Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal Winner 2022.

Japan Tours

Over the past 10 years we have organised several group tours of Japan until the Covid pandemic. We are pleased that we are now able to resume our tours to Japan starting from Spring 2024 and invite you to join us.


Our Japan Tours

We will arrange your accommodation and itinerary for the trip and guide you through some of the amazing sights, fantastic bonsai nurseries and exhibitions and introduce you to the wonderful and curious Japanese cuisine. All you will need to arrange are your flights.

Our trips are designed around you and can be tailored to suit your requirements. Prices will depend upon the duration of the trip. We recommend at least ten days although some people prefer 2 weeks. Groups will be limited to a maximum of 10 people.

  • The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Saitama.
  • Omiya Bonsai Village, Saitama.
  • Kimura Bonsai Nursery, Kimura.
  • Shunka en Bonsai Museum, Kobayashi.
  • Kokufu ten, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum.
    The biggest bonsai exhibition held in Ueno is an exhibition held every February with Ueno Green Club being open with hundreds of traders of bonsai, bonsai pots and related products. You could easily spend all day just browsing the fantastic trees and products on sale. The exhibition is held in two parts with a complete change of exhibition trees in the middle. Two days of your trip will be taken up just here. Ueno park is also home to many other horticultural attractions including an impressive Japanese Tree Paeony garden.
  • Imperial Palace Gardens, Tokyo.
  • Bonsai Potteries and Pottery village, Tokoname.
  • Nara.
    Experience the history of Nara, Boasting three UNESCO World Heritage Sites including a total of 20 individual venues, Nara is the jewel in Japan's World Heritage crown. The UNESCO sites span ancient monuments and historic pilgrimage routes. To visit these is to understand Nara's contributions to the history and culture of Japan, and its relationship to the rest of the world. Experience the wild deer who will take crackers from your hand!
  • Fuji.
    Mount Fuji is so iconic that this view really should not be missed, if we don’t stop at Fuji you will get to witness its shear vast impression from the windows of the Shinkansen as you pass by.
  • Taisho en Bonsai Garden, Fuji.
    Home of Nobuichi and Taiga Urushibata who are specialists in shohin trees. This is a fantastic garden to visit.
  • Kyoto.
    Kyoto is another destination not to be missed, with the fantastic gardens, temples and shrines. Two to three days can easily be spent exploring this area.
  • Koju en, Kyoto.
    Koju en is a short walk from Kyoto station and is a fantastic shohin bonsai nursery.
  • Takamatsu.
    Home to various bonsai nurseries with many producing field grown trees mostly Pines and Junipers but also a wide range of other species are grown.
  • Ritsurin Gardens, Takamatsu.
    A garden containing thousands of pruned and trained Niwaki Pines set in the most fantastic location.
  • Hiroshima.
  • Nagano.
  • Shuzan en.
    Meet 4th Generation of Shouzanen and Bonsai Master Chiyako Yamamoto.

Still interested?

If you are interested in joining us on one of our future tours to Japan, please contact us for more information and to register your interest.

Japan Visit; November 2022

My recent trip to Japan was as expected, an amazing trip. Alongside my business collegue Katsuko, we met with clients to show and select Niwaki trees for import in the spring of 2023. After visiting several nurseries, we arranged the shippment of a number of trees for our clients based in the UK and Europe. We then visited Shunkaen nursery and spent some time with Kunio Kobayashi San to see his fabulous bonsai museum.

The following day we travelled to Tokoname where we were given a very warm welcome from Kei Misaki and Kazuhiro Watanabe of the Ikko kiln who made us very welcome. They introduced us to many of the potters, some of whom we had met on previous trips to Japan. It was great to spend time buying pots and talking bonsai, and it's always great to chat with the potters who have some amazing skills, and some fascinating interests outside of pottery.

After a couple of days in Tokoname, we traveled to Takamatsu and the conifer nurseries this region is famed for. We meet some fantastic nursery owners who spent a lot of time showing us there growing methods and techniques. We also placed orders for new bonsai stock to arrive in early 2023.

Our trip continued on to Kyoto and the Taikan-ten a famous bonsai exhibition with many top quality trees, and displays of pots. The nursery sales area proved to be as interesting as the exhibition itself.

Heading back to Tokyo and visiting the Omiya bonsaiart museum and nurseries in Saitama.

We then to a trip north to visit Chiako Yamamoto Sensei at her nursery. We spent a couple of days with Chiako at her nursery. We also visited Tomihiko sensei; one of my teachers who spent many hours with Chiako sensei and me explaining more traditional methods of bonsai cultivation. His garden is filled with many fantastic mame and shohin trees along with some larger specimens of Pinus densiflora including a very rare form with extreamly fisured bark. This one tree was propagated by his bonsai master by grafting many years ago and only a handful of trees were propagated from the original tree. It is not known if any these or the original tree still survives in Japan so it is very possible that Tomihiko sensei's tree is the only example of this selected form to exist.

We took the oportunity to also visit Shinji Suzuki's nursery; The Taikan Bonsai Museum in Obuse. We were made extreamly welcome by his son who spent a great deal of time showing us around. This has to be possibly one of the best places to visit, with many historically import bonsai on display in a pristine environment.

Future Japan Tour Dates

  • February 2024
    including the 98th Kokufu-ten which runs from 9th-12th and 14th-17th February.*
  • October 2024
    including the Kinashi Bonsai Festival in Takamatsu.*
  • November 2024
    including the Taikan-ten in Kyoto.*
  • February 2025
    including the 98th Kokufu-ten.*
  • October 2025
    including the Kinashi Bonsai Festival in Takamatsu.*
  • November 2025
    including the Taikan-ten in Kyoto.*

* dates/trips to be confirmed.

If you are interested in joining us on one of our future tours to Japan, please contact us for more information and to register your interest.