Urban gardening in Tokyo: How to find community gardens and farms in and around Tokyo

Living and working in the concrete jungle that is Tokyo can be taxing on your mental wellness, especially if you’re used to more space and open area. While it might not be exactly the same as back home, there are options around Tokyo (particularly in the suburbs in west Tokyo) which allow you to participate in a community garden or farm. You will definitely need to have a good grasp of the Japanese language to navigate the rules and regulations, but knowing that these options exist is half the battle!

What is a Community Farm?

Sakai-mura Vegetable School in Musashino City, Tokyo. Photo: Scott Kouchi

The downtown glitz and glamor tend to be what people think of when they think of “Tokyo,” but if you head west a bit you’ll find yourself in a very different environment. Even just 30 minutes away from Shinjuku you can end up around some residential neighborhoods that are a complete 180 from what most would typically consider Tokyo.

It’s here where you will also find the chance to join community farms (農業体験農園, のうぎょうたいけんのうえん – lit. farming experience farm), where you can participate in planting, cultivating, and harvesting your own vegetables! Of course, there are fees to pay and regulations to adhere too so you’ll have to double-check with your local farm to make sure everything is above board.

Example of a community farm amidst a residential neighborhood in Kunitachi City, Tokyo. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Pricing varies, but for example the Sakai-mura Vegetable School (野菜塾さかい村) in Musashino City, Tokyo offers about 22 square meters for ¥64,800 for 3 seasons (from March until January) – roughly ¥7,200/month. Similarly, the Tachikawa Farm (立川農園) comes out to ¥4,400/month for a 7.5 square meter plot and ¥7,700 for a 15 square meter plot.

Online resources to find community farms

If this kind of urban farming opportunity has piqued your interest, you’ll want to save some of these sites for future reference.

The first four links will take you to sites that have information on these kinds of urban farms in locations across Japan. The last two are links to specific farms in Tokyo. Another option is to check your city/ward website for info.

Screenshot of the Sharebatake website showing farms in the Tokyo area.

The takeaway here is that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Tokyo. While these community farms aren’t going to be the same as having your own space in the countryside, it might provide a nice balance for the time being for those who are working in Tokyo yet yearn for open space.

Self-serve produce stand in Musashino City, Tokyo! A nice benefit of living near community farms is that you should be able to find fresh, local produce nearby! Photo: Scott Kouchi

Farms around the Tokyo Metropolitan Area

Let’s take a look at a few example farms you can find in and around Tokyo:

Use the resources above to search for farms, or search in Japanese with locations and 農業体験農園 as keywords.

Example apartment listings in West Tokyo Neighborhoods

1K apartment for rent in Musashino City, Tokyo – ¥77,100

Image: Real Estate Japan

Image: Real Estate Japan

Definitely expand your Tokyo apartment search to include neighborhoods like Musashino City, or else you’d miss out on great values like this apartment! The lofted space adds some separation between parts of the apartment, making it feel more spacious. Check out our Musashi-Sakai Area Guide for more info about this very livable neighborhood.

  • Price: ¥77,100/month
  • Year built: 2015
  • Size: 22.01 m²
  • Separate toilet/bathroom: Yes
  • 2nd floor or higher: No
  • Closest station: 9 min to Musashi-Sakai Station (Chuo Line)
  • Browse more listings near Musashi-Sakai Station

2LDK apartment for rent in Musashino City, Tokyo – ¥173,000

Image: Real Estate Japan

Image: Real Estate Japan

At just 1 minute to Musashi-Sakai Station, getting into Tokyo will be a breeze! Enjoy a calm, quiet slice of Tokyo with convenient transportation options along the Chuo Line. Head to stations like Tachikawa, Kichijoji, Koenji, and Shinjuku directly from Musashi-Sakai Station.

  • Price: ¥173,000/month
  • Year built: 2005
  • Size: 57.50 m²
  • Separate toilet/bathroom: Yes
  • 2nd floor or higher: Yes (6th)
  • Closest station: 1 min to Musashi-Sakai Station (Chuo Line)
  • Browse more listings near Musashi-Sakai Station

1LDK apartment for rent in Kunitachi City, Tokyo – ¥115,000

Image: Real Estate Japan

Image: Real Estate Japan

This spacious 1LDK apartment has a corner veranda that could also be an option for growing herbs or other green thumb projects at home! Top floor (3rd) unit, so plenty of sunlight and no upstairs neighbors. Kitchen with gas stove and two heating elements, plenty of space for those who enjoy cooking!

  • Price: ¥115,000/month
  • Year built: 2006
  • Size: 57.50 m²
  • Separate toilet/bathroom: Yes
  • 2nd floor or higher: Yes (3rd)
  • Closest station: 6 min to Kunitachi Station (Chuo Line)
  • Browse more listings near Kunitachi Station

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