The charm of Bonsai Village
Bonsai is enjoyed as an appreciation of plants grown in pots as their shapes depict expressions of nature. Enthusiasts and cultivators who knew the charm of bonsai moved to this area due to the consequences of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake in Tokyo. The forest area had nothing at the time, but the bonsai enthusiasts who noticed the good quality of the earth in the area purchased the land and created a bonsai community from scratch. It was then called Bonsai Village.
The attractions of this Bonsai Village can basically be expressed in 2 ways. First off, there is the overall atmosphere of the village created for bonsai. At the time the community was started, residents in the area owned more than 10 bonsai pots, and with the establishment of policies such as the opening of gates so that anyone could see the plants, a certain environment was thoroughly created. In addition, alongside the roads that were built at the time called The Paths of the Four Seasons of Bonsai, there are cherry, maple and other trees planted which add color to the paths such as Sakura-no-Michi and Keyaki-no-Michi.
Secondly, there are the bonsai gardens that exist in the village. The 30 gardens that had existed before the war have shrunk to just 9 at present, but beginning from Mansei-en Garden that had been the first garden to be opened in Bonsai Village, there are nothing but splendid gardens where beautiful bonsai can be appreciated. Of course, there is the viewing of the gardens, but there are also gardens which hold bonsai seminars that are recommended to people who want to delve into the art. Since the whole of Bonsai Village was created for bonsai, you can take your time to enjoy the area simply through strolling.
A bonsai festival is held annually from May 3rd to May 5th. Not limited to a bonsai exhibition, it is a huge event where bonsai and tools used for bonsai are sold. For details on the festival and information on the bonsai gardens, please check out the homepage for the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum that is built adjacent to the village. If you are making a trip specifically for bonsai, then it’s recommended that your trip coincide with the timing of the bonsai festival.