The first allotment garden in Japan was established in Kyoto in 1924. After that, it spread to Osaka and Tokyo. However, during the intensification of World War II, they were closed one by one. The only allotment garden, which remained in 1946, was the allotment garden, first established in Kyoto. And it was also closed down in 1949 and so all the allotment gardens were lost in Japan.
Moreover, the Farmland Law was enacted in 1952. This law stipulated that on principle only farmers could own farmland. This law also stipulated that the dealing with and the renting of farmland was also limited to farmers.
In 1960 and afterwards the economy grew rapidly in Japan. Big cities like Tokyo and Osaka, for example, expanded further and the living environment in the cities got worse.
Around 1970, under such city environment conditions, farmers and citizens in the urban areas cooperated and began to establish allotment gardens.
It was in 1973 that the Chigusadai Gardening Circle was founded and the Allotment garden established.
People said at the time that "because the establishment of an allotment garden consisted in an act by which a farmer was lending farmland to citizens, it was a violation of the Farmland Law." Then, the Chigusadi Gardening Circle devised and introduced the admission fee system. In this system, a farmland owner establishes an allotment garden and becomes its owner. The allotment garden user then pays an admission fee for an allotment garden to the owner. He uses the allotment specified by the owner during a period of less than 1 year. In this system, since the allotment plot is not rented, a lease does not arise. Furthermore, since the user can update his entrance contract every year, he can use the plot for a long period of time.
The violation of the Farmland Law stopped with the admission fee system of the Chigusadai Gardening Circle. The allotment gardens increased. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry announced authorizing allotment gardens with a document in 1975.
Thereby, the allotment garden sites spread and exceeded 2,700 in 1987. However, the allotment garden sites, where the user (gardener) is systematized, were very few.
As a following step, we thought that we would like to establish an ideal allotment garden similar to those existing in Europe. The model was the "Kleingarten" in Germany. For this reason, we established the Japanese Kleingarten Research Association in 1989. The same year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries enacted "the special exemption law of the Farmland Law." Now, an agricultural cooperative, an association, a city office, etc. can borrow farmland from a farmer, and can establish an allotment garden.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries enacted "the law which improves the maintenance of an allotment garden" in 1990.
Then, the concentration of the population and the advanced economic growth in urban areas raised quickly the land price of urban areas. This made it impossible to create an ideal allotment garden in urban areas.
For this reason, the Japanese Kleingarten Research Association changed the action policy so that an allotment garden, suitable for the climate in Japan, might be spread. We also decided to create a community organization all over the country. In 1992 we started a cooperation with the Chigusadai Gardening Circle located in Chiba, and created the Chiba-ken Kleingarten Research Association (now it is called Chiba-ken Allotment Garden Association).
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Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture 338-0003
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