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Roppongi Nouen

Roppongi Nouen is one place where you can trace what you’re eating right back to the very source, and even look at photos of the farmers’ faces and fields. Drop in on the right day and you might get the chance to meet them face to face and chat about the merits of organic agriculture.

The idea of hanging out with farmers in the heart of the city — and even chilling with a cocktail in hand by the side of a produce plot — seems improbable at best. To do so in one of Tokyo’s main nightlife districts is verging on the surreal.

But Roppongi Nouen (it’s Japanese for “farm”) is no gimmick or branding exercise. The connection with the soil is genuine: It is actually run by people from farming families, who are proud of their rural roots and hope to make the Japanese countryside seem as chic as, say, Tuscany, Dordogne or Napa.