One of the oldest values that are ingrained within the Japanese is the idea of “living alongside nature”. This is reflected through feeling the different aspects of the seasons and taking time to contemplate and respect nature. There is also one particular artistic item that expresses the Japanese spirit - that is the Bonsai.
Bonsai is not just something that is appreciated for its aesthetic beauty. It is also a reflection of the spirit of the creator that makes the Bonsai artwork as well as the recreation of the beauty of nature within the plant pot. As you are visiting Japan, why not experience this unique and very Japanese type of beauty?
This article will introduce various different places where one can experience the beauty of the Bonsai.
The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum (Saitama Prefecture)
Established nearby Oomiya Bonsai village, this museum features bonsai treasures, such as prized bonsai trees appreciation stones commonly referred to as water stones (Suiseki), as well as Ukiyoe art where bonsai trees feature in the artwork. In addition, a unique feature of this museum is its record on the history of the various types of Bonsai and traditional folk materials.
The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum
Address: 2-24-3, Toro-chou, Kita-ku, Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture 331-0804
Imperial Palace (Tokyo Prefecture)
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Near the Imperial palace there is an area called “Omichi-Teien” where there are 600 bonsai trees with 90 different types. There are many trees that are over 100 years old, and therefore one can experience the culture of treasuring and looking after these precious plants. There are three unique characteristics to the Bonsai trees in the Imperial Palace. One is the amount of large Bonsai trees, the natural shape of the trees without any artificial intervention, as well as the large number of over 100-year-old trees. Therefore these Bonsai trees have a very unique and different character to the ordinary Bonsai trees seen nowadays, and one of the reasons why there are many people who love the Bonsai trees found here.
Address: 1-1, Chiyoda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo prefecture 100-0001
Shunkaen Bonsai Museum (Tokyo Prefecture)
Shunkaen Bonsai museum, as the name suggests, is a museum that combines a Bonsai garden with an art gallery. There is one famous Bonsai with a value of 100 Million yen that can be seen, as well as various historical Bonsai trees over 100 years old.
Shunkaen Bonsai Museum
Address: 1-29-16, Shinbori, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo Prefecture 132-0001
Taisho-en (Shizuoka Prefecture)
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Taisho-en aims to introduce the beauty of Bonsai culture to people around the world, and also takes on people who wish to learn more about Bonsai. In the peaceful and vast park, various varieties of Bonsai are introduced, from the raw material stage right up to the complete product. The bowls, desks and utensils used for the small, medium and large Bonsai are said to be the best in Japan.
Address: 1872-2, Ikeda, Suruga-ku, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture 422-8005
Fujikawa Kouka-en (Osaka Prefecture)
Fujikawa Kouka-en is situated in the Ikeda city suburbs of Osaka. Since its opening in 1950, it has sold a wide variety of Bonsai at various exhibitions.There is also an online Bonsai shop that is managed by this establishment. An essential for anyone who wishes to purchase a Bonsai tree from Japan.
Address: 3-19-13, Kanda, Ikeda City, Osaka Prefecture 563-0043
The Taikan Bonsai Museum (Nagano Prefecture)
This is an art museum with Japan's first bonsai garden that brought together precious trees of the Japanese bonsai world, old trees that are over 1,000 years old, and precious bonsai owned by famous people. There is also a gallery that displays paintings by writers who are familiar with Nagano Prefecture and you can learn about the proud history and culture of Nagano.
The Taikan Bonsai Museum
Address: 28, Obuse, Obuse Town, Kamitaka-gun, Nagano Prefecture 381-0201
Kinashi Bonsai Center(Kagawa Prefecture)
This centre is situated in Kinashi, which has the longest history of Bonsai in Japan. 80% of the pine Bonsai that exist in Japan were originally born in this area. Kinashi Bonsai is a market that is held three times a month (5th, 15th, 25th) at Oginasuke Bonsai Center, as well as Kitsurin Garden bonsai fair and other events. The name "Kinashi" comes from the legend "Momotaro", a story about defeating the famous devil in Japan.
Kinashi Bonsai Center
Address: 333-1, Yamaguchi, Kinashi Town, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture 761-8025
Shikian (Miyagi Prefecture)
This is a gallery / studio featuring Nogori Bonsai that the shop owner started as a hobby. We highly recommend visiting here to experience the healing power of the wild grasses that can be enjoyed during any season season. In addition to the antique furniture exhibitions, it is also possible to experience moss ball and bonsai making, for those interested, it is recommended to reserve an appointment for one of these workshops by phone.
Address: 21-4, Kokuzou Shita, Marmot Town, Igu-gun, Miyagi Prefecture 981-2143
For those who wish to experience the beauty of Bonsai
There are many different Bonsai gardens throughout Japan, similar to those described above, However, there are many people who are unable to go due to difficulty accessing the areas, or not being able to fit it into their tour schedule. If you are in this situation, we recommend this website and "Air Bonsai". Here one can see and purchase decorative floating Bonsai that give the impression that one is in space. These Bonsai were featured in TIME magazine in 2016 and have become world famous.
In addition, it is also possible to deliver these Bonsai from Japan to 14 countries. Currently it is possible to send to America, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy, SPain, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and SIngapore. This is a must for Bonsai fans!