Nursery school playtime in Kyoto-shi, Japan

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Nursery school playtime in Kyoto-shi, Japan

  • Marker details

    Our Kyoto program focuses on community outreach and funding support for our animal shelter in Tokyo. Our volunteers primarily visit the local kindergarten and nursery and help with community cat projects and/or events.

    Due to the type of work required, we do not require a specific kind of visa (tourist visa holders can apply).


    The Volunteer work is split into two main functions : animal and school. The priority is given to animal welfare and schools are the secondary activity.


    We are NOT a shelter. We often host a few rescued animals waiting to be adopted or take part in rescue or sterilization support activities. We take care of community cats and we make sure they have food and water and a warm place to stay during winter. Taking care of the pets is everyone's duty. If you have allergy or if animal welfare is not something you are interested in, this is not a place for you. We are also looking for help with promoting the organisation on social media (publishing pictures and videos, making posters, writing articles) and finding potential adopters. Volunteers may be asked to go out to check on or rescue some animals.


    We volunteer in two different schools in the neighbourhood: a Nursery school and a Kindergarten.
    Volunteers are asked to play with children and help the teachers in their daily tasks. Japanese children are respectful, independent and playful. They are now used to seeing volunteers coming to their classroom. Speaking Japanese is not mandatory, but it requires some efforts to reach out to the children and bond.
    Please also note that these schools are not international schools, so the teachers do not speak very good English. Communication can therefore be difficult sometimes, so extra effort must be made.
    The goal of this partnership is to get Japanese kids more comfortable with being around and interacting with foreigners, as well as to allow foreigners visiting Japan to learn a bit more about Japanese culture and way of education. We also want to try to introduce and model responsible and kind human/animal interaction.

    Because you will be working with children, the following rules must be followed :

    - Please take care to exhibit appropriate behavior if interacting physically with children
    - Do NOT put any photos of children on social media or the internet.
    - Please don’t smoke, use drugs, or consume alcohol on the organization’s grounds
    - Always have another adult present if you are bathing the children or in the children’s bathroom
    - Please don’t take children outside the organization without permission
    - Please interact with children only in the public spaces (such as classrooms, the yard or the library)
    - Please don’t show favoritism to any individual child or give excessive gifts to the children
    - Please don’t give money to children
    - Always inform local staff if you witness or suspect inappropriate behavior by other staff, or children
    - Please don’t use any physical force (such as slapping) with the children

    Work schedule :
    For the Kindergarten : Monday to Friday, 9am to 2pm
    For the Nursery : Monday to Friday, 9am-12:30pm + 3:30pm-5pm
  • LocationJapan, Kyoto, Kyoto

  • Work
  • Type of work Animal care
    Babysitting / Childcare
    Charity work
    Help in the house
  • Hours per day 5 hours a day, 5 days a week based on the needs of the weekly schedule.
    Usually the schedule is Monday to Friday 9am to 2pm, but it can vary.
    Flexibility is required.
    Volunteers have two days off a week, preferably on weekend
  • Work requirements: Being used to communal life is a plus, and keeping the Volunteer house clean is essential. Doing your dishes and your laundry is not optional, as well as keeping your belonging in your room. Cleaning of the house is shared among volunteers. If the work is not done, and/or directions not followed, volunteers may be asked to leave.
    Due to the nature of the volunteer work, we require a 3 week MINIMUM time commitment from all volunteers. We also welcome enquiries from people looking for longer placements, who might want to spend a few months or more in Kyoto.
    We very much welcome couples as volunteers but you must be flexible and aware that you may be working different shift patterns to each other and that you will share the bedroom with other volunteers. We do not guarantee you a double bed. We mostly can arrange for couples to have days off together.
  • Host's preferences
  • Availability: Send a message to inquire.
  • Duration of stay: Minimum 1 month
  • Maximum number of helpers: 6
  • Last minute requests: Okay
  • Host
  • Languages:English
  • Has pets? From time to time the volunteer house has rescue pets living there until we can find them a permanent home.
  • Smokes at home? No
  • Accommodation: LOCATION:

    Volunteers live in a two story house, in a traditional Japanese neighbourhood. The volunteer house is located in Uzumasa, about a 15 min walk south from the Myoshin-ji Temple. The neighborhood is beautiful and old. We are very lucky to be able to house foreigners in the neighborhood, and must be very respectful of the community space/customs here.

    All volunteers live under the same roof, which is great for communal cooking and film watching. There are 8 beds split across two rooms.
    We have a small number of bicycles that are available for use for the volunteers. As Kyoto is a very flat city, many attractions are a short bike ride away (temples, onsen, flea markets, a cinema district, City Hall, Gion district, and more). There are also many nearby places to buy local produce, as well as a few big grocery markets.

    Wifi, bikes, laundry detergent, cleaning products, towels and bedding
  • Additional info
  • Kyoto is a great city with lots of ancient places to visit: temples, castle, imperial villas & palace. There are 3 must-see places in Kyoto:
    - Fushimi Inari: shinto shrine with thousands of orange torii gates
    - Arashiyama: monkey mountains, bamboo grove, Temple with beautiful garden
    - Kiyomizu-dera Temple: wonderful temple, great local district

    We offer accommodation to ALL our volunteers and also some basic food such as rice, pasta and condiments (salt, pepper, oil, soy sauce); cleaning products, laundry detergent, toilet paper, etc... We do not provide animal products (as we are vegan) or vegetables. Please understand that because food is delivered only once a month, it can happen that we run out of something.
    The volunteers have to cook for themselves, but we will sometimes organise events due to the season (barbecue in summer, halloween party, Christmas dinner, ...)

    If you do not have enough money to afford to pay your food, our program might not be suitable for you.