Despite Tokyo’s reputation as a concrete jungle, about 3.3 percent of the city’s land is used for agriculture, with 60 percent of farms located in urban areas. Just a short train ride from Shinjuku reveals hidden pocket-sized fields, rows of vegetables and fruit sandwiched between golf ranges, convenience stores and houses.

The 20-minute walk from Mitakadai Station to Yoshida Noen farm in Mitaka, a suburb northwest of Tokyo, is no exception: Small allotments start springing up with increasing regularity the further one gets from the station. While most rows are currently barren, waiting for warmer spring climes, Yoshida Noen’s fields are already filled with growth, dotted with green fronds and rows of impressively large hakusai Chinese cabbages.

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