Do I need a visa to work although we are working as a volunteer

If I'm a work exchange staff and not getting paid at all, does that mean I'm working?As you know, people who come to Japan on a three-month tourist visa cannot work in Japan. But here you may be asking yourself the question.

“If I work as a volunteer without any salary at all, don’t I need a visa to work?”

Working without a visa to work is illegal, and both the employer and the employee are guilty.

The answer to this question is not definitive, but it is very close to being illegal.
If you do not pay for the accommodation, you are getting paid for it. In other words, the Japanese Government (Immigration Bureau) interprets this as a type of work, meaning that you are not being paid, but you are receiving compensation in the form of accommodation.

In fact, some years ago a hostel owner was arrested for employing a foreigner on a tourist visa. In this case, not only the employer but also some of his foreign employees were arrested.

Some hostel owners recruit foreign workers as free accommodation staff without checking their visas. It is not known whether they are aware of this fact. Even if they are paid, they should not work on a tourist visa.