Japan is a very modern and industrialized country. It is a major economic power, and yet it welcomes the help volunteers give. This is especially appreciated in times of natural disasters like volcanic eruptions or tsunamis.
Japan has a lot to offer its foreign volunteers. Ancient ruins, temples and castles from its 1,200 year history, the subtle art of flower arranging and tea ceremonies are all waiting to be explored.
There is a large variety of volunteer activities you can participate in. Some may require special skills others require no skills at all, only dedication and the willingness to help.
Japan has the largest ratio of aging population on the planet. Twenty three percent of its population is more than 65 years old. So there are numerous homes for the elderly that require volunteers. Duties here will include helping doctors provide medical care and organize activities for the residents. Medical Homes for the physically disabled also require volunteers to carry out similar duties.
Volunteers are also needed to work in the many orphanages. The work here can be administrative, or involve teaching English to the children. It may also involve organizing and conducting activities involving children.
If getting away from the city life and seeing the Japanese country side is more your area of interest then WWOOFing is the way to go. World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farm or WWOOFers are given room and board free of charge in return for around six hours of work a day. WWOOFing hosts can include sustainable living centers, farms, or even a temple.