WWOOFing in Japan!

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A view of the entire village, including the farm, cafe, and host's home.
WWOOFing in Japan
WWOOFing in Japan

About

Who are WWOOFers? They are often travelers in Japan who wants to experience more local culture during their holiday. WWOOFers will live with hosts, volunteer their time and energy, help hosts with farm work and other housework at their place. In return, Hosts provide WWOOFers place to live, food to eat and other social activities. WWOOFers are not workers, but part of the family.

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Reviews

7 Rating
based on 1 review
  • Impact 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 10
  • Value 6
  • Safety 10
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Raquel
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Reality check for first-time WWOOFers

My host farm was located in the outskirts of Hiroshima, about an hour by bus on a winding mountain road, in a tiny, half-abandoned village of 100 people. While scrolling through several host farm profiles on the WWOOF Japan website, the family-owned organic cafe featured on one had me sold and I quickly messaged the host to see if he openings for my friend and I. The farm portion of our host "farm" was quite different from what we expected, as it was the family's personal gardens consisting of 3 rice paddies and a weedy vegetable patch. Although we spent some time in the fields weeding, the bulk of our time was spent helping out at the village's only cafe. Our responsibilities mainly included opening and closing the restaurant, food prep, serving customers, and doing dishes. Essentially we provided a huge help for all the tasks the single cafe cook didn't have time for.

Everyone's experience will definitely depend on their host farm, hosts, living situation, and location. Although my first time WWOOFing definitely blew my expectations out of the water and I was at times discouraged, I would definitely love trying out WWOOF again. Even if circumstances seemed less than ideal at first, I reminded myself I was there to work, not get pampered on vacation. You will be helping out people's real businesses and livelihoods, and in return receiving home-cooked meals and accommodations.

What would you improve about this program?
The WWOOFing website can be more truthful about working conditions and hours. Most days we worked 9 hours or more on the farm, with only a day off a week if there was no more weeding to be done.
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