SAITAMA, Aug. 31 – The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Saitama, in Saitama Prefecture gave a workshop for inbound visitors to Japan for the first time on August 30, 2019. The workshop “Saitama International Bonsai Academy” was participated by three non-Japanese bonsai lovers from Singapore and the U.K. They enjoyed a guided tour of the museum and learned the tips for appreciating the art and its history. Then, they had the first-hand experience of trimming and replanting young Japanese black pines.
The instructor of the class was a 36-year-old bonsai professional from the U.S., Adam Jones, an owner of a bonsai export company “Tree House Bonsai” in Ami Town, Ibaraki Prefecture. At his company, he also offers lectures on bonsai in English. The Bonsai master showed the three amateurs how to trim and replant the trees so that they fit in pots of all different types and sizes perfectly.
One of the participants, Kelvin Chuai is a 47-year-old Singaporean who is now enjoying his extended stays in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The fan of bonsai is already having fun making his own bonsai with cactus, for example. “Now I know how to make them look more beautiful. I love bonsai even more. I’ve learned so much about it today,” he said happily.
The museum was opened in 2010 as the world’s first public museum specialized in bonsai. It decided to give the workshop in response to the global bonsai boom and the increase in foreign visitors to the museum. A senior staff member of the museum, Takanari Gomi, said, “the workshop will help us attract more people in the world and let them realize how beautiful bonsai and Japanese culture are.”