Japan’s Kei-tora ‘Mini Truck’ Gardening Contest

Since 2016, a uniquely Japanese event has been held in Osaka each year: the Kei-tora Gardening Contest. The kei-tora, formally known as the Kei Truck, is a tiny but practical vehicle common in Japan, particularly on smaller construction or agricultural work sites. And because most homes in Japan don’t have gardens, the Japan Federation of Landscape Contractors came up with the idea of the Kei-tora Gardening Contest. Landscape design and gardening companies from all around participate to see who can come up with the best garden within the confines of the trunk of a kei-tora.

Back in 2018 we featured the awards but we decided to check in on some more recent winning designs.


the winning design for 2020 went to Kansai Ueki for their garden, titled “ku-tei” (or “air garden”)

last year’s winning design went to Takahashi Landscape Supply for their garden, titled “niwa no ma: tokoshie no niwa (庭の間~とこしえの庭)

last year’s popular vote went to Frontier Garden Nobu for their piece titled “miryo” (“enthrall”)

last year’s 2nd place popular vote went to Kei’s for their garden titled “yosei no mori” (“enchanted forest”)

last year’s 3rd place popular vote went to Teijuen for their garden titled “houga” (“sprout”)

in 2018, top place was awarded to Fukuharu Zouen for their garden titled “jikan: omoide no naka de” (“time: inside memories”)

in 2018, Kei’s won best technical design for their garden titled “shoshou no chatei” (“tea garden at the beginning of fall”)

Below are some other notable kei-truck garden designs from 2018:


  1. Amazing ingenuity!! Live this!

  2. Awesome
    Very inventive, creative.

  3. This is so joyful. Thank you!!!

  4. In love…
    beautiful idea!!

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