Bonsai in Japan

Omiya Bonsai village, located near Tokyo in Japan

Omiya Bonsai

 

大宮盆栽村
Omiya has been an old time favorite destination for Bonsai enthusiasts travelling 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 daytrip from Tokyo, but make sure you arrive early to have the place for yourself. Please note most gardens are closed on Thursdays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I visited Omiya Bonsai village the newly built Bonsai Art Museum was still closed; be sure to visit as it opened in 2010. The museum features an impressive collection of masterpiece Bonsai trees, read below for more information. 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 gardens discussed in this article

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

 



Omiya Bonsai village Omiya Bonsai nurseries

 

 

Bonsai nurseries in Omiya Bonsai village

 

01 Fuyo-en (芙蓉園)

This nursery close to the 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

Links
For pictures: Fuyo-en Bonsai gallery

 

 

02 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

Links
For pictures: Toju-en Bonsai gallery

 

 

03 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

Links
For pictures: Seiko-en Bonsai gallery
Official website: www.seikouen.cc

 

 

04 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

Links
For pictures: Shoutouen-en Bonsai gallery

 

 

05 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

Links
For pictures: Kyuka-en Bonsai gallery

 

 

06 Mansei-en (蔓青園)

Mansei-en is without doubt the crown to any visit to Omiya and I recommend visiting it at the end of your Omiya trip. 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; I could only make an overview shot.
Manseien address: 285 Bonsai-cho (Tel. 048-663-3991).
English spoken: Some

Links
For pictures: Mansei-en Bonsai gallery

 

 

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

Located close to Manseien, the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum hosts a collection of stunning trees. The Museum also offers an insight in Bonsai history, culture, tools and pots.
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

Links
Museum website

 

 



Map of Omiya Bonsai village (Ōmiya Bonsai-mura, around Bonsai-cho)
Omiya Bonsai village map

 

 

How to get there

The Omiya Koen station is centrally located in the Bonsai village; all the nurseries are within easy walking distance. To get there, 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).

 

More information

For more information, and news about Omiya, visit the website of the Saitama Tourism and International Relations Bureau.

 

 

 

Links

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