We discovered an unexpected sight during a recent trip to an IKEA in the suburbs of Tokyo.

“Oh my god, it’s goats!” I shouted as I breathlessly ran toward the IKEA in Tachikawa, a city on the outskirts of Tokyo.

What are these goats? Why are they here, loitering around outside of IKEA, that legendary purveyor of inexpensive furniture and goofy sounding Swedish knick-knacks? Is this a thing now? Were they imported from Sweden?

It turns out they weren’t there for the meatballs or even the FÅGLAVIK.

▼ In case you were wondering what a FÅGLAVIK looked like…


As I approached the fence surrounding the field, the riddle was solved by an illustrated series of signs.

▼ The goats apparently got sick of people interrupting them to ask what they’re doing…


The sign helpfully explains that these goats weren’t just loafing around looking handsome as hell — they’re actually hard at work, keeping the field trim and neat as members of the “Eco Weeding Brigade.” Nothing to do with IKEA, as it turns out, but rather a company named Tachihi Holdings. The initiative apparently represents an environmentally-friendly alternative to gas-guzzling lawn-mowers and costly human groundskeepers. Turns out you don’t even have to pay minimum wage to mow the lawn with goat-laborers. Other people have actually been doing it for years!

A walk down the fence revealed a number of other signs, many of which repeatedly discouraged spectators from feeding the goats random stuff. Tempting, I know, but please resist. The signs, all of which are written from the goats’ perspective (cute!), explain that if the goats are fed, then they won’t be able to work. Terrible, right?

In fact, the sign shows that the goats love their job so much, the mere thought of being unable to clear the fields drives them to weep bitter goat tears.

▼ Please, let us work! We have goat families to support, goat mortgages to pay!


Like seriously, don’t bother them. There were about 50 signs telling us not to interfere so they can just get their job done already. The signs explain that extra food can also harm their health, so it seems like somebody’s keeping out a careful eye for these guys.

▼Sleeping on the job?

Well, maybe not all of them feel like working all the time. An old man standing next to the fence (not pictured) was excitedly telling his wife that this particular goat was sleeping on the job. Don’t worry buddy, I won’t tell the boss!

Reference: Tachihi Holdings
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