Art & Design
The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum
The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum is located on the edge of the Omiya Bonsai Village, near Toro station on the Utsunomiya line. At just 310 yen for an individual adult entrance fee, the museum is an amazing place for people completely new to bonsai and experts alike.
The museum is arranged logically, with the initial hall giving you a run-down of bonsai history, usage, and what aspects of the trees to admire. It also details the area’s rise to prominence as the “Bonsai Village” of Japan, and the history and significance surrounding that. A walk through this hall will give you all you need to appreciate the wealth of bonsai trees awaiting in the main garden.
As you step outside into the main garden, you’ll see rows of trees of different shapes, sizes, and species, with one detail being proudly displayed on all of their placards: the age of the tree. Bonsai trees are well known for their uniquely twisting shapes and leaf formations, which can be achieved with trimming, and even binding the trunks and branches with wire. However, the truly amazing thing about bonsai art is the ability to maintain the tree’s compact size in its pot, through replanting and trimming of the roots, over such an impressively long amount of time. Many of the trees in the garden are between 100 and 200 years old, with some being upward of 500! All of them are maintained at carefully chosen intervals by bonsai masters.
The museum will give you an appreciation of Japan’s use of space, which for many is an art form in itself. Limited space in cities only allows for small plants. Refined bonsai art can give you a compact version of a magnificently shaped tree as it would be in nature, had it been growing for decades.
2-24-3 Toro-cho, Kita Ward, Saitama, 331-0804
(March-October) 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. *Entrance closes at 4:00 p.m.
(November-February) 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. *Entrance closes at 3:30 p.m.
Thursdays (open on national holidays), New Year holidays, and during exhibition maintenance.
See the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum homepage below for more details.
-Adult ticket 310yen
-High school, college student, 65 and older 150yen
-Elementary and middle school students 100yen
-Yearly passes available
-Large group discounts available