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Ready to Volunteer?

Each year the Festival offers hundreds of opportunities for persons to become more than an attendee and receive a number of benefits.

The Japan Festival is presented by the Heart of America Japan-America Society. The Japan Festival showcases the traditional and pop culture, food and art of Japan, along with the vision, technology, and hopes for the future shared by the people of Japan and the people of the Kansas City area.

Benefits of being a volunteer:

  • A complimentary ticket to attend the Festival (a $20 value). You serve a three or four-hour shift and have the remainder of the day to enjoy the Festival.
  • An educational experience. As a greeter you will learn Japanese greetings. As a Bazaar Sales Assistant, you will learn about several Japanese traditions. In the workshops and presentations you get to meet and work directly with persons teaching or presenting on the Japanese language, garden design, or calligraphy as examples.
  • Meet new friends. You can serve with your friends for a fun time together. Or you can sign up for a time slot and meet other volunteers for a friendship that may continue long after the day is over.
  • A new credential. For persons who are documenting their community service and their participation in educational and cultural activities, this can be added to resumes and application documents.
  • Making a contribution. The most important benefit is the satisfaction you obtain by making a contribution to an event that needs and welcomes your involvement.

Volunteer Requirements:

  • Sign up for at least one volunteer shift (most shifts are around 3 hours)
  • Attend a short, online training meeting to go over basic volunteer essentials the week before the festival (date and time TBD).
  • Volunteers under 16 years old must sign up with an adult.

Sign-up below

All volunteer shifts are at least three hours.

The Festival is using Sign-Up Genius as an online registration format. Use the links below to review the open volunteer opportunities and sign-up for specific time slots.

You are asked to give your email and phone number because we want to be able to contact you during the week prior to the event to give you additional information and final confirmation. Your contact information is available only to the volunteer coordinator and the person responsible for the activity.

If you wish to serve as a volunteer without using the online registration, please contact our volunteer coordinator and you will be registered without using the online process.

Set Up and Tear Down


Help set up on Thursday and Friday before the festival and tear down the Sunday after.

Welcoming Guests


Welcome guests to the Japan Festival by volunteering as an Entrance Greeter, Ticket Sales, Information Booth, or T-Shirt Sales.

Food Court


Located in the JCCC Cafeteria – COM building, the Food Court features vendors serving primarily Japanese food. Help greet customers, direct them to the desired vendor line and keep tables clean.

Performances and Exhibitions


Volunteer to help with the Festival performances and exhibitions as a Backstage Assistant, Exhibit Hall Assistant, or at the CD Desk.

Shopping Bazaar


Sales assistants will answer questions and process sales at the Bazaar, which offers Japanese crafts, arts, tableware, kimonos, yukatas, kokeshi dolls, toys, books, and more!

Workshops and Cultural Presentations


Assist at one of the workshops or cultural presentations at the festival: including origami, Japanese language, kimono demonstration, bonsai, candy artist, calligraphy, and many others!

Volunteer Desk


You will greet volunteers as they arrive at the Festival, provide them with a wristband and vest or happi coat.

Japanese Cultural Village


Volunteers will help in traditional festival games and sell items. Japanese-speaking volunteers preferred. 

General Volunteer


As a General Volunteer, you will be on standby to help anywhere in the festival where they need help (Bazaar, Food, Presentations, etc).