Oasis in the Center of Tokyo
"Fujikura-Kiba Millennium Woods" Opened!
As part of our efforts to conserve biodiversity and protect the rich vitality of the Earth, we opened a bio-garden named “Fujikura-Kiba Millennium Woods” within Fukagawa Gatharia. In this article, we introduce how the Fujikura Group has created this quasi-natural environment in cooperation with local people.
- Why did Fujikura decide to create Fujikura-Kiba Millennium Woods?
It is difficult to believe now, but the site of the bio-garden was originally part of Tokyo Bay. After the land was reclaimed from the sea, Fujikura constructed a plant to manufacture electric wires and cables on the site in 1923. After operating on the site for about 70 years, the plant was moved to Futtsu in 1992. Fujikura then started a project to redevelop the former site of the plant and completed the construction of Fukagawa Gatharia in 2010, 10 years after the launch of the project. Now more than 10,000 people are working in the offices located within the premises. Subsequently in November 2011, Fujikura completed a bio-garden named “Fujikura-Kiba Millennium Woods” for local people, who urged the Company to create a green space in the area which had no natural greenery. In response, with support from the local government, instead of constructing a car parking space as initially planned, the company created a bio-garden in the center of Tokyo.
- What facilities are provided in the bio-garden?
Fujikura-Kiba Millennium Woods is located alongside the Heikyu River flowing into the waters of Tokyo Bay and is adjacent to Heikyu Elementary School. The bio-garden extends over 2,200 square meters. It has a promenade and two ponds connected by a brook. The water in the ponds is filtered and circulated by a pump. There are also buildings called “azumaya” where children are taught about nature, as well as a space to grow seedlings. The roped-off area around the upper pond provides habitats for wild creatures. Walking along the promenade around the lower pond, local people can enjoy nature all year around. During the nighttime, the gate to the bio-garden is closed to allow the wild creatures living there to lead their lives peacefully.
- Specifically what creatures are living in the bio-garden?
The bio-garden, which is designed to reproduce a part of the forest that existed on the Musashino Terrace several hundred years ago, has been set aside exclusively for plant species indigenous to the area.
These include about 90 tall Castanopsis sieboldii, Celtis sinensis var. japonica, and others trees, all of which will grow to be enormous several hundred years from now, and there are a total of about 2,500 shrubs including small and medium shrubs such as Rhododendron obtsum var. kaempferi andKerria japonica. About 15,000 different species of waterweed and mosses such as Hydrocharis dubia are also growing in the bio-garden. About 800 fish caught in the upstream reaches of the Arakawa River including Zacco platypus and Pseudorasbora parva as well as loaches, killifish, and shijimi clams were released into the ponds. A lot of young fish have already hatched in the ponds.
- How do you plan to utilize the bio-garden?
The garden is visited by a range of people, including parents pushing baby buggies, shoppers, amateur photographers, couples who enjoy walking, and children from the nearby nursery school. The garden has recently provided children of nearby elementary schools and kindergartens with opportunities to observe nature, and we want the garden to continue to provide children who will form the next generation of leaders with opportunities to learn about nature and the environment. We also want the garden to become a place where local people can drop by and enjoy nature easily.
7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. during April to September
7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during October to March
*No entry fees
Inside Fukagawa Gatharia (1-5-1 Kiba, Koto-ku, Tokyo)
*Located next to Fujikura’s head office and to Heikyu Elementary School
(only in Japanese)