Rooftop farms have been established all over the world to enable growing food in dense urban areas. In Japan, a whole new kind of an urban rooftop farm was opened recently. Soradofarm is an urban agriculture project that uses the rooftops of train stations to accommodate urban gardens for waiting train passengers that want to use their transfer time to relax and train their gardening skills.
The Japanese are famous for working hard and making long hours. At the five rooftops allotments of Soradofarm, commuters can jump out of their busy lifestyles for a moments to grow some fresh food. Apparently gardening is a very relaxing activity that gives people that pleasant feeling of regaining connection with Mother Earth. In the meantime, the farming commuters help improve the urban environment of the station and get themselves some fresh, locally grown produce.
The largest of the farms that are developed by station entertainment company Ekipara together with JR East trains is built on top of the JR Ebisu station in Tokyo. The farm is open to anyone, not matter if they’re skilled gardeners or not. People can rent a three-square meter garden at JR Ebisu station for ¥100,440/year. This will include tools and gardening equipment.
The decentralized Soradofarm gives a new meaning to urban farming as a strategy. One thing that sets this farm apart from others is that it uses urban cores to plug in the DIY component of urbanism. Another special aspect of this unique idea is that it recognizes the fact that urban farming plays a great role in the personal well being of the urban farmer himself/herself. Other urban farms, to the contrary, focus on the food production and the educational role of their farming activity.