Our next-door neighbors rent a small plot of land from the ward for 5000 yen (about $45) a year. They often give us vegetables, and this afternoon they took T, R and me to harvest tomatoes. It's just a five minute walk from our apartment and feels like a different world. There are a few dozen small plots, a water hose, a shed full of tools and (I think) fertilizer. We are planning to enter the drawing in February for a plot next spring. The chances are good--most people are too busy to spend time gardening. I've heard that many cities in Japan have land like this available to residents.