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Thursday, 7th January 2016
In Japan Entertainment News,

Art of bonsai showcased at Saitama museum

A museum has opened in the Kita Ward of Saitama, highlighting the beauty of bonsai trees and the traditional art of creating them.

The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum houses a collection of around 120 examples of these miniature trees, all laid out for visitors to inspect.

Complete with an arbor and a trail, the museum is a pleasant place to spend a few hours examining the exhibits.

The standout tree is the Shishi-no-mai or Dance of the lion bonsai, which sits at the centre in a prime location.

This particular tree is a black pine measuring 110 centimetres tall and 170 centimetres wide and it is this width that is said to give it its name, as if it were a beast in motion.

Every visit to the museum is different, as each of the galleries and traditionally-decorated rooms surrounding the central garden features a bonsai, which are changed weekly.

Those who head up to the second floor are rewarded with panoramic views of the garden in all its glory.

Yoshiko Mori, 61, a local visitor, told The Japan News: “Observing from the ground and then from a higher vantage offers different impressions even of the same bonsai in terms of its beauty and atmosphere.”

Bonsai has been an important craft in the area since the 1920s, when the Great Kanto Earthquake saw many practitioners of the art relocate from the Sendagi district of Tokyo.

This part of the country is said to have been chosen especially for the type of soil present, which is perfect for growing bonsai trees.

Not far from the museum is a place called Bonsaicho, which translates as Bonsai town, and is still home to six magnificent bonsai gardens that date back decades.

Visitors wishing to see the museum should be aware it is closed on Thursdays.

Related news stories:
National Art Centre hosting Impressionist exhibition (23rd June 2011)
Tokyo Art Book Fair returning to the capital next month (24th June 2011)
Tokyo museum hosts Giotto di Bondone art exhibition (17th October 2008)