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Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Saitama
Bonsai: a slow art but a worthy award
Omiya Bonsai Art Museum is the world’s first publicly run museum dedicated to the Japanese art of bonsai. Located in Saitama, just north of Tokyo, and adjacent to the Omiya Bonsai Village, the museum is renowned for its selection of bonsai-related works. You will find bonsai pots, woodblock prints, and a bonsai garden where some of the bonsai masterpieces are estimated to be more than 100 years old. This very Japanese art can initially be hard to understand, but this museum lays out the basics: root structure, intended-styles—the most dramatic are the fukinagashi and kengai which mimic windblown or otherwise difficult environments—and tree choice.
The garden is a favorite, with up to 50 individual trees displayed, but don’t miss out on the collection gallery—only five notable examples are shown at a time so the observer can seriously contemplate their form and style. The special exhibit gallery has a rotating display of interesting bonsai-types.