大宮盆栽村 - Omiya has been an old time favorite destination for Bonsai enthusiasts traveling into Japan.

The village is a pleasant neighborhood in Omiya (a suburb of Tokyo) that hosts about a dozen top Bon-sai nurseries. The gardens can be visited on a day-trip from Tokyo, but make sure you arrive early to have the place for yourself. Please note most gardens are closed on Thursdays.

The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum is a recent addition to the village (it opened to the public in 2010) and is absolutely stunning. It boasts a stunning collection of masterpieces and displays special exhibitions regularly. Inside the museum you walk through a section of fine tokonoma's (Bonsai displays) before entering the main garden.

The house of the four seasons is interesting to visit as well and has information about local Bonsai workshops and fairs; one Bonsai workshop is available every 3rd Sunday of the month, between 1.30 and 3.00pm at the Bonsai Art Museum, Saitama (2500 Yen). On May 3-5 the local Bonsai festival is held.

 

 

The Bonsai gardens discussed in this article

Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Manseien, Tojuen, Seikouen, Kyukaen, Fuyoen and Shoutouen.

 

Movie on Omiya Bonsai village

 

Bonsai nurseries in Omiya Bonsai village

 

Omiya Bonsai Art Museum (さいたま市大宮盆栽美術館)

The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum hosts a collection of stunning trees since it opened in 2010. The Museum also offers an insight in Bonsai history, culture, tools and pots. Check the museum website to see if they have a current special exhibition.
Museum address: 2-24-3 Toro- cho, Kita Ward, Saitama City, Saitama, 331-0804. (Tel. +81 (0)48 780 2091)
Opening times: From 9:00 to 16:00/16:30. The museum is closed on Thursdays and certain holidays. Entrance: 300 Yen.
English spoken: Yes
Website: bonsai-art-museum.jp

 

Mansei-en (蔓青園)

Mansei-en is a stunning garden located close to the museum. The masterpiece Bonsai trees are gorgeously displayed and inside the building you will find more trees displayed together with accessory plants and scrolls in the tokonoma. The garden is owned by the Kato family since the 19th century. No pictures are allowed to be taken as most trees are privately owned.
Manseien address: 285 Bonsai-cho (Tel. 048-663-3991).
English spoken: Yes

 

Toju-en (藤樹園)

Somewhat further down the road from the Omiya-koen train station is Toju-en, a Bonsai nursery with several fine Bonsai trees. This nursery also offers Bonsai classes during weekends.
Tojuen address: 247 Bonsai-cho (Tel. 048-663-3899).
English spoken: No

 

Seikou-en (清香園)

Displaying one of the most beautiful collections of Bonsai trees in Omiya, Seiko-en is a must-visit. The garden was founded by Mr. Yamada and his father and is the only place in Omiya to charge an entrance fee (but rightfully so). No pictures are allowed to be taken, though a small exception was made for this guide. Seikouen is also home to Saika Bonsai, ran by friendly Kaori Yamada. Saika is flower arranging with rooted plants, sort of a crossover between Bonsai and Ikebana; very interesting to see.
Seikoen address: 268 Bonsai-cho (Tel. 048-663-3991)
English spoken: Yes
Official website: seikouen.cc

 

Kyuka-en (九霞園)

Owned by Murata Yukio, this garden is home to several interesting trees. Though not as well displayed as elsewhere, the Bonsai are well worth a visit.
Kyukaen address: 131 Bonsai-cho (Tel. 048-663-0423).
English spoken: Yes

 

Fuyo-en (芙蓉園)

This nursery close to the Omiya-Koen train station immediately pulls you into Omiya Bonsai village. The garden, owned by Hiroshi Takeyama, is very beautiful and contains several Bonsai masterpieces.
Fuyoen address: 96 Bonsai-cho (Tel. 048-666-2400).
English spoken: No

 

Shoutouen (松濤園)

Though much smaller than the average garden in Omiya, this place has a few stunning trees in the backyard. The friendly owner, Taeko Komuro, also sells pots and Shohin trees.
Shoutou-en address: 112-4 Bonsai-cho (Tel. 048-652-1033)
English spoken: No

 

Map of Omiya Bonsai village

(Ōmiya Bonsai-mura, around Bonsai-cho)

Omiya Bonsai village map 

Omiya Bonsai Art Museum (1), Manseien (2), Toju-en (3), Seikou-en (4), Kyuka-en (5), Fuyo-en (6) and the Bonsai restaurant (a).

Click here for the google map: Omiya Bonsai Village map.

 

How to get there

The Toro station as well as the Omiya-Koen station are centrally located in the Bonsai village; all the nurseries are within easy walking distance. To get to Toro station, take the JR Utsunomiya Line from Ueno which runs directly to Toro, taking about 30 minutes. Alternatively, to get to Omiya-Koen, take a train from Tokyo (any main station) to Omiya station and transfer there on the Tobu Noda line to get to Omiya Koen (in total it takes about 50 minutes).

Visit the website of the Saitama Tourism and International Relations Bureau.

 

 

Omiya Bonsai Village

Omiya Bonsai