Higashi Shirakawa Village

Project Details

Code: CIEEJ1712
Start date: 05 ago 2017
End date: 15 ago 2017
Term: Workcamp (6-15 days)
Country: Japan
State: Higashi Shirakawa Village
Airport: Central Japan International Airport
Cost: 7000
Currency: JPY (about 60 EURO)
Minimum Age: 18
Maximum Age: 40


Higashi Shirakawa Village Board of Education offers this program in cooperation with Nagoya University of Commerce & Business as well as local NPO AOZORA KENBUN JYUKU Since 2014, NPO AOZORA KENBUN JYUKU take part in planning and operating the project.
The aim of this project is to have children in Higashi Shiralawa Village to build an international friendship and to widen their views. Since most children have no opportunity to interact with non-Japanese people. Through this project, they will have chance to experience other culture and see the world differently.
CIEE Japan has been involved with this STV project since 1998 and it will be 19th anniversary this year.

Work And Activities

Volunteers are expected to work together with local university students to solve the ongoing problems and activities of this village

-Actively involved with English village camp and teach for Japanese children
-Visit junior high school, kindergarten and senior home and do some activities together
-Tree pruning, land cleaning and wood chopping
-Maintain the hiking trails and cleaning sidewalks
-Help some agricultural work
-Clean the accommodation
-BON (summer dance) festival preparation ad well as wearing YUKATA

English village camp (Several days)
International volunteers will spend great amount of time by preparing and initiating this camp. Together with local university students, international volunteer will teach local children (elementary and junior high school) about English. Japanese children only learn English by the books. It is one of their fewer chances to practice it (speak out loud) with non-Japanese people. We would appreciate if international volunteers can take initiatives for this event (because some local university students are not experienced to teach/speak English).
If you can prepare children's songs, games, quizzes that would be great as well. The local partner will assign some ESL teacher (TBD) and prepare board and photos and national flags to make and atmosphere international and fun!

Accommodation And Food

Japanese RYOKAN (They no longer use it for business purpose, but keep the facility as a place for visitors)

Facilities :
7 Japanese-style rooms are available for volunteers, washer, kitchen, bathroom with bathtub, restroom (both Japanese and a western style), fans, Free wifi is available, convenience store is 20 minutes by car, supermarket is 10 minutes by car.

Volunteers take turns and cook breakfast and dinner by themselves. Food items will be provided. Local host mostly prepare lunch by providing BENTO box. Sometimes volunteers take turns to cook lunch. There is a big BBQ event 1 night too.


Higashi Shirakawa-Village is located in the central part of Japan, near the Hida Mountains which are very famous for its beautiful scenery among mountain climbers and tourists. Elevation is high and the population is about 4,000. Most villagers take part in forestry and cultivate tea tree. Shirakawa tea is famous around the area. 95% of the villages are covered with mountains and rich forests. Visitors can enjoy its quiet wild nature. If volunteers like to visit landmarks such as Shirakawago (a newly registered World Heritage) or Gero Onsen (famous hot spring). A volunteer needs at least 10,000 JPY in cash if she wants to go sightseeing on free-day (such as Takayama city) but you can stay at the camp location if you do not want to go out with a big group.


1. Big interest and motivation to teach English (or at least culture/language of your home country) to local Japanese children since this is core activity during this workcamp.
2. Conversational Japanese is recommended, but not required.
3. Some interest for outdoor activities, together with local Japanese children in the forest
4. Some interest for Japanese culture, language and custom (especially the lifestyle of rural area)
5. Extra fee 7000 JPY (about 60 Euro). Please pay on arrival. This fee will be used for supporting the accommodation fee
6. A motivation letter (more than 5 sentences long) is required. Please include your interest, motivation, experience and strength of yourself in English or Japanese.

A sleeping bag is a must. You can not use beddings the Ryokan owns. Clothing suitable for activities such as long sleeved items, pants cotton gloves and durable sneakers, swimwear, flip-flops, portable umbrella or rainwea, a hat/cap, facial towel, bath towel, sun protected cream or spray, medicine you use in your home country, a water bottle and a bug repellent, At least 20,000 JPY in cash (including extra fee). A credit card is useless in this area.


Conversational Japanese is recommended, but not required


Please put the volunteer work on your highest priority. Please keep in mind that the villagers are not experienced to interact with people from overseas and they may look at you with curiosity, but no offence.