Omiya Bonsai Village
Saitama City is home to the Omiya Bonsai Village, just 30 minutes north of Tokyo by train.
After the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 that had a devastating effect on the cities of Tokyo and Yokohama, many bonsai merchants moved to Omiya in search of a large area with fresh water and air suitable for growing bonsai. In 1925, Omiya Bonsai Village was established and soon became known beyond Japan; so much so that bonsai enthusiasts and dignitaries from all over the world came to visit.
In 1970, many bonsai from the Omiya Bonsai Village were exhibited at the Japan World Exposition held in Osaka. In 1989, the first World Bonsai Convention was held in Omiya City (now Saitama City), and 28 years later, in 2017, the eighth convention was held in Saitama City to promote the beauty of bonsai to the world.
There are currently six bonsai gardens or nurseries in the village: Kyuka-en, Seikou-e, Toju-en, Fuyo-en, Mansei-en, and Shosetsu-en. Each garden has its own unique style, where you can see a variety of bonsai masterpieces. Watch the video for a brief introduction to each of the six gardens.
Located adjacent to the village is the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, the world’s first publicly run museum dedicated to the art of bonsai. In addition to bonsai, this museum also collects and exhibits bonsai-related ukiyo-e (woodblock prints and paintings produced in Japan in the 17th through 19th centuries), and historical and folklore materials about the Japanese art of miniature trees.
About 30 minutes by train from Tokyo. 5 minutes walk from Toro Station on the JR Utsunomiya Line. Alternatively, 5 minutes walk from Omiya-Koen Station on Tobu Urban Park Line.
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