Bonsai in Asia Guide Book

Bonsai in Japan

Bonsai Village in Omiya - Nurseries, Maps, Sightseeing

Shikoku Island
Kinashi Bonsai village
- Takamatsu City
Takasago-An Bonsai Garden – Niihama City

Best Bonsai and Suiseki Exhibits in Japan
The Juppu-an and Taikan (Bonsai Museum)
World Bonsai Contest

Koju-en Nursery - Kyoto
Bube Bonsai Center
Plum and Bonsai exhibitions of Keiunkan

Mame - The World of Mini-Bonsai
All Japan Shohin Bonsai Association

Yamamoto - Garden Plant Producing Center
Tokoname Ware - Bonsai Pottery
Kindai Bonsai - Bonsai Magazine

Nippon Bonsai Association
Nippon Suiseki Association
Japan Satsuki Guild
Bonsai Skill Course
Bonsai in Tokyo
- Takagi Bonsai Museum - Shunka-en Bonsai Garden - Ueno Green Club - KOKUFU

Yokohama

Sotetsu Bonsai - Cycas revoluta

Other Bonsai Nurseries

Masakuni Tools

Maps to Bonsai Stores in Japan

Japanese Home Pages

Bonsai Art

Motonobu Hara's Bonsai

Fumio Nakahara's Mame Mini-Bonsai World

The Satsuki Bonsai Homepage

Ken-Yamamoto "The Bonsai" in Japanese

Tosi's Gallery - Mostly Azealea's in Japanese

Bonsai Beside Your Desktop in Japanese

Mr Tamanaha's story - Learning Bonsai at Fuyo-en in Omiya

Useful Information about Bonsai in Japan - other visitors experiences

How to make a Bonsai - Bonsai Books

History of Bonsai - What is a Suiseki - Bonsai Links

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Bonsai Villages in Omiya

You may be surprised to learn that there are actually 2 separate Bonsai villages in Omiya. There is a Bonsai Village (Bonsai-cho) near Omiya Koen station, there is also a smaller Bonsai village in Someya a suburb of Omiya City. Click on the above link which will give you far more detail about the Bonsai Villages of Omiya all of the Bonsai nursery and festival details.

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Shikoku Island

Kinashi Bonsai Village - Takamatsu City - another link for Kinashi Bonsai Village

The town of Kinashi has developed and prospered as the center of Bonsai dwarfed plants, It started more than two hundred years ago when a local pioneer picked pine tree saplings he found on neighboring islands and cultivated them in his own special way and sold them. It has grown into a special product of the area and attracted the increasing number of Bonsai lovers across the country. The elegantly and magnificently shaped dwarfed Kuro-matsu and Goyo-matsu and the gracefully trimmed Nishiki-matsu are especially popular. Today the Kinashi's market share of the Bonsai pine trees in Japan is over 80%, and worldwide the number of lovers of this miniature beauty is ever increasing.

For information about Bonsai, feel free to call Kinashi Garden Plants and Bonsai Center of Kagawa (148 Sato, Kinashi-cho, Takamatsu 761-8023).

Annual Events of Kinashi Garden Plants & Bonsai Center of Kagawa

1. Fair: 5th, 15th, 25th of every month (Auction starts at 9:30 a.m.)
2. Grand-Fair: March 15th, and November 15th.
3. Free consultations about plants & Bonsai: 5th, 15th, 25th of every month
4. Bonsai & Garden Plants Festival of Kinashi: last weekend in October

All visitors are cordially invited to these fairs to discover Bonsai of all sizes and all qualities. These are the biggest events where you can get Bonsai and products at bargain prices where they are cultivated. These events consist of an Exhibition of excellent Bonsai, Display with exhibits on sale, Sales of pots, Demonstrations of dwarfing, trimming and wiring of trees. Auction of Bonsai at the Festival Plaza, Lottery and many other attractions and many other joyful events.

Click on this link for Tips from Professionals in Kinashi, General care of Matsu-Bonsai (dwarf pine tree), and the Transplantation of Bonsai. Located in the town of Kinashi around JR Kinashi Station 6km west of JR Takamatsu Station

Kandaka Shoju-En - Takamatsu City - suburbs
Mr Kandaka’s Bonsai nursery is described as the premier black pine nursery in Japan with many trees in his private collection going back 3 generations.

Matsuda-Seisho-en - Kenji/Mitsuo Matsuda - Kinashi in English & Japanese

Konishi-Shoraku-en - Konishi Yukihiko - Kinashi in Japanese

Ritsurin Park - Takamatsu City
Ritsurin Park is one of 6 of Japan's Daimyo Gardens, comprizing six ponds and thirteen miniature hills against the deep greenery of Mt. Shiun, reminds you of traditional Japanese paintings. It's located just 1 km south of central Takamatsu and has hundreds of styled and shaped pines and is well worth the visit if you have the time.

Takasago-An Bonsai Garden – Niihama City - Shikoku Island
Mr Iwasaki’s Japanese Garden and Bonsai Collection which consists of 100's of masterpieces are renowned in Japan. Unfortunately it is only open for viewing by private invitation.

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The Juppu-an and Taikan (Bonsai Museum) - Mr. Shinji Suzuki - Obuse
This Bonsai Museum has an incredible collection of masterpieces, and Mr. Shinji Suzuki changes the arrangement of the plants daily so that each visit to the museum becomes a new experience. The display area is successively divided in five sections which represent the different landscapes of the Japanese spirit, which is to say: the spirit of the Nordic wood of Hokkaido, the land of the big mountains of Shinshu, the famous Fukayama Valley in Tohoku, the unforgettable landscapes of Irifune in the Japan Sea and Miyabi, the ancient capital.T he bonsai is part of a big building where a restaurant, a bar and a hotel are included & next to it You can enjoy the works by artists associated with the Shinshu region in the Shiki Art Gallery.
Entrance fee: adult 600 yen, junior high school student 400 yen, group discount 10% off (20 or more)/ Open 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, the year-end, New Year holidays, Located at: 10-20 Dainichido, Obuse-machi, Ph: 026-247-3000
Information & Picture courtesy of Marco Invernizzi

The Best Bonsai and Suiseki Exhibits in Japan - By Thomas S. Elias
Today, there are literally hundreds of Bonsai and Suiseki exhibits held throughout Japan. Most are local or regional shows. There are several outstanding national and large regional exhibits that are likely to be of interest to those planning a trip to Japan. The best-known and finest exhibition is the Kokufu-ten sponsored by the Nippon Bonsai Association and held in mid-February. If you can only make one exhibit, this is the one. If, however, you are traveling to Japan at other times of the year or you wish to see more suiseki or specialized bonsai types such as shohin or satsuki azaleas, then this link to the best exhibits of bonsai and suiseki in Japan may be of interest.

Bonsai Network Japan - Bonsai courses, workshops & tour guide
My service is to give information about Japanese bonsai to people who are coming to Japan and who want to learn about it. I can coordinate your visit to Japan to have the right access to the Japanese bonsai world, and can help as an English speaking tour guide, also organise Bonsai courses & workshops etc. Yoshihiro Nakamizu.

World Bonsai Contest - Tokyo
This International Bonsai Photo Contest will be organized headed by Mr Saburo Kato, Chairman of Nippon Bonsai Association and will be supported by Nippon Bonsai Association & Japan Airlines.
Entry period closes - July 31 and the First prize and 2 runners up win a trip to the Kokufu-ten & award ceremonies in Tokyo, Japan, in Feb 2003

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Koju-en Nursery - Kyoto
At Koju-en Nursery, Kyoto, we have excellent mini-Bonsai (less than 20 cm) and old famous high-quality Bonsai pots. In Japan, Mini Bonsai are becoming more and more popular. Located at 19 Karahashi Isono-cho, Minami-ku, Kyoto Ph: 601-8462 (It takes 5 minutes by taxi from JR Kyoto station.)

Major Bonsai Exhibition in Kyoto each year:
Taikanten - November, 2002 Miyako Messe, Kyoto
If you visit any of this Major Bonsai Exhibition and fly by JAL they will give you a free admission ticket for each of these Bonsai Exhibition, contact to your nearest JAL office for more details.

Koju-en Nursery also has a webpage that contains a Bonsai exhibition schedule for Japan. and information in english about the "All Japan Shohi- Bonsai Association"

Plum and Bonsai exhibitions of Keiunkan - Nagahama, Shiga
Keiunkan was built as a rest house for the Emperor Meiji's Visit to Nagahama in 1887. Every year, from January 10 until March 10, Keiunkan houses one of the top Plum and Bonsai exhibitions in the country. Located at 2-5 Minato-cho Nagahama, Shiga, Japan. Time 9am ~ 4pm Tel 0749-62-4111 (Nagahama tour organization)

Bube Bonsai Center - Miyoshi-cho Aichi-prefecture
We founded the Bonsai Center in 1976 to further Japanese culture using Bonsai to express natural beauty. To convey Bonsai culture around the World at this time the internet is being employed and consequently the reason for creating this home page. The Bube Bonsai Center hold public and private Bonsai exhibitions on the 18th of every month with dealers and customers from both Japan and overseas attending. Not only to observe the beauty of Bonsai, but also actively take part in promoting it to make it grow. Located at 16-1 Kamisago Miyoshi-cho Aichi-prefecture

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World of Mini-Bonsai by Kyosuke Gun and Sachiko Iwasaki

Mame are the smallest of Bonsai being no more than 7cm in height, Mini Bonsai from 5 - 7 cm are sometimes referred to as palm sized Bonsai as the pot will fit in the palm of one hand. The term mame only refers to the size of the tree, so mame may be seen in all styles. other smaller Bonsai are Shohin from 10 - 20 cm and Kifu 10 - 35 cm. Creating a reasonable branch structure and trunk with mame is no more difficult than with larger bonsai, however it is sometimes not practical with a smaller mame trees, so you may see a single leaf playing the part of an entire branch. The link above will take you to the World of Mame with many pictures.

All Japan Shohin Bonsai Association
The Head office of 'All Japan Shohin-Bonsai Association' is now located at 19 Karahashi Isono-cho, Minami-ku, Kyoto. This group is organized by small sized Bonsai lovers and has more than 2,800 members and about 68 branches around Japan. The membership fee is 12,000 yen a year (The member who lives abroad must pay 20,000 yen a year) and members get six magazines a year and the photo book of 'Gafuten' which is the biggest exhibition of Shohin-Bonsai held in Kyoto (Miyako-messe) in January. It also organizes 4 more exhibitions of Shohin-Bonsai. Shugaten in Tokyo(Ueno-Green-Club) and Kyushu-Miyabiten in Kumamoto pref in November. Hokuriku-Miyabiten in Fukui pref in October and Shungaten in Osaka in March.

Other Mini Bonsai links - - Mini Bonsai Newspaper - - The Bonsai (Osaka) - - Shohin-Bonsai

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Yamamoto - Garden Plant Producing Center - Takarazuka City Hyogo Prefecture
Yamamoto garden plants have a long history, and in the Kamakura Period (1185-1333) Yamamoto already enjoyed social prestige as a place of garden plant production. At present, in the Yamamoto district they grow and sell many kinds of plants, including Bonsai, pot plants and garden trees. The Yamamoto garden plant producing center has become a very important place that provides city people with flowers and green plants and it also attracts garden plant lovers from all over Japan. Located a walk from Yamamoto Station on the Hankyu Railway Takarazuka line. Takarazuka City Hyogo Prefecture

KINDAI BONSAI - Japanese Bonsai Magazine
The monthly magazine "KINDAI BONSAI" takes pride in having the best contents and popularity in the world. We are sure that the contents of this one publication can completely satisfy everyone, from the beginner to the experienced bonsai person.

Tokoname Ware - Bonsai Pottery - Tokoname-Yaki, Aichi Prefecture
Tokoname Pottery Fair - is held on the fourth Saturday and Sunday in August each year. Tokoname pottery originated in the 12th century and is one of the six ancient kilns in Japan. Their main products have been shifted from unglazed pots and jars in olden days to a variety of articles such as household items and Bonsai pots. Located at 3-8 Sakae-machi, Tokoname, Aichi Prefecture, tel 0569-35-4309
District Map of Tokoname Bonsai Pot Makers
Bonsai Pot Manufacturers - this is a list of the some of the Master Bonsai pot makers and the stamps & marks that they use, also more information and maps.

Tokoname Pottery Path Welcome to Tokoname and "Yakimono Sanpomichi" or Pottery Path. This informative walk started as a natural tour of the various points of interest in Tokoname in about 1972, and is filled with old traditional houses, workshops and buildings of great character and interest. It has remained unchanged keeping its pottery-town atmosphere, unique to Tokoname.

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TOKYO

Nippon Bonsai Association - (in Japanese only)
Joining the Nippon Bonsai Association is not cheap. There is a "joining fee" of 5,000 yen (US $42) and yearly dues for overseas members are 20,000 yen (US $170). You get a monthly magazine devoted to events, all in Japanese, and you also get the annual Kokufu-ten catalog.
Contact: Mrs. Hisako F. Saito in the International Division or Ms. Dambara thier English speaking contact person,
8-1 Ikenohata 2-chome, Taito-ku, TOKYO 110 Japan. Tel: +81 3821 3059 Fax: +81 33828 9150

Nippon Bonsai Association
This website courtesy of Nippon Bonsai Association, which is designed for kids is informative and has a nice Virtual Bonsai demonstration.

Nippon Suiseki Association
This website will tell you all you need to know about the Nippon Suiseki Association in Japan

Japan Satsuki Guild

Bonsai Skill Course (Correspondence Course by the Japan Gardening Society) course all done in Japanese

Shunka-en Bonsai Garden - Tokyo
The Shunkaen Museum of Japanese Traditional Art "Bonsai" - In the grounds of Kobayashi Kunio's private residence in Edogawa-ku (ward), Tokyo stands the bonsai artist's own bonsai museum, the Shunkaen Museum of Japanese Traditional Art "Bonsai." Constructed at a personal cost of ¥1 billion ($7.8 million) over a period of 15 years, Kobayashi's museum accommodates a collection of 2,000 bonsai-related artifacts, including several 500-year-old bonsai that are as good as national treasures. Kobayashi is a living legend in the bonsai world. A four-time winner of the top Prime Minister's Prize at the prestigious Japan Bonsai Exhibition, and a winner in seven of the Exhibition's nine categories overall, his achievements are unrivalled The Shunkaen Museum of Japanese Traditional Art "Bonsai" is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Admisision is ¥800 (including tea). For more information: tel. (81) 3-3670-8622, fax (81) 3-3670-5884.

Major Bonsai Exhibitions in Tokyo each year are:
Sakufuten - January, 2003 Daimaru Museum, Daimaru Department Store, Tokyo
Kokufuten - February, 2003 Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Ueno Park, Tokyo
Ryokufuten - May, 2002 Tokyu Green Club, Ueno, Tokyo
If you visit any of these Major Bonsai Exhibitions and fly by JAL they will give you a free admission ticket for each of these Bonsai Exhibition, contact to your nearest JAL office for more details.

The Takagi Bonsai Museum - Tokyo

Owned by Mr Reiji Takagi this museum is a unique tranquil retreat in the middle of one of the world's busiest cities. One floor is full of well-tended miniature trees up to a century old another floor houses a Japanese-style garden. Check out Steve Hobbs experience at the bottom of the page.

The Takagi Bonsai Museum is located at 1-1, Gobancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102, 10:00am-5:00pm, Tel: 03-3221-0006 Closest Station: ICHIGAYA Sta.: JR

Ueno Green Club and Kokufu-ten Bonsai Exhibition - Tokyo

The greatest Bonsai exhibition "Kokufu-ten" is held at Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in February. Kokufu-ten means "the exhibition of atmosphere in this country". It's difficult to translate into English though. It is very big. When the Kokufu-ten is held, many bonsai nurseries gather at "Ueno Green Club" and sell their wonderful Bonsai. They move between Ueno Green Club and the Art Museum by bus. The Ueno Green Club is a large shop which has three floors, 5 to 10 Bonsai exhibitions are held here each year and many other Bonsai shops gather and sell their good Bonsai.
The address of Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum is: 8-36 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo. Ph. 03-3823-6921, The Ueno Green Club is at the back of Ueno station at: 3-42 Ueno-Kouen, Taitouku, Tokyo. Ph. 03-5685-5656

There are many other Bonsai shops in Tokyo. Most of them are small but sell many small Bonsai. There are nice Bonsai nurseries in Tokyo and more in Saitama Prefecture, this is the prefecture next to Tokyo.

Ginza Morimae - We established our showroom in the Famous Ginza Shopping district of Tokyo with the intention of introducing bonsai and suiseki, a part of the essennce of Japanese culture, to as many people as possible. Bonsai, Suiseki, tools, pots, antiques, and many other related items displayed and sold here.

Tokyo Bonsai - Commercial Bonsai Supplier

Tama Zoological Park - Safari-style zoo - I am told that there are some Bonsai here maybe someone can check this out and tell me if its worth keeping on this page. - Located: 7-1-1, Hodokubo Hino-shi, Tokyo 191 Closest Station Tama Doobutsu Koen Station on the Keio Line.

Bonsai in the Imperial Palace - Tokyo - There is a good collection of very old Bonsai inside the gardens of the Imperial Palace - unfortunately they are not open to the public. There are a set of video tapes (in Japanese) showing these bonsai trees and pot collection - they are called Koukyo no bonsai, Produced by NHK Video.

Otani Japanese Garden - Tokyo

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Yokohama - If you are in Yokohama you may want to check out the following places, I have no referance to any Bonsai here so if you see any let me know.

Sankeien Garden - Yokohama

This Japanese-style garden was opened in 1906. Its extensive grounds 175,000 square meters contain several buildings designated as important cultural properties. The garden boasts picturesque ponds and groves, and is well known for its blooms, which include plums, cherries and water-lilies.
Location: 20 min. from Sakuragicho stn. by bus to Honmoku-Sankeien-mae. 3-min. walk from the bus stop. Open Daily 9:00am - 4:30pm, Tel. 621-0634

Chinatown - Yokohama

Thousands of foreign travelers visit Chinatown every year. Being the largest Chinese settlement in Japan, Chinatown is always alive with people who come to enjoy Chinese food. It is also a fun place for shopping or just walking around its many streets and alleys lined with colorful restaurants, shops overflowing with Chinese goods and stores that sell exotic ingredients and Chinese medicines.

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Sotetsu Bonsai - Japanese Sago Palm - Cycas revoluta
This dieocious native of southern Japan, China and the Ryukyu Islands (where they are sometimes grown as Bonsai) is a primitive plant, dating to the Mesozoic era. They grow very slowly, but require little care other than to remove dead leaves. They are a prominent feature of temple gardens in southern Japan (particularly Kyûshû), particularly along the coast, but when wrapped for the winter, they can also be grown in colder climes (there is an example at Katsura Imperial Villa in Kyôto.

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Useful information about Bonsai in Japan - other visitors experiences

Bonsai Guide Book In Japan
This is a great Japanese website in English & Japanese with lots of links and information about Bonsai in Japan

Bonsai Dictionary - Japanese words used in Bonsai, with English definitions

Japanese Suiseki History, Glossary & Classification

- an excellent page including almost everything about Japan!

The following Japanese wholesaler does not trade on the net, but you can ask them for a copy of their most recent Tokoname-ware catalogue and price list. It lists about 4000 to 5000 pots of different shapes, sizes and glazes. They also sell good quality tools, wire and probably anything else you ask them to supply. From: Reiner Goebel
Showa Trading Co Ltd.
No. 39, 2-chome, Sakurayama-cho, Showa-ku, Nagoya 466, Japan.
Tel: (052)841-4880 Fax: (052)842-2296

The following supliers catalog is entirely in Japanese, but the item codes are in Romaji, so you can use it fairly easily. If they don't know you, they will charge you for the catalog, if you can get one at all. They only accept large orders (usually >$5000), and frankly, it's not really worth it unless you are making larger orders. - Alan Walker
Hirano Seito Co., Ltd.
Tokoname-Yaki Pottery Wholesale Center 120, Kamisuhara, Kanayama, Tokoname, Aichi, 479-0003 Japan.
phone: 0569-43-7117 fax: 0569-43-7118

Both times that I went to Japan I visited Omiya's bonsai village and enjoyed the experience immensely. Mansei En, home of Saburo Kato, is definitely worth the train trip from Tokyo, as are the many other Bonsai gardens (most within easy walking distance from each other). From: Les Dowdell les.dowdell@AGRIC.GOV.AB.CA

I was at the Tokyo train station "foreigner" information booth, and they had several brochures from different Bonsai museums around Tokyo. I randomly chose the Takagi, but several Japanese friends said that it was one of the best. Here's how to get there: Ride the JR Chuo line (yellow) to Ichigaya station. It's about halfway between Shinjuku and Tokyo stations. At the Ichigaya station, leave by the north exit. Walk straight north (the street will angle to the northeast). About 100 feet north and a little to the west from the station exit, you will see the Takagi Bonsai Museum. From: Steve Hobbs shobbs@pond.net

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