On my article titled Who Says That Accomodations in Japan Are Expensive?, i listed WWOOF Japan program as one of the solutions for those who wants to stay in and get food for free in Japan. . So if you want to know more about WWOOF Japan program, you can read it on my articles linked above.

Interested to join the WWOOF Japan program? Hold up. Don’t be in a rush. This time, I would like to review about other programs similar to WWOOF Japan. Who knows, maybe it could add up the informations for you Jalan2ers who are really interested to eat and stay for free in Japan.

Actually it is not fully for free, because like WWOOF Japan, travelers need to work for specific hours as an exchange of the foods and accomodations provided by the host. But there are some differences compared to WWOOF Japan that makes these programs interesting to be considered.

There are HelpX (Help Exchange) and Workaway, 2 programs that I was talking about. Actually there are many programs similar to WWOOF Japan that offers the chance of free meals and stay in Japan as long as the travelers (with WWOOF Japan, the travelers will be mentioned as WWOOFers) are willing to work for specific period of time with the host (the person who provides temporary jobs for travelers). But at this article, I would like to share informations regarding HelpX and Workaway programs.

Just like WWOOF Japan, HelpX and Workaway are 2 programs that accomodate travelers who are willing to work for several hours for the host as an exchange for free meals and accomodations. For the HelpX, travelers will be mentioned as helper of HelpXers; while for Workaway, they will be mentioned as workawayers.

The kinds of jobs offered by the hosts at those two programs are actually not very different with WWOOF Japan. There are hosts offering jobs in farming, cattling, accomodations, restaurants, and even English tutors. You can choose your own host that offers the job you desire, or you can simply wait to be contacted by the host interested in your profile.


What About the Working Hours?

The amount of working hours are varied, depending on each host. Usually it starts with 2-6 hours per day for 5-6 days per week. But there are also hosts that ask HelpXers or Workawayers to work for full 8 hours a day so they can get full holiday on the weekend.

There are also hosts that require their workers to work only for 2 hours a day to be exchanged with free accomodation (no meals), so HelpXers/Workawayers have to get their own meals. The duration of stay with the host are varied as well. It doesn’t have to be for months. So once again, everything depends on the deal with the host.


So it is not pretty different with WWOOF Japan? Is there any difference between HelpX and Workaway with WWOOF Japan?

It seems that HelpX and Workaway programs are not that very different with WWOOF Japan, but still there are differences between those programs. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. HelpX and Workaway provide host informations from many countries around the globe.

So Japan is just one of the network available on those two programs. The advantage is, HelpXers and Workawayers can browse for the host from many countries on one website only, with only 1 membership. The disadvantage is, so far, the list of hosts for Japan area on those two websites are still very limited.

On the other hand, WWOOF Japan specifically provides various informations to WWOOFers who want to have vacation while working to the hosts in Japan area only. The advantage is, many informations and host alternatives for WWOOF Japan are much plentier than two other programs. The hosts are well-spread throughout Japan with many choices of jobs offered.

But if you want to find a host from outside Japan, WWOOFers would need to enter the WWOOF International’s website because WWOOF Japan is just a part of WWOOF International. WWOOFers also can’t use their WWOOF Japan membership to access hosts at other countries.

For the general procedure, HelpX, Workaway, and WWOOF Japan are basically similar. On Workaway and WWOOF Japan, travelers need to login and register by paying the membership fee before getting the permit to access the informations about hosts and make contact to the host desired.

HelpX applies a little bit different rule. Travelers can register for free and make self-description profile (and can be contacted by the hosts that are interested with your profile), and then you can pay the registration if you are interested to search or make contact with the host.

Other difference lies on the membership fee on each programs. The membership of WWOOF japan costs you ¥5500 for the first year (equals to about $53) and it will lower down to ¥5000 for the second year, ¥3000 for the third and fourth years (equals to about $30), and ¥1500 for the fifth year and so.

HelpX and Workaway have friendlier fees. For HelpX, it costs you EUR 20 for 2 years of membership (equals to about $23). For Workaway, it is EUR 22 for 2 years, or EUR 29 for membership of 2 people (either couple or friend) for 2 years.

Quite friendly rates, aren’t they? This membership fee is one of the things that makes HelpX and Workaway deserve to be considered by Jalan2ers who wants to find othe alternatives than WWOOF Japan.

And then, the payment procedure for HelpX and Workaway can be done via PayPal, credit card, or you pay it through the bank; and it is expected to be at least 17-18 years old to apply the membership (as it might be difficult to find works for those who are less than 17 years old).

Now you know the difference between HelpX, Workaway, and WWOOF Japan, right? Interested to join the programs offered by HelpX or Workaway? For further informations, you can visit their official websites of HelpX and Workaway (click the link).

To see the list of hosts in Japan, simply choose the country of Japan on those two websites. Or you can also see informations of hosts from various countries. I hope the information is useful.


read also :

Travelling to Japan : Japanese Tips for Tourists

25 Places in Indonesia that Will Satisfy the Desire for Traveling Overseas

Believe It Or Not, These 18 Travelling Myths Oftenly Mislead (Soon-to-Be) Travelers! How About You?