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HIKONE, Shiga Pref. — Rooftop solar panels provide energy and heat water. Rainwater is collected and used for washing and toilets. Kitchen waste and leaves are composted into fertilizers for crops. People work on farms and community businesses.

This is the Utopian “eco-village” that a group in Shiga Prefecture hopes to create on a 14.88-hectare area of farmland in Omihachiman, incorporating about 200 households, businesses and research, educational and welfare facilities that will provide jobs and services.

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PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)