Japan’s East Japan Railway Company is increasing the number of Soradofarms on top of its main city stations.
Designed to be used a little like British allotments, Japanese who want a small garden of their own can rent a small 5-8 square metre plot for about ¥30,000 to ¥100,000 per year ($300-1000USD), depending on location, and use it to grow either ornamental plants, vegetables or herbs. All equipment is provided on site and there are trained support staff to teach you gardening basics if you haven’t gardened before.
And if you don’t like getting your hands dirty, you can even pay an extra ¥54,000/year and get the support staff to do everything for you. Except eat the produce of course.
The first Soradofarm was established on top of busy Ebisu Station several years ago and now there are 5 farms throughout Tokyo, including Ebisu, Toda, Ogikubo, Takasaki and Hachioji.
It’s interesting to see community rooftop gardens that engage the public and are self-sustaining through revenue generation, rather than constantly fighting for funding or donations. Although of course, it does restrict the ‘community to those with money.