The garden is an absolute highlight and should not be missed. When entering the garden the first thing you are likely to note is the stunning 1000 year old pine tree in front of the house, the masterpiece of Mr. Kobayashi’s collection.
Trees are rotated and sold of course, but the courtyard always features an eye-catching tree. Inside the house several tokonoma are set up and a large collection of books and antique Chinese pots and tables are displayed.
One of Mr. Kobayashi’s apprentices, Valentin Brose (who spent two years in Shunkaen so far and just had his first television appearance of an impressive styling session) gave us a tour through the Bonsai garden and explained several of the trees’ histories.
The museum is closed on Mondays and charges an entrance fee of 800 Yen.
Map of Shunka-en in Tokyo
Use this link to open the map on Google Maps: Shunka-en Bonsai garden.
How to get there
To get to Shunkaen Bonsai museum, get on the JR So-bu line from downtown Tokyo and get off at Koiwa station. At Koiwa, take the south exit and across the parking take bus 76; get off at Keiyouguchi bus stop (the ride should take about 15 minutes). From the bus stop it’s a five minute walk west (to the right from the bus’ driving direction), parallel to the main Keiyo road.
Shunkaen address: Nihori 1-29-16, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo (Tel. 03-3670-8622)
English spoken: Yes
Official website: www.kunio-kobayashi.com