For teams wanting to do ministry in Tokyo, our ability to host you or arrange ministry for you will depend on available housing and staff resources. We will discuss options with you via email to see what can be arranged. For teams staying with us, we can provide orientation to Japanese culture, help you get oriented to the neighborhood shopping, train system, and other basic needs.
YWAM Tokyo is a pioneering base, with a small staff team. Currently we don’t have a building, but use rented houses in our Tokyo neighborhood. We may be unable to offer housing accommodations during the time that a DTS is running. If your team wants to arrive during the DTS season, we can refer you to other ministry contacts who may be able to help.
Yes, YWAM Tokyo can help connect you with ministry opportunities here in the city and nearby areas. We may not be able to provide your team with a full schedule, however, and each team should come prepared to take initiative in filling their time. Your host church or ministry may also wish to help set up your schedule as well, and should be given priority as your host.
Our main ministries in Tokyo are outreach to high school youth and university students. Your team can participate in youth club meetings, college Bible studies and events, as well as engage in friendship evangelism with the people you meet. You can also join our outreach to the homeless community, and do evangelism in the streets and parks of the city. Music, art and other creative means can be very effective here in meeting people and opening the door for good conversations about your faith.
Any time your team joins in YWAM Tokyo ministry, we will be able to help you with transportation and communication for those events. However, we are not able to fully support teams in providing escorts and translators for their daily schedule. We may be able to assist in some of your activities, however your team should come prepared to go out on your own. Many teams have had very fruitful outreaches in this way, trusting the Lord to guide them.
Transportation To Tokyo from Narita airport: about 2,500 yen round trip
Transportation To and From Haneda Airport: about 1,400 yen round trip
Accommodations with YWAM: 1,000 yen per night, per person
Food: about 500 – 800 yen per day, per person
Train Travel: 300 – 1200 yen per day, per person*
*In Tokyo our transportation is by train and foot. A short train ride of about 15 minutes is 300 yen round trip, but to cross the city takes about 1 hour and can cost around 1200 yen round trip.
The maximum length of stay is partially determined by your visa (usually 90 days maximum) and partially determined by available space and current situation. For Tokyo, there is no minimum length of stay. We can discuss this with you on an individual basis via email.
Individuals coming by themselves (and not sent out officially by a church or school) will need to complete our volunteer application. We will pray over your application and let you know as soon as we can.
There are pros and cons to obtaining a JR Rail Pass. The pass is available for foreigners, must be purchased in your home country, and allows you to travel for free on JR Train lines throughout Japan. If your team plans to travel across Japan, it may save you money. However, a 7-day pass equals about 4,000 yen per day! This is much more than you will need per day in the city. Also, in Tokyo there are many different train lines other than JR, and your pass will only be usable on the JR lines. Therefore you may frequently find that you have to purchase a ticket for part of your travel anyway, or walk some distance to find another JR station.
There are 61 nations that have made entry arrangements with Japan and do not need a visa to enter the country. Please check this list to see if your nation is represented. If your country’s name is listed, you do not need to do anything regarding a visa. You will only need a valid passport and a round trip ticket to enter Japan. More info here.
If your nation is not listed, you will need to apply for a tourist visa at your local Japanese embassy or consulate. Depending on the situation, YWAM Tokyo may be able to assist you by issuing your team a letter of invitation, but we do not apply for the visa on your behalf.
Seeing a doctor in Japan without health insurance can be expensive. If your current insurance does not cover overseas travel, we recommend you purchase a temporary policy in case of emergency (such as Missionaryhealth.com). Please check the policy to see if you will need to cover all costs up front (and be reimbursed by the insurance later) and bring some extra funds (perhaps 25,000 yen each) for this possible situation.
Yes, this is highly recommended. You can now rent a pre-paid phone in the arrival lobby of Narita airport. With your own cell phone you can call your contact if you are lost, and it is an excellent means of keeping in touch with people you meet during your outreach.