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We want our guests to use the Japanese they learn to interact with local people. One great way to do this is to volunteer. Not only does this help in the community but it lets tourists and locals spend time together in an authentic way and can be a lot of fun!
We regularly take our guests to two different groups of the "Kids Canteen" network. We prepare meals for kids from poorer families or whose parents work late and can't always provide a sufficient meal for the whole family. You can read more about the project here.
Some guests joined us to help clean up our neighbourhood.
English class at an old people's home
Our newest volunteer activity. We went to the old people's home just round the corner from our house and ran yoga, conversation and card games in English with the residents. It went well so we hope to set it up as a regular event to take our guests to in the new year.
English Conversation Club
This is the easiest way to meet local people and learn about our neighbourhood and Japanese culture. We invite our neighbours to the house to practice English and meet our guests. Some guests practice using their Japanese, some become volunteer English teachers and sometimes we just chat or play games! This event is already getting talked about in our local area so we might need to search for a bigger location soon! Big thanks to all the awesome guests who have helped us to host the first few events!
For anyone staying in Tokyo a long time and looking for more regular volunteer opportunities we recommend you take a look at Hands on Tokyo and Second Harvest Japan. These are two large organisations in Tokyo which offer a range of opportunities to get involved. Websites in English and Japanese!
We are aiming to find a lot more groups we can work with and be able to offer volunteering opportunities to as many of our guests as possible. If you know of anything that might be suitable, please get in touch.
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