Art & Design
The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Saitama さいたま市大宮盆栽美術館
A museum dedicated to the living art of bonsai
The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum is the world's first public museum solely devoted to the traditional Japanese art of bonsai. Originally, it was believed that miniature bonsai trees were the dwelling places of deities, but now they are known as an elegant, living art requiring restraint and patience. The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum draws practitioners and fans from all over the world.
The museum is located in Saitama in an area aptly named Bonsai Village
Omiya Bonsai Art Museum has over 120 bonsai, some of which are estimated to be 1,000 years old
Bonsai art never stops since the tree are always growing
The museum holds workshops and festivals all year
How to Get There
The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum is within 50 minutes from Shinjuku Station.
From Shinjuku, take the Saikyo Line or Shonan-Shinjuku Line to Omiya Station. Transfer to the Tobu Urban Park Line and go two stops to Omiya Koen Station. The museum is a ten-minute walk from the station.
What is bonsai?
Originating in China, bonsai is the art of producing trees, in miniature in containers, that mimic the shape and size of natural trees. The art form can be traced back over a thousand years.
The masters use cultivation techniques to keep the trees small, such as grafting, root reduction, pruning and a small container to limit its growth. Thus, a bonsai work is never finished, so each piece is in forever in transition.
A town dedicated to the art of greenery
The museum is located in an area known as Bonsai Village dating back to 1925, when many bonsai growers moved out of Tokyo after the Great Kanto Earthquake. The surrounding gardens are also beautiful. The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum has over 120 bonsai masterpieces along with woodblock prints and historic artworks themed around bonsai culture.
Bonsai works are never finished. As they grow, they change. All the works of art at the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum are works in progress, and you can learn how they are shaped and pruned during their growth.
The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum offers seasonal exhibitions throughout the year. It is also a storehouse of information related to the art form's history and culture, as well as being a community hub for bonsai-related workshops, festivals, and exhibits.
Soak up the local atmosphere
Since each nursery is privately owned, the village has a friendly, family-oriented atmosphere. The owners can often be seen hard at work as you wander by. Most are happy to answer questions—some in English—though some places prohibit photography. In addition to the trees, other types of traditional artworks and artifacts are often on display.
The latest information may differ, so please check the official website
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.