春花園Bonsai美術館 - Shunka-en is the Bonsai garden and museum set up by Bonsai master Kunio Kobayashi (three times winner of the Prime Ministers Award, the most prestigious price to be won in Japan).
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. 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 me a tour through the garden and explained several of the trees’ histories. I was lucky enough to be invited for dinner by Mr. Kobayashi together with his five apprentices and received a signed copy of his book.
The museum is closed on Mondays and charges an entrance fee of 800 Yen.
Movie on Shunka-en nursery
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