Neiraku Kyodo Gakusha - Hokkaido

The Neiraku Kyodo Gakusha (共働学舎) is one of five Kyodo Gakusha communities in Japan and is located at 503-1 Neiraku in the town of Obira in Hokkaido Prefecture. These are non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that use collaboration and agriculture to offer a home and a purpose to everyone, including those with disabilities.

Neiraku Kyodo Gakusha

Neiraku Kyodo Gakusha details

The Neiraku Kyodo Gakusha opened in 1977 on a mountainside deep in Obira and its community slowly grew throughout the years. Sadly, its dormitory was destroyed by fire in 2005. A new dormitory was built by its dedicated members and its friends associations. 

Neiraku Kyodo Gakusha - Obira, Hokkaido Prefecture

The living quarters of Neiraku Kyodo Gakusha

The view from the living quarters

Inside Neiraku Kyodo Gakusha

For those who don't know Neiraku Kyodo Gakusha is a commune. It's a place where each member lives together with a common goal of self-sufficiency. There is also no such thing as competition in this place as the Neiraku Kyodo Gakusha promotes sharing each other's strengths through collaboration and cooperation. 

Morning prayer and song with the members of Neiraku Kyodo Gakusha

Helped water the plants inside the greenhouse 

Removed the weed and helped made trellis

Learned how the piggery is managed



Currently, there are about 20 members in the commune. Each member has an assigned responsibility in the farm and their small meat processing plant. Other members do construction work and maintenance of the structures in the commune. 

Dinner bonding with the members of Neiraku Kyodo Gakusha

Here's my breakfast...

... and lunch

I got to visit and volunteer at the Neiraku Kyodo Gakusha last July 2-3, 2022, my 35th weekend here in Japan as an Assistant Language Teacher under the JET Programme. My visit was made possible when I was invited by Yoshida-san, one of the members of the Neiraku Kyodo Gakusha, and Noboru-san, who is a friend and also a member of the Rumoi English Chat Club.

2-day volunteer work at Neiraku Kyodo Gakusha

I helped in the sausage-making facility

During my 2-day volunteer work, I worked in the sausage-making facility and their farm. It was such an amazing experience, and I highly suggest you experience it.  


Neiraku Kyodo Gakusha Admission Fee

It's FREE to enter Neiraku Kyodo Gakusha grounds but you need to call and schedule your visit especially when you want to see their farm and if you want to volunteer. 

Neiraku Kyodo Gakusha Contact Information

☎Telephone / Fax: 0164-58-1037

Why visit / support Neiraku Kyodo Gakusha?

During my visit, I saw how Neiraku Kyodo Gakusha is like a big family. Each member has a responsibility that is vital to the survival of the commune. Like in real families, the commune members also had their own issues and burdens. Some were PWDs and there were also some with terminal illnesses but they never gave up on each other and they function very well despite this.  Supporting this NGO would go a long way as it would help not only the members but others who would also need help in the future. 

Depending on the season and the need, they accept volunteers to help them with tasks on the farm or in the meat processing facility. I was lucky enough to be invited to volunteer for two days. It was an experience that I will store in my core memory until the end of my days. 

Getting to Neiraku Kyodo Gakusha


There is no direct public transportation that will take you to Neiraku Kyodo Gakusha. The best way to get there is by private vehicle. 

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Comments

  1. It seems like you have a memorable experience. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I want to try those sausages.

    ReplyDelete

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