If, after you have read these Frequently Asked Questions and other parts of our website, you have questions unanswered, please write to us via the Contact Form. We reply prompty to all inquiries. Our replies are not automated responses, but us real people reading your message and replying personally to it!

To join WWOOF Japan you must do 3 things:
  1. Complete the online membership application
  2. Send payment for membership
  3. Send us an e-mail by Contact Form as to how you paid so we can identify your payment

Click on the title to see the answer

A printed verson of our list of Hosts?

We do not provide a printed list of our Hosts.  Host's details are only available via our website.


 

Are hosts monitored?

We work closely with all our hosts to see that they understand and practice, that they must work to see that WWOOFers are happy and have meaningful learning experiences while WWOOFing at their place.   All hosts report to us regularly about the individual WWOOFers they have had and plan to have next month, the activities the WWOOFers did, any problems experienced, and more.  

Can I go to the WWOOF office to join?

No. The only way to join WWOOF Japan is via our website. Please DON'T come to our Sapporo office to join WWOOF Japan as a WWOOFer.  We don't offer a retail service to WWOOFers.

Can I telephone WWOOF Japan?

No. Please write to us via our Online Contact Form.

Couples or friends WWOOFing together

You can go WWOOFing with your friend/family. Each individual must send an online application form, and payment. We do not have a couples membership category.

Do hosts accept non Japanese speakers?


Most do. Many of our hosts have lived abroad and speak foreign languages. One of the motivations for many hosts to be involved in WWOOF is to meet people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. If this is of concern to you you should ask this explicitly of hosts when you contact them.

Do hosts pay WWOOFers?

No.  WWOOFing is an exchange between friends: Hosts and WWOOFers.

Fee for children

From 0 to 15 years, free of charge. All child information must be provided in the application form of his or her guardian.

Please see the Hosts Preview section of this website and in there details of whether each host does accept children, and if so, any conditions, etc.   Much other information about each hosts is also provided in the Host Preview section.  Click on the link "Host Preview" in the menu at the left of the page.

Hosts accept WWOOFers during winter?

Yes, many do.  Many of our hosts accept WWOOFer all year round.  

Hours of help a day

You will need to help at the Hosts' place up to 6 hours per day, up to 6 days a week.

How do I get to a host's place?

Information that members are given includes instructions of how to get to hosts by public transport. Most hosts will pick up WWOOFers from nearby public transport. 

How long can a WWOOFer stay at a host?

It varies from a few days to several months. Most hosts are flexible on this and in this way WWOOFers are usually able to stay as long or as short a time as suits them, and of course as if they are from outside Japan, for as long as their visa will permit. 

How many hosts do you have?

We have more than 300 hosts, and are adding new hosts almost daily. Hosts are spread all over Japan. Many speak English and welcome non Japanese speaking people. Hosts can be all kinds of places.  Many hosts accept WWOOFers all year round, provided you have a visa, and anyway, many are situated in warmer parts of Japan, so WWOOFing all year round is fine.  

For current information about number and type of Hosts, see Host Preview

How much money will I need?

How much money will I need while WWOOFing?

It is hard to generalize and will depend on numerous things such as the kind of personal effects you buy and the frequency with which you buy them, how much you move around from host to host and have to pay bus and train fares, and more.  While WWOOFing with a host, all your meals and accommodation costs are taken care of by the host.   

How to pay/How much for membership

Please see this page "How To Pay" for information about cost of membership.


 

I have tattoos …

"I happen to have a few tattoos on both my torso, legs and arms (these can all be covered by long-sleeved clothing) however, I am somewhat familiar with Japans view and attitude towards tattoos. Is this something hosts or yourselves do not allow? "

No, problem.  However as you mentioned, in Japan many people do not have a good image about Irezumi (tattoos), as it is a kind of a symbol indicative of being a Japanese mafia person (called ’yakuza’ in Japanese).  Yet some Japanese, specially young people, do know about contemporary western fashion tattoos as well.

We have received some good feedback from hosts after they accepted WWOOFers with tattoos, such as "I was shocked to see some tattoos on the WWOOFer's arm, but she was such a warm-hearted wonderful person and helped me a lot.  She made my eyes more open to the world.  I hope I can see her again."
Therefore it is all up to you, to make your WWOOFing wonderful and make host families realise that a person with tattoos does not automatically equate to that person being a bad person.

Insurance

Your WWOOF Japan membership does NOT include insurance of any kind. We recommend that you arrange insurance for yourself to cover yourself for injury. Depending on what country you are in, there are different products available, often from travel agents. 

No refunds

We do not give refunds.                      
Under no circumstances do we give refunds. 
That we do not give refunds is made abundantly clear in the membership application form that applications choose to “agree” to before they pay.
You can go WWOOFing to as many Hosts as you like, as many times as you like, during your active membership period.
Please check you travel arrangements, so that you can be sure you are coming to Japan and can use your WWOOF Japan membership as planned.

Safety

While staying and working with hosts, always ask hosts about the activities they ask you to do as to whether it is safe for you to do it. If you are asked to do things that you don't properly understand, that to you seems unsafe, or something that you have not done before and cannot judge the safety of it, don't do it. Always consider your safety first.

Visas

WWOOF Japan is a quality means to travel in Japan, experience Japanese life, meet local people away from tourist traps, learn about Japanese organic farming & alternate ways of life, and to have genuine experiences in Japan at a grass roots level.

Some people who join WWOOF Japan who are from overseas come to Japan using a normal tourist visa including some form of visa exemptions. A tourist visa is usually 90 days, but this may be different depending on agreements between your country and Japan. Some people join WWOOF Japan while they are in Japan as students at a university with a student visa, or working for a company with a visa sponsorship from their employer.

Obtaining a visa for Japan is entirely a matter between you and the Japanese Consulate General office nearest you. In addition you travel agent may be able to offer you some advice. You should not join WWOOF Japan as a means to getting a visa or employment. Neither we at the WWOOF Japan office, nor our hosts can assist in any way regarding visa related matters.

Please do not ask the WWOOF Japan office, or our hosts, for information or support with visa matters.  All the information we have about visas is provided here in this FAQ. Absolutely no visa support at all can be provided, including so called 'Letters of Introduction' and any other forms of visa support, both direct and indirect.

If you are from a developing country, ie., an African country, India, Nepal, Pakistan, etc., visas for Japan can be difficult to obtain, so please do not send your payment until you first have contacted the Japanese Consulate General nearest you and arranged your visa.

Here are some often asked questions and answerst to them:

Q. Can I go WWOOFing using a normal tourist visa?
A. Yes. Because WWOOFing is part of traveling and learning about Japan, you can go WWOOFing in Japan using a normal tourist visa.

Q.  Do I need a work visa to go WWOOFing?
A.  No.  WWOOFing is a means to travel and learn, and NOT to work and make money.

Q. How can I get a longer tourst visa, or longer visa?
A.  We can give no advice or support on how you might get a longer tourist visa, or extend a tourist visa, or get a visa other than a tourist visa that might have a longer duration than that of a tourist visa.

Q.  Can I go WWOOFing using a Working Holiday Visa?
A.  Yes.

Q.  I am eligible for both a tourst visa and a Working Holiday Visa.  Which one is best?
A.  Probably the Working Holiday Visa is best because it is a longer duration visa than a tourist visa, and as the visa name suggests can offer more flexibility it terms of what the holder is permitted to do while in Japan.

Q.  Don't I need a letter from WWOOF Japan to get a Working Holiday Visa?
A.  No.

Q.  How can I get a Working Holiday Visa?
A.  Please ask the Japanese Consulate General nearest you.

Q.  Can I get WWOOF Japan, or a WWOOF Japan host, to be a sponsor or give me letters to assist with my visas application?
A.  No.

Q.  Can I get work as a WWOOFer?
A.  No.  WWOOFing is a means to travel, learn and experience.  WWOOFing is NOT a means to work.

Q.  Can I get paid some income as a WWOOFer?
A.  No.

Q.  Is WWOOFing work?
A.  No.  WWOOFing is travel, learning, experiencing.

Q.  How can I get a long term visa?
A.  We don't know.  Please ask the Japanese Consulate General nearest you.

Q.  Is it possible to get a visa for longer than 90 days?
A.  We don't know.  Please ask the Japanese Consulate General nearest you.

Q.  Can I extend my visa once I'm in Japan?
A.  We don't know.  Please ask the Japanese Consulate General nearest you.


For more information, see the link About Japanese Immigration

What is WWOOFer Permit?

Once you become a WWOOFer, your account shows your WWOOFer Permit.
It is certification that you are a WWOOFer member of WWOOF Japan for the stated period. 

In the old website up to approx 2020, the WWOOFer Permit had to be printed out and taken with you to hosts’ places. However since 2021 in the new website, hosts to whom you have given permission, can see your WWOOFer Permit via their WWOOF Japan login. Therefore, you do not need to print it out anymore. 

However, you must show your personal ID, such as your passport, to hosts as soon as you arrive at the host's place.
The host will then reconcile your WWOOFer Permit with your personal ID. 

If you are a WWOOFer, please login and read “How to use this site” for more details about the WWOOFer Permit.



Where are hosts located?

All over Japan. From Hokkaido to Okinawa and all in between.  

For complete information about the geographical range of hosts, see Host Preview

Women WWOOFers

If you are a woman and concerned about your wellbeing while WWOOFing, then we suggest the following:

Choose a Host that is shown in the Host entry as 'Verified', as this denotes that the Host has to provided the WWOOF Japan office with a form of documentation that shows that they are the person they have presented themselves to be in their Host entry.

Communicate back and forth with a given Host that you are thinking you might like to go to, and through that dialogue, ask questions, raise issues important to you, check and double check, and ascertain for yourself if you can feel confident that the Host is the right place for you to go to. 

Choose a Host that is a family with female members, rather that a Host that is a man living alone.

Choose a Host that is not in a remote place, but near other Hosts, or near a town, or a Host who has nearby neigbbours. 

Always be careful, and if in doubt about a Host, then don't go to that Host, and find another Host instead.

If you ever feel in danger, call the police, without delay. The telephone number for the police nationwide in Japan is 110.  

Report all undesirable circumstances to the WWOOF Japan office. 

WWOOFing is not for everyone, and some people are better suited to go traveling on an organized tour of some sort, with tour guides, supervision, staying at registered hotels, etc.  If you are such a person, then you might not want to go WWOOFing at all.  The onus is on you to decide what is best for you.


 

WWOOF Japan/hosts pay my airfare?

No. WWOOF is green tourism. You must pay the cost of all your transportation to and from hosts’ places.

WWOOFing in other countries?

Does my WWOOF Japan membership allow WWOOFing in other countries?

No.  WWOOF Japan membership allows you to go WWOOFing only in Japan.  Each WWOOF country that has a local WWOOF group is an independent and autonomous WWOOF group, that produces its own List of Hosts.