An Office Garden: Urban Agriculture in Japan

Hello everyone! It’s been almost a month without publishing posts and I already missed it! I come back to tell you about a very good urban agriculture initiative in Japan that has been carried out by a Japanese human resources multinational, the PASONA GROUP company. I was speechless!!

PASONA GROUP building in Tokyo

Why Urban Agriculture in Japan?

Tokyo is the most populous city in the world, with nearly 40 million people.

The high population density in such large cities is a challenge for these places, which have to feed all those people… This implies the transport of tons of food to the interior of the urban centers (and more pollution, of course! Something that is left over in cities like this). That is why Urban Agriculture can become an alternative to reduce these displacements and, with it, collaborate in reducing pollution.

This is just one of the positive aspects of creating places like this! As you know (and if you don’t know, I’ll tell you now), Agrohuerto was in Asia, specifically in China, looking for Urban and Ecological Agriculture in this country (Álvaro and I spent almost three months in Beijing). So we have some experience on the subject and I already told you about all this in posts like Urban Agriculture in China, why is it necessary? o Searching for urban gardens in china, an adventure.

In the case of Beijing, where we were, these types of initiatives are less common… Luckily, in more cosmopolitan cities in Asia, such as Tokyo or Shanghai, projects of this type are beginning to emerge (see Urban Nature in Shanghai). Many of them are influenced by Western currents and customs on Urban Agriculture, care for the landscape, the environment and the sustainability of cities. Luckily, all these aspects are being developed in countries like ours.

What is special about this urban garden?

As you can see in the video, this urban garden is out of the ordinary… There are many types of urban gardens but it is difficult to find something like this!

The PASONA GROUP building is upholstered on the outside with a beautiful vertical garden… but the best is inside! Could you imagine a rice paddy in a lobby, tomato plants hanging from the ceiling in conference rooms, or break rooms with grow tables instead of ping-pong tables? All this at the «office», living with the hundreds of workers in this large building.

In total they have more than 4000 square meters of cultivated area, incredible! In addition to the vertical garden, they grow more than 280 types of vegetables, fruits, aromatic herbs and flowers. All this in rooms with the most cutting-edge lighting and water technology to make the most of these resources and not waste them, such as rooms with horticultural crops irrigated with misting, a very efficient system.

What do employees think about the initiative?

The employees are delighted to see the food they eat grow in the building’s cafeteria… As they comment in the video, not everything that is cooked and consumed there comes from the building’s plantations, but a large part of it does. This helps to reduce the carbon footprint or pollution that, directly or indirectly, this great building in Tokyo produces. In fact, that is the main objective (according to the Director of Urban Agriculture of PASONA GROUP): agriculture related to health and the environment.

Building employees collecting and shaping the sheaves of rice

They also find it very good to be able to take a break from work and enjoy themselves in these grow rooms and thus learn how to grow, in fact, more than 80% of them consider it a very positive and motivating project for the workplace.

In addition, they do not do all this alone… as they tell us in the video, the company has hired Agricultural Engineers and other specialists to direct the activities of this large urban garden. At all times the activities carried out by employees in their breaks are supported by experts, which makes this project even more attractive…

I hope you have found this Urban Agriculture initiative in Japan as interesting as it has been for me. Cheers!!

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