Hi everyone, this is Love Saitama Ambassador Jessica.
The other day I visited an area which is famous for its bonsai trees, Omiya! Specifically I visited one of the top bonsai nurseries, Seikouen.
Seikouen is noted for having one of the most beautiful bonsai collections in Saitama. For those in the know, this nursery is a must visit!
Having no previous experience with bonsai I was not sure what to expect, but I was excited to look around the nursery and try my hand at making my first ever bonsai tree!
The closest station to Seikouen is Omiya Koen Station on the Tobu Noda line. Toro Station on the JR Tohoku line is also within walking distance.
Omiya Koen Station:
The Omiya area is famous for its bonsai culture. The owner of Seikouen told me that people moved from Edo Tokyo to Omiya in Saitama because the climate and temperature and more importantly the soil was very suited to the cultivation of bonsai trees.
The footpath has pictures of bonsai embedded into it.
The tiles show the way to the Bonsai Museum which is also in the close by in the Omiya area. Seikouen was founded during the Kaei period (1848-54) in Edo. The garden is located within Omiya Bonsai Village,which was set up in 1943.
The entrance to Seikouen:
Seikouen is renowned for preserving the taste and art of Edo through its bonsai. Seikouen has also created a new and original type of bonsai called Saika.
During my visit I was lucky enough to be allowed to photograph all areas of the nursery. I was shown this beautiful bonsai. From front on, we can see its wonderful branch network which bonsai enthusiasts pay particular attention to.
I was told to crouch down and look up! This is the same bonsai as the photo above however you feel as though you are standing underneath a massive old tree! The idea of perspective and viewpoints is also very important in bonsai.
This particular bonsai is very special. It is hundreds of years old!
I was guided around the nursery by wonderful staff members who took time to explain about bonsai and its unique culture.
There are many different types of pots for sale too.
In the picture above we can see a bonsai maple tree or momiji. Usually the leaves turn from green to red but with this type of maple, the leaves turn from red to green!
I loved looking around at all the different types of bonsai!
Afterwards I started the bonsai lesson that I had been looking forward too.
The school is located inside the Seikouen premises. I was told that people with no experience with bonsai can enjoy making their own bonsai tree whilst learning about bonsai culture.
The teacher explained every step and assisted me where I needed it.
We took excess soil from the root areas of the bonsai and placed it into the pot. Depending on the time of year the type of bonsai may change. This time I was given a type of Cherry Blossom or Sakura for spring.
Next I added a coarse type of small rock to help with drainage and air in the soil.
It was put in a small quantity into the middle of the pot.
Next I added topsoil and used a chopstick to carefully push the slip into all areas of the pot until there were no spaces left.
I then used the special wires that come connected to the bonsai pot to wire the bonsai firmly into the pot.
After that I watered the bonsai thoroughly until the water that came out the bottom turned clear.
The watering can or joro pictured below has a wonderful design. With a very long spout, and tiny holes in the end it made so the user can pour a fine amount of water over the bonsai tree or, go inside the foliage of the tree to pinpoint areas that need water. It's an amazing watering can!
After watering the bonsai we returned inside to finish off with the last touches!
The base of the bonsai.
Like a jigsaw puzzle I chose pieces of moss and pushed them together using a chopstick.
And then I was done!
Here I am together with my teacher.
He is holding an example of the blossoming cherry blossom bonsai.
The teachers bonsai was so wonderful! I was looking forward to taking my bonsai home and enjoying a hanami or cherry blossom viewing at my home!
Even with no prior experience or knowledge of bonsai I had a great time making my own bonsai to take home.
The school will provide all the materials and tools you need for the bonsai experience.
The bonsai making experience can get a little messy so it maybe good to wear casual clothing and bring an apron.
The staff at Seikouen kindly took a photo together with me.
After a few week at home my bonsai started to blossom!
It was very amazing and beautiful. I felt very lucky to have been able to experience such an interesting culture. Thank you so much Seikouen!
|Name of the place||Seikouen (bonsai garden)|
|Address||268, Bonsaicho, Kita ward Saitama city, Saitama, 331-0805|
|URL||You can book through their website, by email or by phone.|
12 minutes on foot from Toro station (JR Utsunomiya Line)5 minutes on foot from Omiya-Koen Station (Tobu Urban Park Line)
|Merchandise||Bonsai trees, tools, bonsai pots|