Japanese rebuilding horticulture after tsunami

Who doesn’t remember the horrible pictures and videos of the earthquakes and the follow up tsunami in Tohoku Japan in March 2011? The Tohoku earthquake, as the Japanese call it and tsunami that followed left around 16,000 people dead and many more displaced without housing or job-site to go to. The Japanese started immediately making plans for rebuilding the region there is still a lot to do, but they are going strong.


Clean up teams are still working in the area collecting rubbish and garbage. The total area that has to be cleaned up is around 23,600 Ha which is a little less than 20% of total area of the Netherlands. This is going in quite an efficient way. It’s not only the visible things that needed to be cleaned up also the soil is quite contaminated with the salty water from the sea. Just a friendly reminder the EC level of sea water is around 54. It’s not possible to grow rice or strawberries on these soils before they are cleaned up.

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As there is quite some strawberry production in Yamamoto-cho in Miyagi, the Japanese government decided to build a new research station called High-tech Professional Research Facility. Advanced researches for tomato and strawberry are taking place in this modern greenhouse of 7,200 m2. Several national and public research institutes, universities and private companies form a consortium to conduct researches together. Research goals by 2017 are to improve production and quality of the products, reduce production costs and improve profit of farm management. The first phase of the greenhouse construction was done by one of the Japanese leading greenhouse builders Ishiguro Nozai who not only built the greenhouse but also supplied the irrigation, cooling and heating systems. The computer controls for this project were delivered by Hoogendoorn which installed an iSii computer for complete control of the greenhouse.

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The Japanese users are very happy with the system as it is easy to operate and Ishiguro has developed some very handy visualizations so a good understanding of all the processes going on in the greenhouse is easily achieved.


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The projected was inaugurated by the Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, see picture.

Next photos give you an impression of the greenhouse constructed by Ishiguro

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At the moment the construction for the second phase has started.

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Erik van Berkum

Erik is a Dutchman currently living in Osaka Japan.

One thought on “Japanese rebuilding horticulture after tsunami”

  1. The best option for area like Tohoku sitting at ocean with high 54 EC, is to construct greenhouses. This vast area Tohoku, would be able to produce big share of food products which can be locally consumed or could easily be marketed to world from coastal area and in return can earn lot revenue, This could become another Hongkong in near future. I predict, within few no time cost of development construction, administration, labour, research, land could be recovered with ease. More valuable products in to-day’s market is food, which is becoming scarce. Everything is possible in greenhouse, name any crop? but short duration crops and varieties give best return and value. Wow, cucumber in 28 days and that too without soil? This is possible only in Greenhouse. This is the one of the best not much known wonder of the world. Let the people know what is greenhouse and make this commodity available to all. Teach them about cold sink, hot sink concept of greenhouse.

    Tohoku, at one time retains a reputation as a remote region, offering breathtaking scenery but a harsh climate. however, in the 20th century, tourism became a major industry in the Tohoku region.

    Due to shortage of land, the region which is situated at at 37 degree N, in my views the best utilization of land is making best world class biggest(better than nether-land’s) greenhouses. Japanese government’s Govt. decision of making greenhouses in naturally destroyed area, is well thought. It is the best alternative for making use of Tohoku areas, other wise, the soil’s whose electrical conductivity is so high and the most hardy commercial crop to high EC like rice can not be grown in that area. I would say at present Tohoku is most worst area, if would not wrong to say this area is basically barren area which can not produce any thing because of high EC i.e high quantity of salt which no crop can tolerate and its reclamation is not possible. so grow crops in area without soil is best alternative and that is greenhouse cultivation. my best wishes are with Japan Tejinder, surrey, bc Canada.

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