ZENJIRO is a brand that originated in Asao Ward, Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture.In this area, there is an ancient temple called “王禅寺Ozenji”, which was founded in 757 and was called “Koyasan of the East,” and we named it “禅地朗ZENJIRO after that name. It was originally a temple of the Shingon sect that was popularized by imperial order, but during the Sengoku period it was protected by Hojo Ujinao ( a lord of Kanto area), and during the Edo period it was protected by successive generations of the shogun family and protected by “芝増上寺Shiba Zojoji”, a temple of Jodo sect of Shogun family. Therefore, the Tokugawa family’s trefoil hollyhock is used as the temple crest.The entire area of Asao Ward, symbolized by the residential area of Ozenji Temple, is a gently rolling hill area, and although the ward has many slopes, there are no steep slopes. It is a residential area with many single-family homes that was developed in 1974 when Shin-Yurigaoka Station was built, but in recent years large-scale apartment complexes have also been built on the north side of the station. The population of Aso Ward is approximately 180,000 people. Kawasaki City has a population of 1.54 million people, making it the second largest city in Kanagawa Prefecture after Yokohama City. There are approximately 47,800 foreigners living in Kawasaki City, and Aso Ward has the least number of foreigners living in Aso Ward compared to other wards at 3,280.Kawasaki City is the closest to Tokyo in terms of distance and is almost Tokyo, but I think many people have the image of it as an industrial area. However, the environment is completely different between the southern part, which stretches from north to south and has an industrial area and the city hall, and the northern part, which has a residential area where the city and countryside coexist.
It’s much easier and faster to go to Tokyo than from Shin-Yurigaoka Station to Kawasaki Station, so residents are less likely to think about going to Kawasaki Station. While Shinjuku can be reached in 20 minutes by train, and Tokyo Station and Otemachi to the east can be reached in about 40 minutes, it takes over an hour to get to Kawasaki Station. Our Yokohama office is further away, taking 1 hour and 20 minutes by train or just under 40 minutes by car. If you compare New York Manhattan in the United States to Tokyo, Kawasaki City’s Asao Ward is similar to the state of Connecticut or New Jersey.Asao Ward, Kawasaki City has become the best in Japan. In the 2020 edition of the average life expectancy survey of 1,887 municipalities nationwide conducted once every five years by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, Asao Ward ranked first in longevity for both men and women at 84.0 years and 89.2 years, respectively. By the way, 2nd place for both men and women came from neighboring Aoba Ward, Yokohama City.Comparing longevity by country, in the average life expectancy ranking announced by WHO in 2022, Japan ranked first at 84.3 years, so I think it can be said that “Asao Ward is the city with the highest longevity in the world“.
By the way, the other countries ranked 2nd to 5th are Switzerland, South Korea, Singapore, and Spain.
I believe that the reason for the longevity of Asao Ward, Kawasaki City is the “hilly slopes rich in nature” and “safe living environment.”
Every morning before sunrise, I walk for about an hour in the dark and do calisthenics at a park along the way. Even at such times, I see many elderly people walking or jogging as well as women taking their dogs alone for a walk. Even if you walk while breathing in the pure morning air and enjoying the changing colors of the trees on the street, the first half is a light downhill slope, and the second half is an uphill climb, making me sweaty. In addition, the bus route to the station is well-developed, so many passengers commute to work, but there are also many people who dare to take about 15 minutes to walk to the station. It seems that these environments naturally strengthen the legs and hips, creating a disease-free state and contributing to longevity.
Asao Ward is also famous for its safety. Asao Ward ranked first in the 2023 Tokyo metropolitan area ranking of safe cities by the private real estate and housing information service LIFULL HOME’S. This is calculated based on the crime incidence rate calculated by dividing the number of criminal law offenses recognized by the Metropolitan Police Department and the Kanagawa, Chiba, and Saitama prefectural police by the population. The reason why we can enjoy walking in light clothing even before dawn is because it is so safe.
The residents of Asao Ward are many people who work (or formerly workded) for major companies and government offices, athletes, and celebrities, and are characterized by a high level of information literacy. Many people respond intelligently to special fraud groups and others, reporting them to the police immediately and sharing information with the community.
It can be said that this living environment and the good public safety that supports it encourage healthy living and maintain a state of disease-free living. In addition, even if you become ill, there are two large-scale general hospitals nearby. This is thought to be a major factor supporting Japan’s longevity.
Kanagawa prefectural government has named 未病Mibyo ( a state of disease-free living) as “ME-BYO” and is promoting related measures and industries.
ZENJIRO maintains a policy of working head-on to ensure that high-quality Japanese tea contributes to maintaining people’s health, and we do not handle low-grade tea that lacks health effects. I also try to maintain a balance between my mind and body by quenching my throat with cold green tea right after I wake up in the morning and after an early morning walk.