top of page

Volunteer Information

At Open Sesame, all of our staff were affected by the Kumamoto earthquake, and we are now experiencing a serious labor shortage.

Although there are still many difficulties in the area, Minamiaso, with its blue skies and green foothills, is a very pleasant place, with tourist attractions and power spots. In between, you can enjoy feeding the horses and interacting with them directly, and those who have actually come to help have said, "I want to go again! I want to see them again!"

We regret that we will be asking you to fund your activities at your own expense, but we look forward to receiving your applications.

*If you are planning to volunteer, please be aware of aftershocks, rain, and other weather conditions. If the rain continues and there are landslides, you may not be able to leave Minamiaso.

*If you would like to make a donation during your farm experience, following the custom of farm sanctuaries overseas, please refer to this page .

One-day volunteer

(Any convenient time between 9:00 and 19:00)

Hay Cube Discount
(You won't be able to interact with the horses directly, but if you enjoy it you can do so during your free time.)

Open Sesame's ranch also houses disabled horses and older horses.

They find regular sized hay cubes too hard to eat!

The task is to break the hay cubes according to their type! (No difficult skills required)


Water tank transport
(You won't be able to interact with the horses directly, but if you enjoy it you can do so during your free time.)

Open Sesame does not have any water facilities (^^;
Therefore, the water for the horses needs to be stored in water tanks and transported to each riding arena.

Could you please carry water tanks weighing about 20 to 27 kg each as a substitute for strength training?

Rag Picker
(You will be working in the riding arena and close to the horses. Perfect for those who like horses!)

There are six riding arenas at Open Sesame. You will be asked to enter each arena and pick up horse manure.

For those who love horses but are afraid of them, there is also the Shin-chan and Yuuma miniature pony zone.

A chance to see the son of the legendary horse Shinzan up close!

Long-term volunteer

(3 days to several months)

(Any convenient time between 9:00 and 19:00)

Morning feeding (watering)
8:30-9:00 *Early hours are OK too (for those who like horses!)

You can feed the horses in the morning and spend time close to them.
In between, you can brush the horses and interact with the gentle and friendly horses at Open Sesame!

Get up close and personal with the adorable expressions of the horses begging for food!

Volunteer Recruitment Information

▼How to apply for volunteering:
Please write "Open Sesame Volunteer Request" in the email title.
``Names of all participants'', ``Age (e.g. 20s)'', ``Preferred volunteering day or long term'' (fill in the desired details above or no designation), ``Preferred date and time to volunteer'' (Any time, unknown) In this case, it would be helpful if you could include a note to that effect. We may make arrangements to avoid having all the volunteers on the same day.) Please write this in the body of your email.
We also ask volunteers to take out volunteer insurance, so please take out the volunteer insurance ``Nendai (500 yen)'' from your local social welfare council and bring your proof of volunteering on the day of volunteering. *Volunteer insurance is purchased annually, and participants must renew it every year (for example, from April 2019 to March 2020).
*Click here for an overview of volunteer insurance (Social Welfare Council)
*If you are unable to enroll, please contact us via email and pay the insurance fee of 500 yen (specify the volunteer insurance fee in the notes section for transfer) to Ouma Donation.

▶Application address (Momose/Saito) →
*Please see the bottom of the page if you would like to register as a supporter who will be available as a volunteer on a regular basis or when needed.

▼Location (address):
(Farm Sanctuary in Minamiaso) Open Sesame Farm
1792-2 Shirakawa, Minamiaso Village, Aso District, Kumamoto Prefecture

▼How to access:
▶︎Via Milk Road: Kumamoto City → Through Milk Road → Prefectural Route 23 → National Route 325 → Open Sesame
▶︎Via Green Road: Kumamoto Airport → Nishihara Village Office → Kawahara Elementary School → Green Road (passing south of Aspecta) → National Route 325 → Open Sesame
▶By bus from Kumamoto Station (as of February 16, 2017): Kumamoto Station (highway bus Yamabiko bus stop 3) → Arden Hotel Aso bus stop (route bus) → Shirakawa bus stop

▼Flow of a day at the farm: Even those with no experience are welcome
Fetching water, watering (during feeding), picking up horse manure (during feeding), brushing, feeding (8 a.m. and 4 p.m.), and refilling the feed.
*Those with veterinary knowledge are particularly welcome.

■Farm Time Schedule AM8:00~12:00 Feeding, replenishing water, collecting horse manure → 12:00~16:00 Drawing water, brushing, giving snacks → Around 16:00~19:00 Feeding, Replenishing water and collecting horse manure
*This is an approximate daily time schedule for the farm. Please use this as a reference. Times and plans may change.

▼Period: Either long or short term is fine.

▼Accommodation: There are guesthouses nearby that are reasonably priced and easy to stay in, so please consider them.
Rakuten Travel
Jalan Net


★ [Guest house/hostel]

○Cheap accommodation


Minamiaso village guest house Old private house Nowake

3,500 yen for 1 person / 3,000 yen for 2 people / Breakfast included

3617-8 Kawain, Minamiaso Village, Aso District, Kumamoto Prefecture 869-1411

□Minamiaso Railway Choyo Station/20 minutes walk

□Mashiki Kumamoto Airport IC

□Parking/Free, 10 spaces


★[Cuisine guesthouse/pension]

○Cheap accommodation

○Popular accommodation

○Gourmet accommodation

○Private bath

○Non-smoking room

The brightness of Hokkaido Tinkuna

■Jalan Reviews 4.9★★★★★49 reviews

Starting from 3,900 yen for 1 person, 2,900 yen for 2 people/Room without meals opened in 2017. The night view of the city and the view of Unzen are popular

☆ Creative French course meals made with luxurious ingredients and freshly baked bread for breakfast! 2 private baths

4673-18 Kawayo, Minamiaso Village, Aso District, Kumamoto Prefecture 869-1404

□Tateno Station/Pick-up available 10 minutes

□Kumamoto IC50 minutes

□Parking/Free, 8 spaces


★[Cuisine guesthouse/pension]

○Cheap accommodation

○Popular accommodation

○Gourmet accommodation

○Private bath


○Non-smoking room

Pension Sanrinsha (PENSION Sanrinsha)


■Jalan reviews 4.6★★★★★17 reviews 1 person - yen - 2 people From 3,150 yen/Room without meals/Course of homemade creative cuisine made with local ingredients/Breakfast is bread

☆Hot spring discount coupon (Takamori Onsenkan/Tsukimawari Onsen)

☆Private marble jacuzzi family bath 3094 South Takamori, Takamori-cho, Aso-gun, Kumamoto Prefecture 869-1602 Aso Railway Takamori Station/Pick-up available 6 minutes

□Kumamoto IC 50 minutes/Mashiki IC 50 minutes

□Parking lot/Free

▼About meals:
You can eat at nearby restaurants, roadside stations, etc. A nearby convenience store is also open.
*If you are looking for halal or vegan food, please ask each restaurant if it is available.

▼What to bring: *We recommend wearing long sleeves and long pants to prevent heatstroke. Please bring something that you can take off and put on, such as a rash guard or parka.
Boots, work clothes (long sleeves, long pants, rash guard, etc.), raincoat, jacket, work gloves, volunteer insurance fee of 500 yen (2017 natural disaster), Genki!
(Can be borrowed for several people)

▼Volunteer insurance: Volunteer activity insurance (National Social Welfare Council)
If you would like to volunteer, please purchase insurance.
If you are interested, please be sure to apply in advance.

“H29 Volunteer Activity Insurance” (National Social Welfare Council, Social Welfare Corporation)
Insurance fee 500 yen per person/year, period 2017.4/1 to 2018.3.31
(H29 volunteer natural disaster insurance premium: 500 yen)
Application address➡Momose/Saito
*Click here for volunteer insurance overview

▶If you are coming to volunteer, please be careful of the weather, such as aftershocks and rain. In the event of continued rain or landslides, you may not be able to leave Minamiaso.
▶︎There are large animals and there should be no danger, so please ask a staff member when moving around the area to confirm their whereabouts.
▶︎For safety confirmation, please say a word to the staff when you leave.
▶Please do not bring food and treats (carrots, etc.) into the horse field as horses may gather and be dangerous.
▶Do not enter the horse arena while feeding (snack), as the horses may run around and be dangerous.
▶Do not stand behind the horse.

▼It would be helpful if you could download and distribute it. ▼
Recruiting volunteers for farms affected by the Kumamoto Earthquake (0.35MB)
[Social Welfare Council Volunteer Insurance Overview]
Volunteer activity insurance 28th year PDF is here
Click here for information on volunteer activity insurance (company)

bottom of page