Friday 5 May 2017

Bonsai Boom

A number of exquisitively pruned bonsai trees on show in front of a house in the neighbouhood
A neighbourhood collection of carefully pruned bonsai on show
The International Bonsai Convention recently returned to Japan after 28 years: the eighth World Bonsai Convention opened last Thursday. Bonsai (盆栽)  are potted miniature trees grown in a pot or tray (=bon) and have been grown in Japan for over a thousand years. While typically a hobby associated with elderly men - the trees displayed in front of a house in my neighbourhood (right) are carefully tended to by a male retiree - in the past few years there has been something of a bonsai revival, especially among young people, women, and foreign tourists. Riding this wave, the world's first public bonsai museum, the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, opened in Saitama (about 20 minutes from Tokyo Station) in the spring of 2010. For information on trying your hand at bonsai in Tokyo see here.


Flowers blooming on the bonsai trees which were bare the previous month
The same bonsai as above pictured in late May - note the flowers blooming