Giving Back in Japan

Helping great causes while networking for new friends

Even if you don’t speak Japanese, there are many great causes in Japan that you can help by volunteering, funding, or simply attending their events. Here is my top 12 (in alphabetical order) based on personal experience: 

Animal Refuge Kansai 

While rescuing, caring for, and rehoming animals, long-established ARK strives for improvements in the level of animal welfare in Japan. They often need help in Tokyo, Osaka, and Hyogo caring for animals and running events.

Executive Fight Night

EFN gives courageous Tokyo executives the opportunity to fight and raise money for charity in a spectacular Vegas-style Fight Night. All proceeds benefit Shine On! Kids’ Hospital Facility Dog Program. Shine On! Kids supports kids with cancer and other serious illnesses in 30 hospitals throughout Japan.

  • Get a table of 10 and save on individual ticket pricing 
  • Ringside tables are selling quickly so don’t miss your chance to be up close to all the action 

EFN 2024
Friday, May 31, 2024
Grand Hyatt Tokyo
Early bird tickets end April 17!

HOPE International Development Agency Japan

Works with the world’s extreme to poor to help them meet their fundamental needs through sustainable community development projects focusing on the provision of clean water, primary health, sanitation, micro-loans, and education.

Knights In White Lycra (KIWL)

KIWL is a fundraising group of all ages and backgrounds who, through sporting and social events, give marginalized children living in care, better prospects of a successful outcome in adult life. Together with our sponsors, participants, donors and volunteers, we have raised ¥146.4 million (more than $1 million) since its humble beginnings in 2013, which has given these fragile children life-changing opportunities. They hosted a lively Palace Run over the weekend of April 5—just one of many engaging activities that the organization puts on.

Refugee Empowerment Japan 

Supports projects that create opportunities for people who have been forced to live as evacuees in Asia, Africa, and South America to regain independence and normal lives near their hometowns.

Mirai No Mori

“Creates life-changing outdoor programs for abused, neglected, and orphaned youths in Japan, supporting their growth into happy and successful young adults.” They are always looking for volunteers for children’s camps, fundraising, and office work.

Second Harvest Japan

As Japan’s first incorporated food bank, Second Harvest is working with others to create new public asset—a food safety net—so that everyone will have access to food in their own community.


SEGO Initiative connects causes and communities with beach cleaning, organic farming, and sustainable development in Japan and abroad. Their regular beach cleaning events at Enoshima in Fujisawa draw companies and the local public, and they put on regular art events and informative webinars that draw a range of innovative and forward-thinking speakers.

Shine On! Kids 

Supports children in Japan with cancer and other serious illnesses through a number of innovative, evidence-based psycho-social support programs. Understanding that a journey back to health is not only about the patient, Shine On! Kids also supports the multiple family members caring for these kids inside and outside of the hospital as well as the medical staff who undergo their own challenges of managing stress in caring for very sick kids and their families.


TELL is a nonprofit dedicated to providing effective support and counseling services to Japan’s international community and helping to address mental health care needs, including suicide prevention. TELL seeks volunteers for its LifeLine, fundraising efforts and office work.


Tokyo Yamathon is a fundraising challenge where teams of 2-4 people compete to walk through the capital, visiting all 30 stations of the JR Yamanote train line in under 12 hours.


Tokyo-based NPO solely dedicated to nurturing and supporting local students from institutionalized homes. For over a decade, its mission has been to assist students in becoming fully independent.

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