Bonsai (盆栽, literally tray gardening) is the art of growing trees and plants, kept small by being grown in a pot and by the use of skilled pruning, formed to create an aesthetic shape and the illusion of age. The Chinese art of penjing is very similar to and is the precursor of the Japanese art of bonsai.
Similar practices exist in other cultures, including the Chinese tradition of penjing from which the art originated, and the miniature living landscapes of Vietnamese hòn non bộ. The Japanese tradition dates back over a thousand years, and has its own aesthetics and terminology.
“Bonsai” is a Japanese pronunciation of the earlier Chinese term penzai. A “bon” is a tray-like pot typically used in bonsai culture. The word bonsai is often used in English as an umbrella term for all miniature trees in containers or pots. This article focuses on bonsai as defined in the Japanese tradition.
For those who loves Bonsai I will present you two greatest shops in Kyoto, which is recomended by Professional Japanese Gardener Mr. Kanto Keisuke.
KO SO EN (Japanese site only)
Shibo Oomiya cho 196 Omiyadori Nishiki koji agaru
Nakagyoku Kyoto city
KO JU EN (English site is available)
Mr. Hiroichi Masumi (former President of All Japan Shohin Bonsai Association)
Mr.Tomohiro Masumi (Managing director of the Association)
19 Isono-cho Karahashi Minami-ku, Kyoto 601-8462
5 minutes from Kyoto Station by taxi
10 minutes from Kyoto-minami I.C. of Meishin expressway
It is located at around 800m to the west from Toji temple
but attention! there is some regulations when you bring back to your country.
Please chose carefully for your Bonsai choice.