Omiya Bonsai Festival

Information for the 41st annual Grand Bonsai Festival in the Omiya Bonsai Village in Saitama City.

Grand Bonsai Festival

Saitama City have scheduled the Grand Bonsai Festival to take place, as always, during Golden week. It will be on for three days from May 3rd to May 5th. Moreover, in 2024 they will have a pre-event on the night of May 2nd. This annual event in the Omiya Bonsai Village offers the opportunity to view special exhibitions. The work of world famous bonsai masters will be on display from May 3rd to 5th. The area is open to the public from 9 am to 5 pm. However, on the 5th – the last day – the festival finishes up at 4 pm.

Bonsai
Omiya Bonsai Art Museum’s entrance display changes through the seasons

The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum and the six bonsai gardens of the acclaimed Omiya bonsai village work together to demonstrate the beauty and appeal of bonsai. If you have never been to the bonsai area in Omiya, this is the perfect excuse to make your first trip. The museum and gardens are spectacular all year round, but during this festival you can see works that aren’t normally on display. There are also several workshops, exhibitions and festival stalls during the period of the fair. In addition, there is a quiz rally and this year Toro Station east exit will be illuminated at night.

Omiya Station

Omiya Grand Bonsai Festival 2023
A crowd watch a street performer at the east exit of Omiya Station, May 3rd 2023. Food trucks (kitchen cars) line the street, which is pedestrianized for the occasion.

The street running parallel to Omiya Station at the East exit is pedestrianized from 9 am to 5 pm. In previous years it was for the three days of the festival, but in 2024 it will just be on in the daytime on Friday May 3rd only. However, on Tuesday May 2nd they will hold the pre-event in this area too. There are food trucks, festival stalls and live performances, often by street performers at this site. And on the night of the 2nd they will have a “bonsai performance in collaboration with a DJ”. Intriguing!

Hikawa Shrine

There are bonsai exhibitions along the two kilometer approach to the (Musashi Ichinomiya) Hikawa shrine between May 3rd and the 5th this year. (Last year it was just the 4th and 5th). They don’t have it advertised this year, but usually there are also food trucks (kitchen cars), performances and workshops at this location too.

Omiya Park

Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine is located in Omiya Park. The nearest station to the Bonsai Village is ‘Omiyakoen‘ station, but you can also alight at Omiya Park and walk up the famous approach to Hikawa Shrine and through the park to get to the Bonsai Village. It takes about 25 minutes, but it is a very pleasant walk! It would be particularly worth doing that on the 4th and 5th when the aforementioned events are on at the shrine.

>>Independent of this festival, Omiya Kadomachi will also have a bonsai “flea market” on May 3rd in 2024, from 11 am to 5 pm. They have a mini exhibition, bonsai sales and workshops, and a green tea ‘with a bonsai view’ space! Official event page.

Omiya Bonsai Festival Information

Event: The 41st Omiya Bonsai Festival 第41回大盆栽まつり

Dates: May 3rd to May 5th annually. Pre-event on the night of May 2nd 2024.

Times: 11 am to 4 pm. From 6 pm on the 2nd.

Venue: Omiya Bonsai Village (See map below access)

Access

The Omiya Bonsai Village spreads from OmiyaKoen station to Toro Station. The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum is closest to the latter (Toro) station, while most of the nurseries are closest to Omiyakoen station.  Parking is very limited, so they ask, where possible, to come by public transport.

Official event page

Editor’s note: the Omiya Grand Bonsai Festival was on in 2022 for the first time in three years. The festival was first postponed, then ultimately cancelled in 2020. It was also cancelled in 2021. This post was temporarily off the blog between April 2020 and April 2022. Updated annually. Last update: April 22nd 2024.

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