There are a number of large parks to enjoy in the skyscraper-filled cities of Japan, but recently, you can see more farms emerging in urban areas. An urban farmland leasing act was enacted in 2018, after which rooftop farms and community gardens started to appear in downtown residential areas.
These farms give adults a chance to get hands-on in the soil, and help children to learn how their food is grown. Read on to find out more about this growing trend of downtown farming.
Farming on the Roof
Japan has four distinct seasons each with their own beauty, so people living there are highly sensitive to the natural world and enjoy being close to nature. Because of this, a lot of people want to get involved with farmwork in order to get back in touch with nature and better experience the changing of the seasons.
This desire has led to farms popping up on the rooftops of tall buildings. Increased greenery on buildings is also a good way of combating the "urban heat island" effect, where cities have a hotter climate than surrounding rural areas in summer.
Some rooftop farms rent out farming supplies, so you don't need to bring any specialized equipment. With advice from staff members at these rental farms, you can enjoy growing vegetables on the rooftop of a sunny building, and harvest your own seasonal produce.
Enjoy the Farming Lifestyle
A company in Japan has been working with other companies and local authorities to create more areas where everyone living in the city, no matter their age, can enjoy farming. They've been setting up farms in the gardens and facilities of apartment buildings, childcare facilities, and unused land.
Despite the fact that more and more land in cities is now covered with houses or stores, this company has been working together with landowners who have protected their family's farmland in prime real estate locations to create places full of nature, just like a traditional Japanese village.
The location hosts events related to vegetable farming, and has a market showcasing fresh produce and foods processed in a natural way. It's a place for people to gather and socialize.
New Ways to Enjoy Farming with the IoT and AI
In recent years, technologies such as the IoT (Internet of Things) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) have made it easy for beginners to start growing vegetables. There are AI-assisted IoT sensors with ultra-wide-angle cameras that can send notifications to a special app, so you know exactly when to water or prune your plants. You can check the condition of your vegetables on the app anytime, anywhere using your smartphone or another device, and share this information with your family and friends.
Companies that use this system are taking part in shared cultivation, where people work together in groups to grow vegetables on rooftops, so people working in offices and stores and those living locally can all enjoy farming together.
This type of farming is good for the environment, relaxing, and also helps with children's development and educates them about food. People are also becoming more interested in organic food, and farmwork is becoming more accessible to people living in large Japanese cities like Tokyo and Osaka.