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Bonsai are dwarf-trees in pots which are trained to show all the features of the large aged trees. This is done by stunting the growth which require exceptional care. The art developed in the Kamakura period (1185-1333). Practically every form of trees thus treated by the skillful Japanese expert from pines and oaks to cypresses, cryptomeria, etc. But to keep these dwarf trees in conditon requires great care and needs adequate instruction from expert.

Bonsai Art Museum of Omiya

The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum in Omiya, Saitama Prefecture is the world's first publicly-operated "Bonsai art museum" which opened in 2010. It provides a comprehensive view of the culture of bonsai. By displaying bonsai, as well as bonsai pots, suiseki stones, pictures, and historical materials related to bonsai, the Museum aims to transmit the culture of bonsai, a traditional industry in Saitama Prefecture to the rest of the world (quoted from the museum pamphlet)

Bonsai Chronicle: History and Culture of Bonsai at Exhibition Room, Sep. 16-Nov. 26, 2023

URL: bonsai museum omiya
Open: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. closed on Thursdays and yearends and new year days (Dec. 29-Jan. 3 closed)
Access: Toro Station on JR Utsunomiya Line from Ueno
Admission: 300 yen
Telephone: 048-780-2091

The 8th World Bonsai Convention, Saitama City in 2017

The 8th World Bonsai Convention, Saitama City
April 28, 29 and 30 (2017)
Time: 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. (5 p.m. on April 30)
Place: Saitama Super Arena, Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture.

The 8th World Bonsai Convention is held with participation of 1,200 bonsai enthusiasts from 40 countires and regions. Since the first convetion in 1989, The World Bonsai Convention has made a greater contribution not only to the spread of bonsai culture but also to international goodwill through cultural exchange among bonsai enthusiasts. (quoted from greetings by Yohei Kono, Honorary Chairman).
The convention is held once in four years at different places in the world.

Access: Saitama Shin Toshin Station on JR Keihin Tohoku Line
Admission: 800 yen
Telephone: 03-3821-3059

For more photos and details

Bonsai Village in Omiya

In the same area of Bonsai Art Museum, there are many bonsai gardens scattered within walking distance of the museum. Each garden has a unique exhibit of bonsai trees, and it may be a fun to visit them and see the differences. They sell bonsai trees on the spot. The Bonsai Village was established in Omiya in 1929 after the Great Kanto earthquake hit Tokyo Bonsai growers who were in Nezu and Sendagi areas in Tokyo moved to Omiya where they found large space and good soil for nurturing bonsai with clean water and fresh air. Today, bonsai has become popular in the world and the Bonsai Village hosts young trainees from abroad.

Open: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. closed on Thursday
Access: Omiya Koen Station on Tobu Noda Line
Admission: Free
Telephone: 048-780-2091
(Omiya Bonsai Art Museum)


The Shunkaen Bonsai Garden was built by a private person Kunio Kobayashi and opened on April 3 in 2002. It was built with his ambition to spread Japanese culture, especially Bonsai in a new way to the rest of the world. Kobayashi wanted to show both the beauty and the severity of nature that is hidden within Bonsai. Kobayashi is a four times winner of Prime Minister Award at Bonsai Sakufuten.Kobayashi often travels abroad to spread and teach bonsai art.

Open: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Closed on Monday and Holidays
Admission: 800 yen
Address: 1-29-16 Shinbori, Edogawa-ku,
Access: Get on Keisei Bus 76 from JR Koiwa Station South Exit and get off at Keiyoguchi bus stop.
Telephone: 03-3670-8622/ Fax 03-3670-5884

Bonsai Exhibition at Meiji Jingu Shrine

The 12th Meiji Jingu Bonsai Exhibition was held from June 8 through 17 in 2012 near the main hall of the shrine. On top of the bonsai, suiseki stones were exhibited together with bonsai trees. Appreciation of suiseki stones is said to be the culmination of nature appreciations. People perceive the great nature and the universe from suiseki stone.

Admission: free
Access: Harajuku Station on JR Yamanote Line/ Meiji Jingu-mae Station on Subway Chiyoda Line
Telephone: 03-3379-5511


The 36th Bonsai Festival
May 3,4 (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) and 5 (9 a.m.-4 p.m.) in 2019
Bonsai Village in Omiya

Bonsai Village in Saitama City (Omiya City) where the festival is held is a unique place of Japan's bonsai culture. The village was founded by bonsai cultivators who settled in Omiya in the Taisho era and the bonsai gardens opened around that time are still in operation today. The bonsai gardens are open to visitors for appreciation and also can purchase a small bonsai as souvenier.

During the bonsai festival days, more than 100 bonsai shops stand along the streets of the bonsai village. Last year, about 140,000 people visited the event.

Address: Bonsai-mura, Kita-ku, Saitama City, Omiya, Saitama Prefecture
Access: Omiya Koen Station on Tobu Noda Line/ Toro Station on JR Utsunomiya Line
Telephone: 048-663-3899 (Bonsai Matsuri Committee, Tojuen Bonsai Garden)/ 048-646-3093 (Omiya City Commerce and Industrial Department)


Satsuki (satsuki azalea) Rhodedendron indicum or Indian azalea.
Satsuki is a family of Tsutsuji and the flowers look very similar with Tsutsuji (azalea). Differences are Satsuki is evergreen while Tsutsuji leaves fall in winter. Tsusuji put flowers earlier than satsuki in middle of April to May while Satsuki in middle May to middle of June. Satsuki is a low tree and a popular Bonsai tree.

The Satsuki has been loved by many in Japan for the following reasons.
1. The flowers are most beautiful with varieties of colors and patterns of flowers.
2. Satsuki is strong against harmful insects.
3. There are about 3,000 to 3,500 varieties.
4. It affords different appreciations during four seasons including caring and trimmings.
5. It is relatively easy to make bonsai with satsuki.
6. You can increase trees easily by planting with shoots.
7. You can make new varieties for your own.
(quoted from The Japan Satsuki Association pamphlet)

URL: Satsuki Festival
Time: 9 a.m.-6 p.m., May 29-June 3, 2019
Place: Near the fountain in Ueno Park, Ueno, Taito-ku
Access: Ueno Park exit of Ueno Station on JR Yamanote Line
Admission: Free
Telephone: 03-3821-8430 (Japan Satsuki Association)