to create awareness within Japan about the issues Oxfam deals with, and raises funds to support Oxfam’s work.WebsiteMiyagiEnglish
Save Minamisoma ProjectTake food and drinking water to those living in temporary housingWebsite
Facebook
MiyagiEnglish
The Association for the

Revitalization of Ishinomakii (ARI)
An English resource for the work
in Ishinomaki
FacebookMiyagiEnglish
O.G.A. for Aid (OGA)OGA for Aid specializes in recovery projects that focus on economic, social and community revitalization. Their role is as facilitators in building long-term ties between beneficiaries and business and/or educational entities.Website
Facebook
MiyagiEnglish, 日本語, Spanish
Animal Friends Niigata (AFN)Volunteer at the shelter, foster a cat or dog, or send donations or supplies. Tel: (090) 4624-3301

Website
Niigata日本語, English
NGOJENHelp with data input and sending important letters and packages.
Website
NiigataEnglish, 日本語, Français
Ojiya Genki Project (OGP)Restoring the plant-life in Niigata prefecture.Tel: (0258) 82-2650

Website
Niigata日本語
Niigata International

Volunteer Center (NVC)
NVC is an NPO aiming to contribute to international
cooperation, global understanding, and human resources development in local areas.
Tel: (025) 378-5374

Website
Niigata日本語, English
Niigata International

Association (NIA)
NIA aims to create a regional society in Niigata Prefecture that all residents can feel good about, and to strive towards forming relationships of mutual trust between Japanese citizens, foreign residents, and visitors from abroad.Tel: (025) 290-5650

Website
Niigata日本語
Japan Cat NetworkFind temporary housing for pets displaced by the disasters, have shelters to care for those animalsWebsite
Facebook
Facebook
Fukushima日本語, English
Japan NGO Center for

International Cooperation
JANIC is a non-profit, non-partisan networking NGO founded in 1987 to better coordinate activities in Japanese society and facilitate communication with groups overseas.Tel: (03) 5292-2911
">Email
Website
FukushimaEnglish, 日本語
Foreign Volunteer Center

in Fukushima
Volunteering in Fukushima for those affected by the earthquake and tsunami.Tel: (024) 522-6540
">Email
Website
Website
FukushimaEnglish, 日本語
SORA Animal ShelterAn animal shelter for animals who were affected by the earthquake and tsunami.Tel: (090) 5185-0088
Website
Facebook
Fukushima日本語
Rescue Japanese Animal Victims (RJAV) Animal shelter in FukushimaTel: (070) 6556-5611 
">Email
Website
Facebook
FukushimaEnglish, 日本語
LYSTAA small animal rescue that solely takes in animals from the Fukushima exclusion zone and also helps do regular feedings for the animals still living there. They are in need of volunteers, donations, foster homes, and dog walkersTel: (080) 5732-0377 
Website
Website
Fukushima日本語
Fukushima NPOs PDF A HUGE listing of volunteer and NPOs in Fukushima.PDFFukushima日本語

Block 3 – Gunma, Ibaraki, Nagano, Saitama, and Tochigi

OrganizationDescriptionContact InfoPrefectureLanguage
JOMO JETVolunteering for cultural exchange events planned and carried out by JETs such as board game nights, craft workshops, and foster home visits.GunmaEnglish
Gunma AJETEvent volunteering opportunities, silent auction event for Tohoku children.WebsiteGunmaEnglish
Gunma Disaster VolunteerDisaster relief volunteer workTel: (027) 226-2293
">Email
Website
Gunma日本語
Red Cross GunmaRed Cross related volunteer opportunitiesTel: (027) 254-3636
Website
Gunma日本語
Tenno Gawa

(The Milky Way)
Volunteer helpers for the elderlyTel: (027) 235-0021
">Email
Website
Gunma日本語
Gunma Association of Tourism, Local Products & International Exchange, International RelationsTranslation/Interpretation, overseas life and culture introduction, event volunteer opportunities.Tel: (027) 243-7271

Website
Gunma日本語
Gunma Prefectural LibraryShelving, repairs, organization, and event volunteer opportunities.Tel: (027) 231-3008
Website
Gunma日本語
Gunma Prefectural Museum of Literature in Commemoration of Bunmei-TsuchiyaVarious roles in and around the museumTel: (027) 373-7721
Website
Gunma日本語
Kannon Yama Family ParkVolunteer opportunities for various events at a prefectural park.Tel: (027) 328-8389

Website
Gunma日本語
Gunma Children’s Medical CenterPlay with children as they wait for their doctor’s appointments every 2nd and 4th Friday.Tel: (0279) 52-3551

Website
Gunma日本語
Gunma Society for the Welfare of People with Visual DisabilitiesDonate postcards that are unused or unsent because of mistakes.Tel: (027) 255-6677
Website
Gunma日本語
NPO Volunteer no HirobaInformation on various volunteering opportunities in the prefecture.Tel: (027) 226-2293

Website
Gunma日本語
Furuse OrganizationProtect the plants and culture in Ibaraki.WebsiteIbaraki日本語
Tsukuba Environmental Forum Volunteer work in the local forests (cleaning, tree planting, etc).Website
Event calendar
Ibaraki日本語
Yamizo Forest Local forest cleaning, tree planting, etc. Also woodworking volunteer classes.Tel: (029) 225-0070
">Email
Website
Ibaraki日本語
Ibaraki GreenGeneral listing of various volunteer and NPO organizations.WebsiteIbaraki日本語
Ibaraki Library Volunteer Work Shelving, repairing, and organizing books. Reading to children, the elderly, and the visually impaired.WebsiteIbaraki日本語
Wakamono VolunteeringVolunteering activities for the youngsters in Ibaraki.Tel: (029) 226-1388
">Email
Website
Ibaraki日本語
Sui Subatake Volunteer work with and raise money for the handicapped Tel: (048) 291-5047
Website
Saitama日本語
SANEHelping children in EcuadorTel: (042) 973-0781
Website
Saitama日本語
Green Cross JapanVolunteer work for the environment around the worldTel: (048) 874-9099
Website
Saitama日本語
Catholic Diocese of SaitamaDisaster reliefEmail
Website
SaitamaEnglish, 日本語
City of Asaka Volunteer ActivityPlease inquire about future volunteer opportunitiesTel: (048) 486-2485
Website
SaitamaEnglish, 日本語, 中文,

한국어, Português
Fukushi (Fuku City) VolunteerPlease check the website for up-to-date volunteer opportunitiesTel: (048) 822-1435
Website
Saitama日本語
Saitama Volunteer CityVolunteer opportunitiesEmail
Website
Saitama日本語
Tochigi NPO Volunteer NetworkListing of NPOs in TochigiTel: (028) 623-3455
">Email
Website
Tochigi日本語
Tochigi Volunteer NetworkListing of volunteer activities in TochigiWebsiteTochigi日本語
Tochigi Red CrossRed Cross volunteering opportunitiesWebsiteTochigi日本語
Tochigi Disaster Volunteer WorkDisaster relief information.Tel: (028) 622-0524
Website
Blog
Tochigi日本語
Tochigi Prefecture GovernmentTochigi Prefecture listing of volunteer groupsTel: (028) 623-3422
">Email
Website
Tochigi日本語

Block 4 – Chiba, Kanagawa, Tokyo, Shizuoka, and Yamanashi

OrganisationDescriptionContact InfoPrefectureLanguage
Inage FoyerAssisting those who have dementia or Alzheimer’sWebsiteChiba日本語
Environmental BustersHelping to protect the ocean and rivers.WebsiteChiba日本語
GUC・ピアチェーレThis group is dedicated to introduction people and organizations to environmentally friendly products, machinery, and tools.WebsiteChiba日本語
Kizuna Baby (Yokohama)Get trained to visit and massage babies and toddlers in orphanagesComplete this application
Website
KanagawaEnglish
Association for Assisting Refugees in KanagawaHelping refugees who live in KanagawaTel: (046) 268-2655

Website
KanagawaEnglish, 日本語
Karabao AssociationHelping blue-collar foreigners in JapanTel: (045) 662-5699
Website
Kanagawa日本語, English
AIDS Network YokohamaHelping those who have AIDSTel: (045) 201-8808
">Email Website
Kanagawa日本語
Japan Blind Marathon AssociationThis association is dedicated to helping those who are blind get active via sports. And they have a yearly marathon to raise money.Email
Website
Kanagawa日本語
Group Tomo A group home for the elderly.Tel: (O44) 953-8656
Website
Kanagawa日本語
Walkers CollectiveAssisting those who have physical disabilities.Tel: (046) 224-7121
">Email Website
Kanagawa日本語
Second Harvest JapanProvide food to those who need it, based in TokyoWebsite
Facebook
TokyoEnglish
NGOJEN Help with data input and sending important letters and packages.
Website


TokyoEnglish, 日本語, Français
Kizuna Baby (Tokyo)Get trained to visit and massage babies and toddlers in orphanagesComplete this application
Website
TokyoEnglish
TELL (Tokyo English Life Line)Based in Tokyo but some long distance opportunities are available. An English referral and listening hotline for those living in Japan.Website
Facebook
TokyoEnglish
Bridge Asia JapanThey carry out developmental assistance activities together with people and communities in Myanmar and Vietnam.Tel: (3) 3372-9777
Website
TokyoEnglish, 日本語
Living DreamsFocused on enriching children’s
lives through technology-based
learning. Currently developing a
1 to 1 laptop/tablet program, mainly in Tohoku & Tokyo.

Website
TokyoEnglish, 日本語

Block 5 – Aichi, Gifu, Fukui, Ishikawa, and Toyama

OrganisationDescriptionContact InfoPrefectureLanguage
Fukui AJET Monthly Smile Kids visits to two orphanages, annual JET charity auction, annual talent show fundraiser
Website
Facebook
FukuiEnglish
Indonesian Education Promoting FoundationThey aim to send school supplies to needy children in Indonesia. WebsiteToyama日本語, some English
Asoaso Nature SchoolThey are dedicated to giving elementary and younger children a chance to experience nature and all that it has to offer.
Website
Toyama日本語
Suzuran GroupThey help people who are afflicted with various blood diseases like leukemia, anemia, etc.Tel: (076) 451-5322

Website
Toyama日本語
Mitsuboshi Mountaineering Club They help the disabled enjoy nature and the surrounding mountains by going on hikes.Tel: (076) 423-3448

Website
Toyama日本語

Block 6 – Hyogo, Kyoto, and Shiga

OrganisationDescriptionContact InfoPrefectureLanguage
Kizuna Baby (Kobe)Get trained to visit and massage babies and toddlers in orphanagesComplete this application
Website
HyogoEnglish
Japan Cat NetworkFind temporary housing for pets displaced by the disasters, have shelters to care for those animalsWebsite
Facebook 1
Facebook 2
Shiga日本語, English

Block 7 – Mie, Nara, Osaka, and Wakayama

OrganisationDescriptionContact InfoPrefectureLanguage
Nara AJETBimonthly Smile Kids visits, an annual study abroad scholarship for junior high and high school students, and an annual bunkasai fundraiser.NaraEnglish
Nara Prefecture Council of Social WelfareVolunteer events and resourcesWebsiteNara日本語
Animal Refuge Kansai (ARK)Help care for animals at the rescue center.Website
Blog
OsakaEnglish
Be One Tohoku AidHelp with relief work from the 2011 typhoonWebsite
Facebook
WakayamaEnglish, 日本語

Block 8 – Ehime, Kagawa, Kochi, and Tokushima

OrganisationDescriptionContact InfoPrefectureLanguage
HEART TokushimaAn animal adoption and rescue shelter where you can help with dog walking, socializing with the animals, grooming, general cleaning and fund-raising events.Tel: (080) 3927-0660

Website
TokushimaEnglish, 日本語

Block 9 – Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori, and Yamaguchi

OrganisationDescriptionContact InfoPrefectureLanguage
Hiroshima AJETMonthly orphanage visits. Annual Arts Festival featuring the work of JETs, such as photographs, paintings, music, and clothing design, to benefit Tohoku relief efforts. Annual “Let’s Film Festival” in Onomichi featuring films and commercials created by JETs and community members to benefit Doctors without Borders.
Facebook
HiroshimaEnglish
Shimane AJET Annual JET/Japanese mixer fund-raising events, skills auction, annual study abroad scholarship open to junior high and high school students
Website
ShimaneEnglish
Hiroshima Scholarship FundAims to provide a ¥250,000 scholarship to one student of a Hiroshima Prefectural school enabling them to study abroad.Website
Facebook
HiroshimaEnglish

Block 10 – Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Oita, and Saga

OrganisationDescriptionContact InfoPrefectureLanguage
Oita AJETAnnual Charity Bike Ride, annual Christmas orphanage party
Facebook
OitaEnglish
Kizuna Baby (Beppu)Get trained to visit and massage babies and toddlers in orphanagesComplete this application
Website
OitaEnglish
Oita Volunteer and Civil Activities CenterVolunteer resourcesTel: (097) 558-3373

Website
Oita日本語
Saga AJETCircle Time (Monthly reading circle event for young children), monthly orphanage visits, helps with the Saga Charity Christmas partyFor Circle Time: , Website, Facebook

For Saga AJET: , Facebook
SagaEnglish
Saga Christmas Charity PartyA fundraising party organized by volunteers in Saga. The party features live entertainment, free food for all guests (prepared by volunteers), a cash bar, and games and activities for children.
Facebook
SagaEnglish

Block 11 – Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, and Okinawa

OrganisationDescriptionContact InfoPrefectureLanguage
Kumamoto Prefectural Council of Social WelfareVolunteer resourcesWebsiteKumamoto 日本語
Kagoshima City Council of Social WelfareVolunteer resourcesTel: (099) 221-6070
Website
Kagoshima日本語
Okinawa HaiVolunteer resourcesWebsiteOkinawaEnglish
American Red Cross OkinawaThere are many opportunities available for volunteers to gain work experience, everything from administrative and personnel management to assisting medical personnel and teaching.WebsiteOkinawaEnglish

National AJET