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“Top 10: Best Free Things to Do in Tokyo”
Do you know BONSAI ?
Bonsai – which literally means “plant in a tray” – is a form of art using trees grown in containers. Since these trees are alive, bonsai is frequently called “living art” or “art of microcosm”. Bonsai artists are required to have botanical knowledge as well as artistic sense. Now this unique art is widely known and there are lots of great artists all over the world. In Japan, it was once considered as “a hobby for grandpas” with plenty of time and money, but now is being reevaluated and getting attention from the younger generations as one of the coolest arts.
The neighborhood called “Bonsai Village” in Omiya, is a must see for not only bonsai lovers but also those who are interested in Japanese culture. It takes less than an hour from Tokyo station by train to get there. “Bonsai Village” is not a name of any touristic facility but the area with over 90 years of history, where top-notch bonsai nurseries exist. A group of professional bonsai gardeners from Tokyo immigrated here after the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923, in search of the ideal land for making bonsai. Here, you can visit these bonsai nurseries as well as the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum which was established in 2010 to introduce the history and culture of bonsai with a collection of the most authentic and precious bonsai pieces that you can’t find anywhere else.
The world of bonsai is profound, but at the same time, it’s for everyone. Actually, here in Omiya, the elementary school students in this area grow bonsai of their own. All you need to know is some basic manners and tips to enjoy bonsai. It’s also fun to buy a small ceramic plant from some of the nurseries, bring it back to your country and start making a small bonsai of your own using local plants in your backyard.
Art, nature, history, interior, philosophy, zen… if you are interested in any of these keywords, you will like bonsai! To see is to believe. Why don’t you come over to Bonsai village? Check out my Hikawa Shrine & Omiya Bonsai Village Tour now!
*This post is also uploaded on TripleLights Blog.