Art of Bonsai
Meet your tour guide at your hotel and head straight to Shinjuku station for your 30 minute train to Saitama. From here you will visit the spectacular Omiya Bonsai Village where you will learn all about the ancient and intricate art of Japanese bonsai. In Omiya, multiple bonsai nurseries and a superb bonsai art museum are situated along the district's peaceful paths. Opened in 2010, The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum is the worlds first publicly run museum dedicated to bonsai art. It boasts a collection of more than 100 bonsai masterpieces and bonsai-related artefacts such as bonsai pots, miniature landscape stones called suiseki, books and woodblock prints, etc. Selected in accordance with the four seasons, about 50 pots of bonsai are always displayed in the garden and some in the gallery. Wrap up your trip with a visit to Hikawa Shrine, which is roughly 15 minutes walk from Kita Omiya Station. This shrine was favoured by the Meiji Emperor and therefore became one of the most important shrines in Kanto. It is reported to date all the way back to 473 BC, so it has quite a history. The approach to Hikawa Shrine is along a tree-lined path that runs in the middle of a street through Omiya. You will pass under three large torii gates before entering the shrine of Susanoo, the God of the sea and storms.
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