JAPAN BONSAI: The New Portal Site For Everything About Japanese Bonsai Trees

20.February.2020 | SPOT

The JAPAN BONSAI Association opened a new portal site on Friday which hosts a wealth of information with regards to Japanese bonsai trees.


The bonsai tree has traversed overseas from Japan and become an art enjoyed by people around the world. What sparked the tree’s name to become known outside of Japan was the Tokyo Olympic Committee Bonsai and Suiseki Exhibition, which was held during the run of the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. Around 350 bonsai and suiseki pieces were displayed at Hibiya Park in Tokyo where the Olympics took place. The exhibition garnered huge attention amongst foreigners, proving pivotal in introducing the art form of bonsai to the rest of the world.

Almost 50 years since that time, the Japanese word “bonsai” has entered the lexicon of languages everywhere. The World Bonsai Convention held in Saitama in 2017 saw 1,215 bonsai lovers from 40 countries, including Japan, in attendance, and the bonsai exhibition held alongside it saw over 45,000 attendees from countries around the world. The tendency for bonsai to be re-recognised as part of traditional Japanese art and culture also continues to grow.


In the run up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, JAPAN BONSAI is using the opportunity to establish “Japanese bonsai” as steadfast brand and provide a bounty of information for those interested in bonsaiーfrom amateur beginnings to professionals with their own bonsai gardens and creations.


  • Must-Visit Spots in Kagawa Prefecture in 2020: Cherry Blossoms, Dolphins, Bonsai & More

    15.March.2020 | SPOT

    Appreciation for the Seto Inland Sea in Japan is on the rise: American company Discovery named Shikoku one of its Top 10 must-visit rising locations around the world for 2020, and the city of Setouchi in Okayama has featured as a recommended travel destination in Western media. One particular location, Kagawa Prefecture, has been featured on many international travel sites as a must-visit place, including on Booking.com, Skyscanner, and REMOTE LANDS, with places such as Takamatsu, Teshima, and Shōdo Island being picked up.


    Takamatsu is known as the doorstep that brings together the many islands of Seto Inland Sea. It’s a port city with great fresh food, highly convenient for travellers wanting to visit lots of different islands, and a popular region that brings together elements of Japanese culture.


    Today, we take a look at some must-visit locations around Takamatsu, including a new facility opening, must-visit spots for spring to early summer, food, and more.


    Shikoku Aquarium – The largest aquarium in Shikoku

    Shikoku Aquarium is set to be the largest across Shikoku when it opens its doors to the public on March 20, 2020. It’s located inside Utazu Seaside Park in the town of Utazu where it will exhibit the creatures that live in Shikoku and feature the many different seaside landscapes located there. But the aquarium won’t just stop at showcasing animals, it will also be a cultural facility where you can learn about the history, culture, and natural environment of Shikoku, and there’ll be artwork perfect for the Setouchi Triennale contemporary art festival which is held around Seto Inland Sea every three years.


    Shikoku Aquarium

    Address: Utazu Rinkaikoen, 4-1 Utazu, Ayauta District, Kagawa

    Opening Hours:

    [March 20, 2020 – September 30, 2020] 9:00-18:00

    [October 1, 2020 – March 19, 2021] 10:00-18:00

    [Golden Week/Summer Break] 9:00-21:00

    No Fixed Holidays

    Price: General (16+ Years & High School Students) ¥2,200 / Children (Elementary School Students) ¥1,200 / Toddlers (3+ Years) ¥60

    Official Website: http://shikoku-aquarium.jp/


    Well-Known & Little-Known-Good Cherry Blossom Spots

    Kagawa Prefecture is home to many spots that offer beautiful sounds and sights throughout the four seasons. Cherry blossom season is right around the corner in Japan, so let’s take a look at some must-visit spots, both popular and little-known good ones.


    ■Well-Known Spots

    Ritsurin Garden (Takamatsu)

    One of the most famous historical gardens in Japan, Ritsurin Garden is home to around 320 Yoshino cherry trees, whose pink colour reflects beautifully off the lake together with the 1,000 green pine trees.


    Marugame Castle (Marugame)

    Marugame Castle is one of only 12 castle in Japan to have an original wooden tenshu, or castle tower, built. From the great height of the castle’s stone wall, which is the tallest in Japan, one can gaze down at 1,000 cherry blossom trees in bloom.

    ■Little-Known-Good Spots

    Megijima (Takamatsu)

    Around 3,000 cherry trees bloom on t he island, including Yoshino cherries, yama-zakura, and yae-zakura, which roll from the port to the lighthouse.


    Asahiyama Forest Park (Mitoyo)

    Asahiyama Forest Park is located on the peak of Mt. Asahi, up 238 meters high. There, you can witness 2,000 vibrant cherry blossom trees bloom in spring, including Yoshino cherries. The park’s observation deck is popular too, offering a 360° panoramic view.


    Experience the world of bonsai in Kagawa, the only place in Japan which produces pine bonsai trees

    Interest in bonsai trees continues to grow every year not just in Japan but overseas too. The number of people incorporating them into their lives as interior decoration is on the rise. Kagawa Prefecture is the only place in Japan which produces pine bonsai trees, the largest places being Kinashi and Kokubunji in Takamatsu. There are around 60 bonsai makers in both of these towns, so you are sure to spot some if you walk through them.


    Official Website: https://takamatsu-bonsai.com/en/


    The new Takamatsu Bonsai no Sato is also set to open on April 17, which will include an information centre providing information on bonsai culture in Takamatsu, and there will be workshops too. Whether you’re new to bonsai or a pro, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.


    Takamatsu Bonsai no Sato

    Grand Opening: April 17, 2020

    Address: 353-1 Kokubunjichō Kokubu, Takamatsu, Kagawa



    Travel to Kagawa this spring to enjoy the cherry blossoms and pay a visit to the new Shikoku Aquarium.

  • Bonsai Art Exhibition “Ateyaka Monogatari” to Take Place at Tokyu Plaza Ginza

    22.April.2018 | SPOT

    This year marks three years since Tokyu Plaza Ginza opened. Anata Monogatari is an exhibition being introduced that will take place seasonally to hold events and campaigns reflecting the world views of different artists each time.





    For the first exhibition, which will run from April 23 to May 13, bonsai master Masashi Hirao will hold an unconventional performance where he will showcase new potentials of bonsai trees. The event is titled Ateyaka Monogatari (‘Elegant Story’).



    Ateyaka is an old Japanese word that refers to something elegant, refined, graceful, and beautiful for what it is. At the event, sixteen items themed around this word will be displayed through bonsai art. The display is titled BONSAI MEET JAPAN, AGAIN.



    Masashi Hirao will draw out his unique perspective by combining fashion items with bonsai art, serving people a special time and experience at springtime Tokyu Plaza Ginza.



    Head to Tokyu Plaza Ginza for a chance to see bonsai in a new light with Ateyaka Monogatari.




    Ateyaka Monogatari

    Location: Tokyu Plaza Ginza – 3F escalator / 4F escalator / 6F escalator / 6F KIRIKO LOUNGE front entrance (after live performance on April 29)

    Running: April 23, 2018 – May 13, 2018

    Time: 11:00-21:00


    Tokyu Plaza Ginza Premium LIVE -Ateyaka-

    Location: KIRIKO LOUNGE

    Date: April 29, 2018

    Time: 16:30-19:00

    *Invitation-only. To apply, please visit the TOKYO FM page (Deadline: April 22).

    *There will be free spaces to watch the performance on the day, but entry may be limited if there is a large number of people.

    Website: http://www.tfm.co.jp/present/ateyaka/index.html


    Masashi Hirao Bonsai Workshop

    Location: KIRIKO LOUNGE

    Date: May 12, 2018

    Time: 12:00-18:00

    *Free entry, no sign-up required. First-come, first-served.

    *Limited spaces available.


  • Japanese beauty expressed in a parfait! Harajuku “Tsurukamerou’s” miniature tree pot parfait

    11.April.2018 | FOOD / SPOT

    A new style restaurant “Trusukamero” was opened in Harajuku, Tokyo where many people gather from home and abroad. They will offer a “new Japanese cuisine” that cannot be categorized as “traditional Japanese.” Here they sell Bonsai Parfait (Matcha Parfait / Berry Banana Parfait / Chocolate Parfait) which is gaining popularity throughout the world.



    Matcha parfait has many kinds of Japanese-style decorations such as taiyaki (fish-shaped red bean-paste bun) and azuki bar and it has great impact.




    “Bonsai” is an art form where you enjoy the tree along with the pot. The antique-looking blue colored pots and dishes that come with the parfait are very beautiful.



    They are also selling many kinds of Japanese dishes, so please check this URL.





    Bonsai Parfait (Matcha Parfait / Berry Banana Parfait / Chocolate Parfait)

    Price: 800 yen (tax not included)



    Address: 4-27-2, Jingumae, Shibuyaku, Tokyo

    Business hours: <weekdays> 12:00 – 16:00(L.O.15:30 )  17:30 – 23:00(L.O.22:00)

    <Saturday, Sunday and holidays> 12:00 – 23:00 (L.O.22:00)


    Access: 5 minutes on foot from Chiyoda Line “Meiji Jingumae” and 7 minutes on foot from “Harajuku Station.”



  • BonsAI Fuses Nature and Technology to Create a Bonsai Tree You Can Communicate With

    20.March.2018 | FASHION / MUSIC

    TDK Attracting Tomorrow Project was set up to develop tools and content that open the door to the future through the use of technology.


    Using the latest cutting-edge technology and manufacturing from TDK, they have developed the BonsAI (a portmanteau of ‘bonsai’ and ‘AI’), a new kind of bonsai tree that humans can interact with.



    A special website has been set up detailing the backstory behind the BonsAI, which you can talk to and even water. A concept video was also released showcasing the tree visiting a temple and talking with the monk there about life.


    Experience the new world of bonsai trees!



    TDK Attracting Tomorrow Project #2 BonsAI

    Official Video: https://youtu.be/yorTP2be1Ws

    Making-Of Video: https://youtu.be/kkmpcVdINGs