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.

Each year the Festival offers approximately 220 opportunities for persons to become more than an attendee and receive a number of benefits. The benefits of being a volunteer are:

  • A complimentary ticket to attend the Festival. The normal cost is $15 for adults. 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.

The Festival is using SignUpGenius as an online registration format. You use this link for Volunteer Opportunities to download a four page booklet describing the open volunteer opportunities, specific information about the number of volunteers needed for specific shifts, and how to register without using the online registration link. This is a valued guide to review before going to the links provided below.


Register to Volunteer Here



The volunteer opportunities are as follows:

Thursday Set Up
Friday Set Up
Sunday Tear Down

You can be among those that see all that is involved in putting together and taking away all of the items used during the Festival. By participating on one of these days, you can explore all the Festival has to offer on Saturday with your complimentary ticket. Five persons are needed on Thursday, ten on Friday, and five on Sunday. For persons serving the extended shifts on Friday and Sunday lunch will be provided.


Entrance Greeter – Saturday

You will be at the main entrances of either the Carlsen Center or the Regnier Center to greet people in Japanese, if you are comfortable to do this. We can teach you a few phrases but otherwise any greeting is fine. You will answer questions and direct persons to the ticket sales booth.


Information Booth Assistant – Saturday

You will answer questions, give directions (we will have a map for you to use) and distribute Festival booklets.


Food Court Greeter – Saturday
Food Court Line Organizer – Saturday
Food Court Clean Up – Saturday

The Food Court features vendors serving primarily Japanese food.

  • As a Greeter you welcome customers with warm smiles directing them into the dining area, answering their questions about the menus printed in the program booklet and, keeping customer lines neat and efficient.
  • As a Line Organizer, you will direct customers to the desired vendor line in the Food Court.
  • As a person responsible for clean-up, you will help to keep the tables and surrounding area very clean.


Ticket Sales – Saturday

From a location in either the Carlsen Center or Regnier Center you assist those selling tickets and distribution of wristbands. Requires familiarity with use of mobile devices such as Ipad. Individuals will be required to attend a one-hour training session on Thursday, October 4 at 6:00 p.m.


T-Shirt Sales Assistant – Saturday

You will assist in the sale of 2019 Japan Festival t-shirts. You should be a member of the Heart of America Japan-America Society, but this is not required.


Bazaar Sales Assistant – Saturday

The Bazaar offers Japanese crafts, Kimono, yukata, happi coats, kokeshi dolls, games, books, and more. Each sales assistant is present to answer questions and sell items. You will be responsible for money transactions and be required to calculate total sales amount and exchange cash/check transactions with the customers. The first shift will help with the set-up of the Bazaar and the last shift with closing. This is a great way to meet the many persons attending the Festival and to expand your knowledge of Japanese culture. Instruction is provided for the sales procedure and will be helpful if you bring a calculator you are accustomed to using. Must be high school age or older.


Exhibit Hall Assistant – Saturday

Exhibitors are vendors mostly displaying Japanese related items. You will welcome guests to the exhibit area and answer questions.


Video Gaming Assistant – Saturday

As an assistant you will answer questions, keep consoles running and controllers charged, change games, encourage player change over, and keep the room organized and tidy. The first and last shifts will assist in setting up and taking down/packing and unpacking the equipment.


Japanese Cultural Village – Saturday

The Japanese Cultural Village (Carlsen Center 1st floor) is an opportunity to experience the real Japan with photos taken with Kimonos or Samurai Armor, purchase of Japanese handicraft items, and more. As a volunteer you would help selling and organizing the items and activities underway.


Workshop/Cultural Presentation Assistant – Saturday

More than 30 workshops and cultural presentations are offered on topics such as Origami, Japanese Conversation, Kimono Demonstration, Japanese Garden Design, Introduction to Bonsai, Introduction to Reading Japanese, Kanji Made Easy, Candy Artistry, and Calligraphy. As an assistant you will greet attendees as they arrive, count the number of attendees, assist the presenter during the workshop or presentation and, assist in cleaning the room following the workshop or presentation. Some understanding of the content that is presented is preferred to serve as a volunteer or to meet with the presenter prior to October 5 to gain a brief understanding of the content. Each shift is 90 minutes requiring you to arrive 15 minutes prior to the one hour presentation and to remain 15 minutes following the presentation.

Special Note: We require you to select workshops or presentations that will lead to a total of three hours of volunteer service and other volunteer opportunity so the total equals or is greater than three hours.


Back Stage Assistant – Saturday

You will report to the stage manager and support the performing arts and cultural presentations in Polsky, Yardley and the Recital Halls. Duties include assisting performers with costume changes, setting up and clearing the stage, supervising youth, moving drums, assisting with unloading and loading vehicles and helping to ensure a smooth performance program. It will be helpful to attend the dress rehearsal for performances on Friday evening, but this is optional.


Performing Arts CD Desk – Saturday

You will assist the performing artists who are offering CD’s by staffing the sales desk while they are performing. No sales transactions are involved.


Volunteer Desk Assistant – Saturday

You will greet volunteers as they arrive at the Festival, provide them a wristband, and assure they know their correct assignment to serve.


Standby Volunteer – Saturday

You will be on standby to help where needed at the time you designate and for an assignment you approve. You will report to the Volunteer Information Desk for assignment.


Douglas Viehland, Volunteer Coordinator Pegeen Blank, Volunteer Coordinator
dougviehland@gmail.com barrblank@gmail.com
913-515-3680 816-914-2920


Thank you for reviewing all that is offered by serving as a volunteer for the 2019 Japan Festival


Register to Volunteer Here