Omiya Bonsai Museum in Saitama Prefecture

by KASHIMA - Japan Licensed Guide
(39) Reviews

One of the Japanese traditional culture and symbol which is well known in the world is Bonsai.
The root of Bonsai is from China called Bonkei. It is said that Bonkei appeared in Tang dynasty (China: 618-907). 
Landscape painted by two dimension is Shan shui (landscape painting), Landscape created by three dimension is garden and landscape planted into tray is Bonkei. Those Bonkei was transferred to Japan at Heian era (794~1185) by China merchant.

In Kamakura era(1185 ~ 1321), Bonsai had mainly become popular among Japanese Zen priests. Because they had strong power to influence culture in Japan, Bonsai had grown up in both religious aspect and that of pure entertainment.
In Edo era (1600~1867), Bonsai had become very popular in rich common people and they had gathered high quality and rare Bonsai, potted plants and pots with high price.
In this way, Bonsai has gradually become an elegant art which can be seen by many people recently.
Even Bonsai originally was imported from China named Bonkei, current technology of Bonsai planting in Japan has been originally developed and transferred by Japanese craftsmanship skill.

I visited Omiya Bonsai museum which is one of the most famous Bonsai museum in Japan located in Saitama prefecture.
Following is the summary of my findings.
1.There are two types of Bonsai display circumstances. One is Bonsai Display in traditional Japanese Rooms called Zashiki-kazari.
During Edo era, these traditional Japanese rooms have took important roles to entertain guests as hospitality with setting Bonsai on an alcove and various items such as Suiseki-stone and incense burning sets on decorative shelves.
The other is Bonsai Display in garden called Bonsai garden. Various types of Bonsai are displayed in a garden considering the harmony between each Bonsai and the garden itself including the actual trees in background.
Omiya Bonsai Museum in Saitama Prefecture

Omiya Bonsai Museum in Saitama Prefecture

Actual Bonsai observation: Attached photos are the representative ones seen in the museum which are allowed to be photo taken.
a) This type is called Shohaku Bonsai which is conifers of pines with their growth of deep green foliage. This type of Bonsai is the most popular in Japan.
Omiya Bonsai Museum in Saitama PrefectureOmiya Bonsai Museum in Saitama Prefecture

You can see the trunk bearing up to the tree which is one of the aspect of the Bonsai view. The part of the trunk from the root base to the first branch is called “Tachi-agari”. The tree has spread up and out from the point and those growing up figure show as if a big full-size tree is actually existing here.
Omiya Bonsai Museum in Saitama PrefectureOmiya Bonsai Museum in Saitama Prefecture

You can see the branch partially die with white color through the passage of time.
This is called “Shari”. This kind of white “Shari” create beautiful contrast with green leaves.

b) This type is called “ Zoki Bonsai “ which display a variety of changes according to season progress. This tree is maple with red leaves now in November of autumn.
Omiya Bonsai Museum in Saitama PrefectureOmiya Bonsai Museum in Saitama Prefecture

You can see the root spreading on the tray ground. This spreading root show the powerful vitality of the tree with holding the soil strongly and swelled through many years. Also, the tree has spread up and out from the root and those growing up figure show as if a big full-size tree is actually existing here. Please try to look up at the tree with squatting. Then, you can see the landscape as if a big full-size tree is actually existing here.
Omiya Bonsai Museum in Saitama PrefectureOmiya Bonsai Museum in Saitama Prefecture

3. Craftsmanship skill of breeding Bonsai:
a) Watering: Primary important task of nurturing Bonsai tree is the daily work of watering. The watering need to be well controlled considering how the tree is health or weakened. The too much watering to weakened tree might cause accelerating the root rot.
Omiya Bonsai Museum in Saitama Prefecture

b) Pruning: By pruning the unnecessary and overgrown branches, the tree can be shaped well. The pruning need to be carefully executed with imaging the shape cut because if once branches is cut, the shape will never be restored.
Omiya Bonsai Museum in Saitama Prefecture

c) Wiring: Wiring is applied to create the desired shape of the branches. This is one of the craftsmanship skill well transferred from ancient period.
Omiya Bonsai Museum in Saitama Prefecture

d) Repotting: Bonsai need to be removed from the pot periodically to keep the soil well and to prevent the root be grown longer to be congested.
Omiya Bonsai Museum in Saitama Prefecture

After I observed the Bonsai, I felt very impressive of the traditional skill of them and atmosphere of nature given by these Bonsai. You will be surprised that one of famous Bonsai has grown up and survived for more than 1,000 year and others are for 400 ~ 500 years. Those ancient people had started to breed the Bonsai that has survived up to now. We people usually have a animal pet. This Bonsai seem to be a plant pet, however the life of the pet is much longer than that of human owner. If you have a chance to visit Japan as private tour, please once observe the Bonsai.

If you are interested in Bonsai sightseeing, please refer followong URL registered by me.

Bonsai tour

                                                                                                                                      By Kashima

 

Did you like my article?

You can send me a message to get a customized itinerary and quotation for an unforgettable experience. Let's explore Japan Together.

I'll be waiting for you, so please check my profile and get your trip plan now


12 Dec 2017

KASHIMA

Licensed Guide
(39) Reviews




Plan your trip to Saitama with KASHIMA

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Send a message

Recent Tour Reviews in Saitama

“ One day in Kyoto ”

Excellent
3 weeks ago Traveler: Debbie -   Tour Guide: KASHIMA

Our tour was very nice and Kashima was a wonderful guide. He was thoughtful and gave very detailed information.
read more

“ Mr. Awesome! ”

Excellent
3 weeks ago Traveler: Lisa -   Tour Guide: KASHIMA

Kashima was so very helpful. He assisted us with tickets for the bullet train and navigation from Tokyo to Kyoto. He was very knowledgable and truly amazing!
read more

“ Nikko 1 day tour ”

Very Good
3 weeks ago Traveler: Mei -   Tour Guide: KASHIMA

Thank you for the wonderful day, Kashima san.
read more

“ Knows his stuff ”

Excellent
3 weeks ago Traveler: Frank -   Tour Guide: KASHIMA

Kashima is a fantastic guide. He has a lovely and gentle personality and knows about Japan and it’s history. Highly recommended! We had a great time today and we look forward to our second day together. Thank you Kashima!
read more

“ So much knowledge ”

Excellent
1 month ago Traveler: Lindsay -   Tour Guide: KASHIMA

Our tour with Kashima was excellent. He was extremely well prepared with printed facts on so many areas of interest, and was able to inform us of a lot of background information that might otherwise have been missed. He was also very accommodating with our food requests and found a wonderful Okonumiaki resturant in Dotonbory street, a stunning area of countless food venues. I can thoroughly recom...
read more

“ Fast to come up with itinerary but not attentive enough ”

Good
1 month ago Traveler: Wee -   Tour Guide: KASHIMA

Kashima san was very fast in responding with a one-day Tokyo itinerary and adjusted it twice before we agreed and paid. Prior to the tour, I had conveyed specifically that there will be 2 persons who are about 80 years old but Kashima san had to be reminded him several times to slow down his pace. It was rather hot in the day and Kashima san could have been more attentive to the elderly folks to m...
read more

“ Tokyo attractions ”

Very Good
1 month ago Traveler: Ed -   Tour Guide: KASHIMA

Kashima, thank you for your guiding over the four days last week. We caused you some inconvenience when we forced a change of plans on you but you were able to handle the new priorities brilliantly. We wish you the very best for the future. Best regards, Trish and Ed
read more

“ Personalized & perfect tour ”

Excellent
1 month ago Traveler: Kelly -   Tour Guide: KASHIMA

Kashima was an outstanding guide who listened to what we wanted to see and then he delivered on each part! In addition to our scheduled tour Kashima delivered us to Swallow stadium to see the Giants/Swallows Baseball game, helped us purchase a unplanned third person’s ticket so that they could sit as close as possible to our pre-purchased tickets. The trip to the Sumo wrestlers training stable w...
read more

“ Kyoto day tour ”

Excellent
1 month ago Traveler: Trisha -   Tour Guide: KASHIMA

He was great informative and helpful! Would recommend
read more

“ Mt Fuji and Kyoto ”

Excellent
1 month ago Traveler: Efecan -   Tour Guide: KASHIMA

Before coming to Japan we talked with Kashima and he planned our 3 day tour meticulously accommodating all our interests and needs. During our visit he was able to modify the tour plan according to our schedule as well. He was very friendly and professional. He also made us a unique file documenting the places we visited, which was very nice. He explained the culture and history of the places and ...
read more

Related cities