Shunkaen Bonsai Museum – 春花園 BONSAI 美術館

Tokyo, March東京 3月

One afternoon Oosaki and I went to Shunkaen Bonsai Museum. The museum is a masterpiece made by the master himself: Kunio Kobayashi, who has lectured in several countries, received many awards and still one can find the humble man in his nursery teaching his apprentices. The museum building is ‘Sukiya-zukuri‘, a traditional Japanese style wooden house with tatami mats and shoji screens. The large windows open to the spectacular yard full of items visitors can admire: the carp pond, full blooming cherry tree, and of course the magnificent bonsai pots. The museum presents over 1000 bonsai trees on its premises.


The art of bonsai is fascinating: creating a microcosm which so perfectly imitates the nature. It’s miraculous how this tiny tree can resemble an actual full-grown, ancient tree trunk standing on the green hilltop. It takes years of practise to master this extraordinary art form, Kobayashi-sensei has spent over forty years among the trees. The word bonsai literally means the tree planted in a shallow container. It’s something much more than just small-scale gardening; it’s a captivating mixture of horticulture, craftsmanship, design and discipline with a spiritual twist.


We had a sufficient guide who walked us through the large building while introducing the individual pieces. After the tour we drank tea with the friendly master and purchased books which Kobayashi-sensei signed for us. He showed pictures from his lecture tour in Sweden and gave me a gift: bonsai magazines and a ticket to the museum. The nursery was an excellent place to visit, and we had the whole garden to ourselves.


The entrance
The nursery
The master Kunio Kobayashi signed my book

Shunkaen Bonsai Museum

 1-29-16, Niihori, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo, 132-0001, Japan

春花園 BONSAI 美術館

〒132-0001 東京都江戸川区新堀1丁目29−16


Tokyo – 東京

Tokyo, July東京, 7月

From Aomori I headed to Tokyo; I wanted to spend some time with my friends Yoko and Takayuki Yamasaki before returning to Finland. This time finding the hotel on my own was impossible. After a desperate search on foot I was about to give up and take a taxi when my savior appeared; a barefooted man with a helmet on his head, pushing a shopping cart already full with stuff. He loaded my belongings to his chart and escorted me via Koban Box to my hotel. After exchanging our addresses, he asked me to marry him, gave me his umbrella and disappeared to the city.


At the first evening the Yamasaki couple took me to dinner at Italian restaurant, and the next morning Takayuki and I went to Shimokitazawa. Shimokita is a bohemian area, which is well-known for its vintage boutiques and second-hand shops. It’s the perfect place to wander around and enjoy some coffee of lunch. We ate at Magic Spice, which specializes in curry soups famous in Hokkaido. The restaurant was bright red, decorated heavily and had its own exotic vibe. Their Hindushock gift shop is full of colourful clothes, chandeliers, spices and incenses.

東京で最初の夜は、山崎さんとイタリアンレストランに行き、翌朝にはタカユキさんと私は下北沢へ向かいました。下北沢は型にはまらない雰囲気の街で、ビンテージや小さな専門店、古着屋などで知られているエリアです。コーヒーやランチを楽しみながら探索するのにはぴったりな待ちです。私たちはMagic Spiceという、北海道名物のスープカレーにこだわったお店でランチをしました。レストランは明るい赤で塗られていて、店内は異国情緒溢れる雰囲気がただよっていました。ここに翻訳を入れる。

The next morning I started from Yoyogi Park, which is one of my favourite parks in the city. Over the years I had created a routine to take a picture of a specific place in the park every time when I’m in Tokyo. When that was done, I walked to Harajuku to check their second-hand shops before meeting Takayuki. He had planned another interesting day for me; first we visited a Christian Yogen Cafe and then his friend, a clairvoyant. This was my first time to meet a fortune teller, because they are not so common in Finland. Before we left the place, she gave me a home assignment; I should write about Japan, from my heart.

翌朝は、私のお気に入りの街中の公園代々木公園から度をはじめました。ここ何年か、東京の公園のいたるところで写真を撮ることが習慣になりました。それが終わると、タカユキに会う前に古着屋でも見ようと原宿へ向かいました。彼は私のために面白いプランを組んでくれていました。私たちはまずChristian Yogen Cafeに行き、その後彼は、透視者だという友人に会わせてくれました。フィンランドで占い師の存在は珍しいので、私はこのとき、生まれて初めて占い師に会いました。その日の終わり、彼女は私に、私の実体験に基づいたことで日本に関して何か書くべきだと、告げました。

My personal guide
Tuna avocado salad
That guy seems remotely familiar…
Takayuki at the Magic Spice
Yoyogi Park
Ueno Park

Magic Spice

1 Chome-40-15 Kitazawa, Setagaya City, Tokyo, 155-0031, Japan

Yogen Café

6 Chome 6−4, Akasaka, Tokyo, Minato City, 107-0052 Japan

珈琲専門店 預言 CAFE 赤坂

〒107-0052 東京都港区赤坂6丁目6−4 赤坂栄ビル


〒155-0031 東京都世田谷区北沢1丁目40−15