28 years after the first convention, the 8th World Bonsai Convention will again be held in Saitama City, Japan. This location, Omiya Bonsai Village, is not only the birthplace of bonsai’s premier brand, but also the heartland of Japan’s proud bonsai tradition, and continues its work transmitting bonsai culture to the world. For this reason it is known and loved throughout Japan and the world as the “Holy Land of Bonsai”
Omiya Bonsai Village is not only an outstanding center of bonsai cultivation, but also of bonsai culture, and it works to transmit this culture to the wider world. At the heart of this mission is the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum of Saitama. At the museum you can see many different tree types and tree shapes of great artistic and educational value, and other trees which because of their historical origins and associated traditions are rightly considered to be precious masterpieces. Naturally, bonsai lovers from all over Japan and indeed from all over the world are drawn to this museum because of its superb collection of bonsai specimens. In 2015, five years after the museum first opened, the number of visitors broke through the 300,000 benchmark.
Omiya Bonsai Village hosted the very first World Bonsai Convention in 1989, so that bonsai enthusiasts and the world’s top bonsai masters could gather and display their techniques. At the first convention over 1,200 bonsai lovers from 32 different countries participated and the event was a great success. Since then the convention has been held every four years and has been hosted by America, Korea, Germany, Puerto Rico, and China.
Bonsai trees sold by Omiya Bonsai Store are all grown in the six nurseries of the Omiya Bonsai Village of Saitama Prefecture. The beginning of this village goes back to the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. Originally, a great many bonsai producers were located in the Bunkyo Ward of Tokyo, but they suffered great losses in the 1923 disaster. In the midst of urban reconstruction efforts after the earthquake, the Bunkyo Ward bonsai growers decided to move as a group to a more open area with cleaner air and fresh water.
The place they chose was Omiya. And when the bonsai growers migrated from Tokyo to Omiya in 1925, the Omiya Bonsai Village was born. During the village’s golden era there were over 30 nurseries growing bonsai here and it gained a well-deserved reputation as the number one brand of bonsai. Over 90 years later Omiya Bonsai has become a brand of which Japan can be proud.