Can you imagine what farming looks like in downtown Tokyo? Is it even possible? You might be surprised to find out it is most definitely within the realms of possibility: it is called high-tech urban farming. Considered to be the farm of the future, Pasona O2 is located underneath an office block in the middle of Tokyo, near Tokyo Station. The farm occupies 10,000 square feet in six separate rooms. It has been created by the Pasona Group (a company specialised in Human Resources) to spark a new interest in farming and the lifestyle that comes with it among urbanites, and make people think about the way they use their environment.
Pasona O2 relies on modern technology to provide an optimal growing condition for the crops indoors. Since the crops don’t receive any direct light energy from the sun, energy-efficient LEDs have been set up to do this job. To avoid the lamps from becoming overheated, they are carefully monitored via a computerized system. This also gives an appropriate environment for the crops to yield an optimal amount of produce.
Another method used is hydroponic growing. This comes from two Greek words “hydro” meaning water and “ponic” meaning labor. The concept focuses on soil-less gardening, which is believed to allow plants to grow 30% to 50% faster. Plus, it requires less energy to break down food compared to growing crops using soil (the regular way).
This underground farm produces 100 different types of fruits and vegetables. Besides fruits and vegetables, herbs, flowers and even rice are also grown here. In order to make maximum use of all spaces, the seeds are sprouted inside the drawers. Tomatoes are grown hydroponically, and you can see the plants trailing down from the ceilings. Some types of produce are shelved, such as the lettuces, with each shelf receiving light from a different source.
Pasona O2 is located in the same building as the company itself, Pasona. It also has a cafe where you can drink coffee with a great view of the farm’s spectacular vegetables. It is open for public viewing, with no admission fee. If you happen to be around the Tokyo Station area (which is nearby the Imperial Palace Gardens), you should definitely check out Pasona O2. It is open on weekdays from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm.
Pasona O2 does a great job influencing the younger generation and awakening their agricultural interests once again. Visiting the place will definitely change your outlook on farming, you might feel like starting your own indoor mini garden in your home!