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Welcome to the Salad Bowl: Tokyo Workplace Offers Unique Benefits

Welcome to the Salad Bowl: Tokyo Workplace Offers Unique Benefits

Adding Agriculture to the Work Farm

Can you imagine sharing office space with broccoli, lemon trees and rice paddies?

Pasona Inc., a Japan-based firm that specializes in human resources and temp staffing, has found a revolutionary way to meld its international corporate headquarters in Tokyo with an organic farm.

According to architect Yoshimi Kono, the design was based on the idea of a green building that can change the way people think about their daily lives, their career choices and even their life path, bringing them closer to nature quite literally.

This urban garden concept also addresses Japan’s agricultural space limitations, which result in the country importing a majority of its food from overseas.

As seen in this video, the more than 43,000 square feet green of space is the largest and most direct farm-to-table operation of its kind ever created inside a Japan office building. It features:

  • 200 species of fruits and vegetables, including lemons, broccoli, salad greens, berries, squash, eggplant and passion fruit
  • A 1,000-square-foot indoor rice paddy
  • Tomato vines, grown hydroponically, that are suspended above conference tables
  • Lemon and passion fruit trees that are used as partitions for meeting spaces
  • Salad leaves grown inside conference rooms and bean sprouts grown under benches and up the walls of the building
  • Shelves of lettuces stacked high, with each shelf brightly illuminated by fluorescent tubes
  • Flowers and orange trees that cover the exterior of the building

Indoor plants get their energy from energy-efficient LEDs and spotlights. The temperature of the complex is carefully controlled by computer to ensure suitability both for employees as well as for crops. And because growing plants indoors also keeps away natural pests, there’s no need to use pesticides. The produce, most of which is enjoyed by the employees themselves, is 100% organic!


Pasona employee performs routine maintenance to water garden

Employees of Pasona’s Urban Farm work with a managing team to maintain, harvest and prepare the produce for the onsite cafeteria. This agriculture project was launched in 2010, and the Pasona Group remains committed to advancing urban agriculture. So the next time you’re in Tokyo, check it out! The public is welcome to visit free of charge, Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Would you like to know more about urban farming here in North America? Read my blog “Home Grown Produce in the Heart of the City.”

comment_2Have you ever been on a farm before? We’d love to hear about it. Just leave us a comment below.


Can you imagine working alongside berries, beansprouts and dangling tomatoes?

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Amy Hepfner
Amy Hepfner(@amylmh)
5 years ago

I love this idea!!! What a great way to also promote healthy eating in the office.

Anne Baudouin
Anne Baudouin(@nuttyoma)
5 years ago

I wonder if the workers can grab a fruit to snack on when they get the urge to nawsch. What a great idea.

J Adam
J Adam(@joannadam1)
5 years ago

Awesome! I grew up in a small town near farms. We had a large garden as well as peach, black walnut and mulberry trees. Plus strawberry patches! Periodically we had roosters, hens, goat, Shetland ponies, cows, milk cow, pig, baby chicks, etc. There is nothing better tasting than home grown organic fruits and vegetables and fresh milk and cream! We made fresh butter, ice cream, cottage cheese, and whipping cream! Much better that what I have available today! The fresh meat we had from animals that grazed on our land was very tasty and totally different from meat purchased in a grocery store and restaurant today! I’m so glad I had the experience! I now am limited to fresh herbs and a few veggies!

5 years ago
Reply to  J Adam

Joann, that sounds amazing. What beautiful memories you (and your taste buds) must have! Thanks for sharing!

Samantha Rose
Samantha Rose(@srose2014)
5 years ago

This is so interesting!

Yes, I have been on a farm. I garden as well and can not wait to expand what we grow at home. Each year we add a little bit more. We are looking forward to adding fruit trees soon!!!

Jennifer Rottman
Jennifer Rottman(@jenniferrottman)
4 years ago

Yes I have been to many farms. Recently I took my kids to tour a dairy farm. It was a great community education event.

Gingi Freeman
Gingi Freeman(@domesticgeekgirl)
4 years ago

This look amazing!! I would love to see it someday!

Lynn Babcock
Lynn Babcock(@environan)
4 years ago

Interesting but definately not for me!

Lia Thompson
Lia Thompson(@liashine)
4 years ago

My friends have a fruit farm. They have three week old goats. I love visiting them 🙂