Monday, October 15, 2012

Shosei-en (bonsai nursery), Kyoto

Shosei-en was second of the two bonsai nurseries I visited in Kyoto. It should not be confused with the Shosei-en garden located in the vicinity of Kyoto Station. The nursery is tucked in a residential area and a bit tricky to find. However, it is only a ten minute walk from Misasagi Station (Tozai Line) and if you walked longer than that, you are probably lost. The entrance to the nursery is fairly nondescript with the exception of a small name board (image below left). Once you walk up to the gate at the end of a long driveway you can see the shelves with bonsai (image below right). At the time of my visit the nursery was minded by an elderly lady who I thick was one of the owners. My Japanese allowed me to have only a rudimentary conversation with her, so I just had a stroll around the nursery and took some photos.

Unlike Koju-en, Shosei-en is larger and specialises in medium to large trees. It did have few shohin bonsai however. Both coniferous and broadleaved trees were equally well represented (images below).

Among conifers pines were the most prominent trees and images below may give you an idea of their quality.

Conifers other than pines dotted the shelves of the nursery. Images below show Cryptomeria, Podocarpus and junipers.

Broadleaved trees were dominated by Japanese and Trident Maples. I couldn’t see the branch structure of the trees very well because they were in full leaf, but many of them had nice proportions and some featured fantastic surface roots (see images below).

Finally, few images of shohin trees are shown below. I thought some of them were quite good.

The choice of bonsai pots at Shosei-en was somewhat limited, but overall I had a good time there.

For posts about bonsai gardens I visited in China see these:
Tiger Hill Penjing Garden, Suzhou:
Penjing Garden at Shanghai Botanic Gardens:
Penjing Garden at the Humble Administrator’s Garden, Suzhou:


Anonymous said...

A great Bonsai Nursery with very knowledgable father and son bonsai Pros.
Tom Eberhardt

Anonymous said...

I was just in Kyoto and made a big effort to find this place with no luck... missed out

Kigawa said...

It is exactly where Google Maps show it to be, but I also had a hard time finding it. You could catch a train to Misasagi train station and then get a taxi. Just make sure the driver is not taking you to the much more famous Shosei-en garden near Kyoto Station!