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Bonsai Festival at Bonsai Village in Omiya

May 3,4 (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) and 5 (9 a.m.-4 p.m.)

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)

Bonsai Art Museum of Omiya City

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 City, to Japan and the rest of the world. (from pamphlets of The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum)

Open: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. closed on Thursdays and yearends and new year days
Access: Toro Station on JR Utsunomiya Line from Ueno
Admission: 300 yen
Telephone: 048-780-2091

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 larger space and good soil for nurturing bonsai with clean water and fresh air.

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)

Shunkaen Bonsai Garden in Edogawa

The Shunkaen Bonsai Museum 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. 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, Tokyo
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