Have You Seen a Building Entirely Covered in Plants?

By Toshihiro Yamada : Editor-in-chief
November 18,2015
Toshihiro Yamada

Toshihiro Yamada joined Toyo Keizai in 1993. He has a strong interest in emerging industries such as the IT and Internet industries. He assumed the position of the editor-in-chief of Toyokeizai Online in 2014.

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Pasona Group's headquarters office is covered in plants. (Photo by Kazuhito Otsuka )
In this series I will try to explain some of the unusual things that can be seen in Tokyo. Anyone who has worked in Tokyo is sure to have seen them at least once. I will explain what's behind them.


Today I would like to talk about a strange-looking building located near the Nihonbashi Exit of JR Tokyo Station. The exit can be reached by heading toward the north of the station after getting off the Tokaido Shinkansen. When you exit the station and turn right on the street main street(called Eitai Dori), which is just in from to Tokyo Station, you will see a building that is entirely covered in plants(alive, of course). 

This building used to be the headquarters of Daiwa Securities, one of Japan's leading stock brokerage firms.

Today, this old building is the headquarters of the Pasona Group, a leading Japanese temporary employment company. When the company moved into the building in 2010, the employees began to grow vegetables, fruits and rice in the premises. They covered the exterior of the building with plants so that Pasona's employees and visitors would feel relaxed at the office, and they could even enjoy fresh vegetables at office (the office grown-vegetables are served in the company cafeterias). 

However, the area where Pasona building is situated is about to undergo major redevelopment. Mitsubishi Estate, one of the biggest real estate developers in Japan, plans to build high-rise buildings in the area starting in 2018.  In 2021, the 37-story A wing will be open, and the 61-story B wing, which is expected to be the tallest building in Japan, will open its door in 2027.  

As Tokyo prepares to host the Olympic Games and Paralympics in 2020, many areas of the city are undergoing major redevelopment.  The Tokyo you see today may look completely different in five years!