Information About Volunteering
CRASH has worked hard to make sure that our volunteers are never in danger when working in Tohoku. For more information regarding safety while volunteering, please check out this interview with Toshihisa Sakamoto, M.D..
Your placement may be changed depending upon the situation in the area or placement site.
Please register more than 2 weeks before the date you wish to serve.
Please register only if you are the appropriate age.
About Volunteer Insurance
From October 1, 2012, CRASH volunteers will need to get their own volunteer insurance. (Before volunteering, go to your local city office in Japan to get this special insurance.) Overseas volunteers with travel insurance should check to see that it covers injuries and accidents related to volunteer work. Volunteers who entered into the CRASH volunteer insurance between April 1st and September 30th will be covered until March 31, 2013.
The Registration Process
- Volunteer Registration - If you have volunteered with CRASH before, please just send your name and the days you wish to volunteer to
- Pastor Reference Confirmation - CRASH will call the pastor or leader of your church of membership to confirm their approval of you being sent as a volunteer.
- Placement Decision - We may not be able to send you to your first choice of service. Thank you for your understanding.
When You Volunteer
About CRASH Japan Bases
CRASH Japan established 5 bases in Tohoku. Some of them have since been taken over by other disaster relief organizations, and some have become CRASH Japan Field Offices. The roles for CRASH Japan Field Offices are to connect local churches, support them, and mobilize volunteers to churches as needed.
- Tono Base -> Transferred to Iwate Ministry Initiative
- Ichinoseki Base -> Transferred to 3.11 Iwate Church network
- Sendai Base -> continues as CRASH Japan Sendai Office
- Nasu Base ->continues as CRASH Japan Koriyama Office
- Hitachi base-> continues as CRASH Japan Iwaki Office
Volunteer Opportunities by Date
Available Any Time (click to expand)
Address: 2-12-48 Shinden, Miyagino-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi-ken 983-0038 (Seaside Bible Chapel)
Major Activities： Visiting temporary housing, running Mobile Cafés, study support program, etc.
Accommodation Fee: 2000 yen / night
Note: No meals provided. You are responsible for your own food. You can pick up groceries at the nearby market. You will need your own translator / interpreter if you do not speak Japanese.
What to bring: sheets, pillow case, towels
East Sendai Church Nijiiro Gakushukai (Study session)
Every Tuesday and Friday from 2-6 pm
This is an after school program in Touna and Nobiru regions, inviting children to come and study, do homework, and play.
Need: 1~7 people
Register to Volunteer at the Sendai Office
- Go to the Sendai Office web site (Japanese only).
- Check the event schedule, regularly updated on the calendar.
- Volunteer activities are on the left side of their web page.
with your dates of availability!
Depending on the situation of the local churches or temporary housing, the work schedule may change. Please check their calendar updates.
CRASH Japan Iwaki Office
Address: Taira Christ Church, 6-2 Aza Sugidaira, Taira, Iwaki-shi, Fukushima-ken 970-8026
Accommodation fee: ¥2000 / night
What to bring: sheets, pillowcase, towels
Age: All ages welcome, however we require those under 16 to be accompanied by a guardian.
Notes: There is a convenience store, a shopping mall, and a shopping district within a ten-minute walk.
There are many activities planned daily. We welcome those with any gifts and talents they can share: teaching English, construction and woodwork, cooking, music, worship, magic tricks, comedic entertainment, physical/manual labor...we appreciate any support. Please come to Iwaki and fellowship with and encourage the survivors and residents.
- Mobile Cafés and mini concerts at temporary housing.
- English classes and computer classes for non-temporary housing residents (those residing in regular rental housing)
- Supporting events at local churches in Iwaki
- Bamboo crafts at the preschool
- Children's care program
- and more!
November (click to expand)
Volunteers Needed at Izu Oshima Island
CRASH Japan has sent an assessment team to Izu Oshima from November 5th to 6th to collect information
on the landslides damage and the situation of the survivors. We have decided to send volunteer teams
from the middle of November for 3 weeks, cooperating with the local churches. Anybody who desires to
volunteer please register at CRASH Japan homepage. Each crew is limited to 9 people.
Damage of Typhoon Wipha:
On Oct. 16th (Wed) Typhoon Wipha hit Izu Oshima and caused a massive landslide. The landslide struck the Motomochi area and killed 35 people with another 6 still missing. (Nov. 11th)
To take the mud out of the house, to clean inside of the house, to disinfect the house, and to clean the garden, etc.
The Working Team:
Each crew is 3 nights and 4 days. (If you plan to stay longer or shorter, please mention it beforehand.)
1st Crew: Nov. 18th (Mon) - Nov. 21st (Thu)
2nd Crew: Nov. 25th (Mon) - Nov. 28th (Thu)
3rd Crew: Dec. 2nd (Mon) - Dec. 5th (Thu)
We might extend the work for one more crew from Dec. 9th (Mon).
Oshima Izumi no Ie （http://www.jhc.or.jp/camp/oshima/）
Address: Senzu, Oshima machi, Tokyo
8,400 yen (including the lodging, food and others for each crew)
Please make sure to go to your local social welfare ofﬁce beforehand and receive your own volunteer Insurance.
Please cover your own transportation fee to Izu Oshima.
What to bring:
Long boots, mask, gloves and others
Contact Person: Ami Maegawa
You need to use a commuting boat from Tokyo （Tokai Kisen www.tokaikisen.co.jp）and it takes 105 minutes to Oshima. If you are a volunteer the retuning fee will be discounted by 30%. If you reserve via internet or show your student ID it will be a 20% discount as well.
Monday: Leave Takehashi Pier 8:40 a.m. and arrive at Oshima 10:25 a.m. Orientation and then go to work（1:00-4:00）
Tuesday and Wednesday: Go to volunteer center at 8:30, then go to work (9:00-12:00; 1:00-4:00).
Thursday: Work9:00-12:00）; Leave Oshima 2:40 p.m. and arrives at Takeshiba Pier 4:25 p.m.
OperationSAFE (click to expand)
OperationSAFE is a five day child emotional care program used all around the world. Through crafts, stories, and games, we seek to bring healing and joy into these children's lives, as they have gone through and been affected by disaster. CRASH Japan has been involved in several OperationSAFE programs throughout Fukushima and Miyagi.
Looking for a church to host us with space for OperationSAFE training seminars!
To participate in OperationSAFE programs, volunteers must attend training seminars. Through these seminars, volunteers will experience a typical first day of the program. We are looking for a church that will graciously provide us with the space needed to conduct these seminars. The benefits of these seminars are not limited to volunteer work in Tohoku, but can be appropriated for children's programs at churches as well. Therefore, we invite members of the church to join us, should space be provided. Please contact Yoshiko Shoji at
if your church is interested in sponsoring a space.
Date: February 2nd, 2013, and a Saturday in March
Spring and Summer Volunteers
We will be updating the CRASH Japan website and Facebook page as details are in order. Volunteers must go through the training seminar before participating in the actual program.
Spring: April 1~6, 2013 (three hours a day) from 9am-12pm or 1-4pm
Place: TBD possibly Ishinomaki or Higashi Matsushima in Sendai
Summer: Five days in July~August 2013 (three hours a day)
Place: Fukushima (tentative)
We completed the Christmas Version of the program "Pi-chan's Christmas Adventures" last month!
This program was designed to be used as a ministry tool. The full program lasts three hours, and includes an opening, craft, snack, story-telling, games, dance, and a finale, each about 20 minutes long. We are more than happy to lead this Christmas program, or train church members if you are interested in implementing it in the church program. All those trained will be qualified and are encouraged to participate in OperationSAFE programs in Tohoku.
【For further questions please contact Yoshiko Shoji at
Volunteer Opportunities by Organization
If you wish to volunteer with one of these organizations, please visit their site and register with them directly.
Location: 36-6-201 Aza Katabatake, Iwaizumi, Iwaizumi Cho, Shimohei Gun, Iwate Ken, Japan 027-0501
Contact: Dawn Birkner, pastor. 080 6388 3880 or
. Please feel free to be in direct contact with questions or about details.
Major activities: Cafes and home visits at temporary housing, home visits at tsunami-impacted neighborhoods, chirashi and goods distribution, kokoro care, cooking, music/concerts, crafts, and option to also assist in church planting activities. Specific activities depend on the timing.
Exceptions can be considered, but generally no volunteer activities occur on Sunday or Monday. Many activities are on Thursdays and Saturdays but volunteers are welcome Tuesday through Saturday.
Elligibility: Both individuals and teams, young and old, Japanese and foreigner are welcome! Physical strength is not required, just normal good health and flexibility to help in a variety of ways. Elderly volunteers are especially encouraged to come, and any other Christian volunteers over age 20. Call to discuss cases of people under age 20 or non-Christians.
Accommodation and ministry expense fee: 1500 yen per night (utility fees, ministry expenses). In addition, for groups over 4, you will need to rent or bring a car. For up to four people, no car is needed. If the fee is a special hardship, contact us to see if it can be waived or reduced. Accommodations have to be verified case by case though are usually available, so please be in touch to confirm your desired dates. You will stay either at the church, the Akkerakan, or in rare cases in a homestay. For volunteers coming for 3 weeks or longer, a lower fee can likely be worked out.
Meals: Provide your own meals, but kitchen access is available and a grocery store is nearby. Some meals will need to be eaten out in the course of activities.
Things to bring: Towels, pillow case, and if possible a sleeping bag. A thin mat is provided but if you wish a thicker mat, feel free to bring this.
Transportation: There are multiple ways to reach Iwaizumi, but more so than most of Japan and Tohoku, transportation needs to be carefully planned unless coming by car. Generally the practical way for most people via public transportation is to take a night bus or bullet train to Morioka, then take a bus from near Morioka station to Iwaizumi to the Byoin no Mae stop. There are four buses a day. The earliest is around 9 AM and the latest is around 5 PM from Morioka. Returning from Iwaizumi, the earliest bus is 6 or 7 AM depending on the day and the last one leaves around 4 PM. For those coming from within Tohoku, or at unusual times of day, there are some other possible routes, but they generally are much less convenient and more time consuming. If an overnight stay in Morioka is necessary, it may be possible for us to arrange for you to stay at a church or base there for no additional cost but whenever possible it is best to plan transport so that such is not necessary.
Notes: Japanese skills are a plus but no Japanese skills needed. Must speak either English or Japanese. Please call or email to book accommodation / register to volunteer.
Skills required: No special skills are needed other than general good health and ability to work somewhat long days.
Skills desired: Ability to play guitar, keyboard, or other instruments, prepare and lead 20 to 30 minute crafts, cook, do kid’s activities, and special skills (ventriloquism, juggling, etc) are a plus. Japanese ability is a plus.
- Currently receiving volunteers for primarily relief work, but those wanting later to come back as church planting volunteers in future years can do so as we will be receiving short-term teams for years to come, even after the relief work is over.
- We are also taking applications for mid-term (up to a year) and long-term (4 years) volunteers to help with both relief work and church planting. Email for more information. Long-term volunteers must apply and be accepted via Reaching Japan Together Association. Either Japanese or guitar/keyboard ability is strongly preferred for mid-term workers.
Address: Ishinomaki City, Miyagi
Major Activities: Clearing mud out, visiting temporary housing, run mobile cafés, supporting local events, etc.
Accommodation fee: 1500 yen per night (750 yen for students)
Note: Lunch not provided. No Japanese skill needed.
What to Bring: sheets, towels
Location: Ishinomaki City, Miyagi
Description: Gardening, cleaning, children's programs, survivor care
Notes: Please prepare your own meals
Things to bring: Bed sheets, towels
Contact: Tokyo Baptist Church Ishinomaki (0225)98-5290 or Dorothy Yoko (090)8042-1365
For additional details please see this website.
(Transferred from CRASH Japan Ichinoseki Base)
Located in Senmaya-cho, Ichinoseki and ministering in local area and at temporary housings in Kesennuma, Rikuzen-takata.
Please contact them for current volunteer needs.
Office: 0197-63-4789 (Pastor Sasaki)
Coordinator: 080-3215-9003 (Pastor Kondo)
Full time staff needed
Location: 〒989-2201 43-81 Nishi Kashiranashi, Aza, Yamadera, Yamamoto-cho, Watari-gun, Miyagi, Japan
Duration: Two Years
Requirements: Two Christian males, late 20's, early 30's. Or, a young married couple with pastor experience. Must be fluent in Japanese, must have Japanese driver's license.
Housing: provided on site
Other: No nationality limitations
Description: Please visit their website
Please prepare a resume and recommendation from a pastor. Interviews will be offered to potential candidates.
Please contact Nozomi Center directly regarding this opportunity.
Location: Iwaki City, Fukushima prefecture
Major tasks: visiting temporary housing, cleaning the church, prayer
Accommodation fee: As of now, cost covers utilities, and is ¥500 but may increase in the future.
Food: Prepare your own meals
To bring: Sheets, towels, sleeping bag/blankets
Requirements: Have a gift that pertains to spiritual and emotional care, be able to communicate in Japanese. Those with skills in art and music are welcome!
- International volunteers must be able to communicate in Japanese, or travel with a translator.
- It would be convenient if volunteers can travel to GMC in their own vehicle.
- Please contact us through phone or email on weekdays only.