Long term volunteer


HEART provides long-term volunteers with free accommodations at an apartment that is equipped with microwave, gas range, fridge, washer, futons, and towels, etc., everything needed to live comfortably*. Accommodations may be shared if there are more than one overseas our out of town volunteers with us at any one time.

Please note: volunteers will be responsible for the upkeep of the apartment. You are expected to clean up after yourself by washing dishes you dirty, keeping your living area organized and being respectful of shared bathroom.

*Please help us save water and electricity.

Food: We only provide some basic instant food that volunteers can help themselves to.


To/From the shelter: Shelter staff/volunteer can pick you up from the volunteer apartment.

If you wish to arrive or leave at a different time than the volunteer/staff, bicycles are provided. It is about a 40 minutes bike ride from the apartment to the shelter. Otherwise, someone will pick you in the morning by car.

To volunteer accommodation upon arrival in Tokushima: If you give us your schedule in advance, shelter staff/volunteer can pick you up at Tokushima-station.

Working Hours:

Most of the volunteers come to the shelter around 9am and be there until the daily activities are completed in the evening. The closing time depends on the number of volunteers on any given day. Usually we have several volunteers to help dog walks and finish our work around 5pm. Of course, you can work at your own rhythm and take days off whenever you need it.

Salary: HEART is run by volunteer basis. Except for one locally hired paid regular staff member, HEART does not provide volunteers with salary or compensation.

Activities: Dog walking is always needed.

Experience in building construction is also welcomed.

Attire: Wear sneakers. Bring sunscreen and hat/cap for summer.

Extra clothes and Rain gear are a must!

Language: Most of the local volunteers and regular staff members are Japanese speakers. The founder of HEART, Susan and some volunteers can speak English.

Insurance: Please make sure to have your travel insurance. HEART cannot provide financial assistance for hospital visits or illnesses.

Tokushima prefecture does provide "volunteer insurance" to help cover medical costs for injuries sustained during volunteering in the country. The cost is 500 yen per year. We require volunteers to register for this insurance, so please provide your full name, address and contact information before arriving at HEART so we can prepare the paperwork.

We need independent individuals due to the amount of work we all have at HEART but we will be with you every step of the way if you decide to join us.  Please contact us at susan@heart-tokushima.com for availability at the volunteer apartment.

Photos of our volunteer apartment: