In addition to the places where bonsai are produced, these are the well known brands of pots, tools and equipment used to maintain bonsai.
Bonsai production areas
There are some areas in Japan that have produced bonsai continuously for generations. Omiya and Takamatsu are particularly well known for this.
Omiya Bonsai Village
In the Edo Period, the area around Dangozaka (current-day Sendagi in Tokyo’s Bunkyo ward) was home to many gardeners specializing in trees who created gardens in the grounds of daimyo mansions, and as the Meiji Period began, artisans started to specialize in bonsai. In the 12th year of the Taisho Period (1923), approximately half of Tokyo from the city center to the downtown area was destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake. Those involved in the bonsai industry left the ruined city searching for soil suited to raising bonsai, settling in Omiya. In the 14th year of the Taisho Period (1925), Omiya Bonsai Village was established as a self-governing community, and at its peak in around the 10th year of the Showa Period (1935) it encompassed approximately 30 bonsai gardens. Today, Omiya Bonsai Village is known not only in Japan but around the world as holy ground for bonsai masterpieces.
Kagawa Prefecture is Japan’s smallest prefecture in terms of land area. It’s well known for its udon noodles, but the Kinashi and Kokubunji areas of Takamatsu city also boast the largest production center for pine bonsai, being responsible for 80% of the pine bonsai grown in Japan. Together, the two areas are home to a chain of 60 houses belonging to bonsai producers.
Takamatsu Bonsai’s history stretches back for over 200 years, with its beginnings in the Bunka era of the Edo Period (1804-1818). It is said to have started with people transplanting self-sown trees into pots for sale. The region’s mild temperatures, low rainfall and well draining soils are ideal for raising pines, and Takamatsu pines are well known for resisting root rot and other damage.