>Volunteering in Iwanuma


Here is some more specific information about volunteering in Iwanuma, where our team spent a week clearing mud during Golden Week.

The Iwanuma VC is very welcoming to international volunteers and there were staff members who spoke some English. Here is the essential volunteering information and FAQ (scroll down for English.)

Much of the work clearing mud from homes is finished in Iwanuma, but people still need help clearing their fields and gardens. The 2 cm crust of sludge must be removed with shovels and wheelbarrows and piled near the road so that it can be trucked away. Even after the sludge is gone, it will take several seasons for the rain to flush out enough salt from the soil for crops to be grown.

Recently, there are approximately 150-300 volunteers per day. Most work clearing mud and debris. Other activities include helping evacuees move into temporary housing, sorting supplies, washing photographs, etc. Job matching takes place in the morning beginning at 8:30, and once again in the afternoon. It is possible to volunteer for full or half days.


Here is the location of the Iwanuma VC.

Trains to Iwanuma are running. It is a 20 minute walk to the VC from the Iwanuma train station. The train takes around 23 minutes from Sendai station. Shinkansen and air access to Sendai has also been restored. There are a number of Youth Hostels in Sendai if you wish to commute from there, but we recommend staying in Iwanuma. It is roughly a 40 minute drive to Iwanuma from Sendai.


There is a park next to the VC where volunteers can camp, and volunteers are also welcome to sleep in their vehicles in the VC parking lot. There is a restroom and tap in the park, and information posted on nearby bathhouses. It is useful to have a car to get to the bathhouses, but if you are coming by train you can probably gang up with fellow volunteers to get a ride to the baths.

The Hotel Harada has rooms for 6000 yen per night, Internet and parking included, and is a 20 minute walk from the VC.

ホテル原田 Hotel Harada

〒989-2442 宮城県岩沼市大手町3-18

Miyagi-ken Iwanuma-shi Otecho 3-18

TEL 0223(24)2525(代)

FAX 0223(24)6761

The Momokou Ryokan (桃幸) has rooms for 5000 yen per night. It has a small parking lot. It is a 20 minute walk to the VC.

Miyagi-ken Iwanuma-shi Nakao 1-chome 1-1

TEL: 0223-24-1101

Please see the previous post for information regarding insurance, gear, etc.

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