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“Buying local” is about to have a whole new meaning in the Tokyo area soon since the Tokyo Metro is going to start selling vegetables that have been grown really locally. Called Tokyo Salad, these special veggies are being marketed as some of the freshest vegetables that are grown close to home.

But if you look around Tokyo, you’ll be really hard pressed to find much farming land. So where exactly are they growing these local foods?

If you were thinking that these new vegetables were being grown hydroponically, you’d be absolutely correct! Where else could you grow such food in the concrete jungle of Tokyo? Along the Tozai Line, between Nishikasai and Kasai Station, you’ll find a vegetable growing facility with specially made rooms and equipment. You wouldn’t think there is a farm there, but hidden inside the buildings is your next meal.

The benefits of growing the plants there are numerous, but Tokyo Salad hopes to win over customers with big selling points like no pesticides and limiting exposure to bacteria in its clean growing rooms, giving the produce a longer than normal shelf life. Buyers will be able to take the vegetables right out of the bag and eat them without having to wash them, because they are just that clean.

tokyo salad 4Image: Flickr (Adrian Scottow)

Also, since the rooms are temperature regulated, the growing cycle isn’t dependent on the season, so these green guys will be available all year round in perfect freshness. You won’t find a more locally grown product in Tokyo than these! Cultivation started last January, so you will be able to chow down on the following vegetables from Tokyo Salad at local restaurants soon.

Frill lettuce and Korean lettuce

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▼Romaine and red mustard (baby leaf)

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For those concerned about a subway operator growing their food, this isn’t the first time a company has branched out of their comfort zone and started producing edible products. Fujitsu did something fairly similar last year when they turned an old factory into a lettuce growing machine. If more companies started utilizing their empty space to create these types of farms, it would soon turn the urban jungle into a real jungle, and that sounds totally delicious.

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Source: Net Lab
Images: Tokyo Metro