Tokyo’s station buildings have opened up their rooftops to urban farmers, allowing commuters and locals to fit vegetable growing into their lifestyles.
The Soradofarms were launched by East Japan Railway Company in 2010, when the first community garden was opened atop the JR Ebisu station building.
Three square meter (33 square feet) garden plots rent for between 80,000 yen and 129,000 yen ($747 and $1200) per year, depending on the station, and are extremely popular with families and the elderly, who use the space not just for planting vegetables but also as private picnicking spaces. The rental price also includes all the tools and equipment you’ll need.
In Tokyo, other Soradofarm rooftop gardens can also be found at Shinjuku, Hachioji, and Ogikubo stations.
There are currently about a dozen Soradofarms scattered throughout Japan, including Tokyo, Gunma, Chiba, Saitama, Aichi, Nara, and Osaka, with plans to eventually roll out the program to all of the stations in the JR network.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea