Bonsai in Tokyo 盆栽
In Tokyo and surrounding area, there are very few bonsai nurseries.
Credit: Guilhem Vellut
There are many tools to take care of a bonsai. They are found in the Ginza and Ueno.
Credit: Benjamin Hill
The village of bonsai Omiya in Saitama City, houses a museum and many private gardens.
Credit: 7-9-10 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
The import of bonsai procedures between France and Japan are extremely complex and can lead to the destruction of the tree.
Credit: Norio Nakayama
Best places to see Bonsai in Tokyo
Even in the huge Tokyo, it is not easy to satisfy one's passion for bonsai. Here are our four best shops and museums in and around Tokyo for bonsai enthusiasts.
- Omiya Village in Saitama
Nicknamed "bonsai nursery," the village of Omiya is a must for lovers of these small trees. Located just outside Tokyo in Saitama City, this beautiful area is full of bonsai nurseries and private gardens with many of these potted trees. Some of the nurseries allow walk-in visitors and happy to help with any questions. There is also a chance to purchase any tools and pots for your collection.
There is even a bonsai museum, to learn more about the history and art of the bonsai, audio guides and descriptions are available in English.
- Opening hours: Every day except Thursdays. Nurseries 9 a.m - 5 p.m, Museum 9 a.m - 4.30 p.m.
- Access: From Ueno Station, take the Keihin-Tohoku line and get off at Omiya Koen Station.
- Official website
- Morimae Ginza Bonsai Shop
In the heart of the Ginza district, this gallery and shop caters to the curious more than actual fans. It offers a wide range of trees, pots and miniatures for tokonoma, small spaces for artwork in many Japanese houses. The products are relatively expensive, so the store is a place more to visit than a place to spend.
- Opening hours: Every day.
- Access: Take the Tokyo Metro to Ginza Station.
- Official website
- Shunkaen Bonsai Museum
This is the private museum of Kunio Kobayashi, grand master and award-winning bonsai professional. A little outside of Tokyo, the museum also houses a school of apprentices from around the world. Courses are offered in English. The lesson take one hour and cost 5,000 JPY.
- Opening hours: Everyday 10 a.m - 5 p.m. Closed Mondays.
- Access: From Akihabara, take the Sobu Line, get off at Koiwa, take the south exit, get on bus 76 and get off at the stop Keiyouguchi.
- Official website
- Ueno Green Club
Located in Ueno Park, Ueno Green Club offers everything needed for lovers of bonsai. There are a few shops selling trees, tools, pots, and also an exhibition. For the most enthusiastic, the headquarters of the Nippon Bonsai Association, responsible for promoting this art, is right next door.
- Opening hours: Every day except Wednesday
- Access: Take the Yamanote line, get off at Ueno.
Bonsai at home?
Once you learn the art of cutting, it is normal to want to bring a bonsai home. Be careful, the shipping procedure is extremely complex and can lead to the destruction of the plant. Getting a bonsai out of Japan is rather simple (you just to have all the papers in order), the arrival in other countries is more complicated.
Between plant disease controls, quarantine at your expense and drastic conditions, the price can rise very quickly ... and the general opinion of all specialists is that it is not the best idea to bring back a Japanese bonsai to your home country.
Comments Read comments from our travellers
I am a great lover of bonsai. I went a year ago with my wife after planning for a long time. And also save some money because I wanted to buy bonsai pots and tools. Of course, I dreamed of knowing those wonderful corners that are the bonsai nurseries. The love and taste for bonsai and gardening are everywhere, in park and gardens of an extra-beautiful beauty, everything is clean and so careful. I have fallen in love even more with Japanese culture. Since then I also have a blog and I publish some stories and themes about bonsai for beginners