Tag Archives: saitama

Junihitoe (special kimono) experience around Tokyo

I wrote about junihitoe (special kimono) experience on my another website. Send me a message if you are interested in trying this.


Last week, I experienced wearing special kimonos. One is called junihitoe (十二単), multi-layered kimono for court ladies – this is still worn by imperial families on special occasions like their wedding ceremonies. Another one is Kariginu (狩衣), informal clothes worn by nobles when they went hunting in the old time.

Unlike normal kimonos, it is not really easy to have an opportunity to wear these clothes. This time, I had the luck to know a lady who mastered “emon-do (衣紋道)”, special dressing skills and manners to help someone wear this kimono, and she kindly invited me to experience this.

Not only just wearing these kimonos, I could learn how the nobles in the old  time behaved. For example, court ladies in junihitoe could not show their faces, ears and hands in front of people. They used a big fan to cover the face.


Men could show their faces, but instead they had to cover…

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Bonsai Village

If you want to take a side trip to the suburbs of Tokyo, Bonsai village is definitely one of the most worthy places to visit.

Omiya Bonsai village, celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, is located in Saitama Prefecture. It takes less than an hour to get there from the major stations in Tokyo like Shinjuku and Ueno.

This town was created by a group of professional bonsai gardeners immigrated from Tokyo after the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923. Now with 6 bonsai gardens and 1 bonsai museum, it attracts bonsai fans from all over the world. The 8th World Bonsai Convention will be held here in 2017.

You can find the most authentic and historical bonsai trees in this area.

For the first-time visitors, it is easy to start from Bonsai Art Museum. This museum explains the basics of bonsai and exhibits the trees more than 100 years old.  It’s very unique in dealing with the living creatures as art. You can find something new and different every time.

Enjoying bonsai art is playing with imagination. Stand in front of the trees, imagine you are a small creature, and look up the trees… what can you see?




Around the art museum, there scattered historical bonsai-en (bonsai garden). Bonsai-en is privately owned by a professional bonsai gardener growing and maintaining bonsai trees. The gardens are open to the public and you can buy bonsai trees if you like.

Here are some etiquette tips in the gardens:

  • Enjoy them in a quiet manner, not making a big noise.
  • Don’t take pictures. (Photos are permitted only in a particular area of Bonsai Art Museum.)
  • Don’t touch bonsai trees.

You can find more details from the below link.

Omiya Bonsai