Kinashi & Kokubunji Districts

We visited the pine and Bonsai producers in the districts of Kinashi and Kokobunji over the two afternoons while we were in Takamatsu, with there being approximately 60 pines & Bonsai farms or producers within the two districts!  We have been growing Japanese pines from seed since 2018, of which we later set up and run Wakai Tree Ltd, wakai meaning young in Japanese, so Young Trees. For more information about our business please visit our website, So, we were keen to visit this area for this reason. 

To get there it’s only a short train journey on the Yosan line of around 8 minutes on the local train from Takamatsu station, both the districts can be reach from the one train line and are relatively close to each other. Taking advantage of our JR passes we could just get-on and off any train on this line as they run frequently. It was obvious this was a pine farming area, as we looked out of the train window there were so many areas and fields with Niwaki tree and Bonsai trees growing happily everywhere!

Pine Fields 001

Anyways, we decided to enter slowing walk in and a lady came out to greet us…so we put into practice out Japanese, and managed to say out greetings, where we were from and ask if it was ok to look around, etc. Having been learning Japanese (well trying!) for many years now it was the perfect time to put it into practice. We had anticipated this scenario, so had brushed up on Japanese words and sentences around information and questions about us growing pines and them growing pines, etc. However, it turned out the lady could speak a small amount of English, so between us we managed to have a relatively good conversation regarding pines and Bonsai. She was keen to speak English just as much as we were keen to speak Japanese! Which often happens we find! We were trying to practice some Japanese whoever we were speaking replies in English, making the conversation quite strange!

She said to us, we were the first English speaking people she had spoken to and visited their farm in three years, due to covid. I asked her if she worked here, she said yes and her husband owns the business and he was the fifth generation being handed down, amazing! 

Nakanishi Chishoen Bonsai Producer 001

Nakanishi Chishoen Bonsai Producer 002

Nakanishi Chishoen Bonsai Producer

We continued to walk around the many farms and producers, walking into their premises and asking permission to look around and take photos, everyone was so polite and friendly. One of our final farms we looked around was one of the most impressive, several of the other producers had pointed us this way to Kandaka Shojuen Bonsai producer. At the entrance to the farm was a huge Bonsai pine named Dohyo-iri and it acted as a guidepost to the farm/garden.

Nakanishi Chishoen Bonsai Producer 006

Kandaka Shojuen Bonsai 001

Kandaka Shojuen Bonsai 015

It’s said the history of Takamatsu Bonsai dates back to the Bunka era (1804-1818), during the Edo Period (1603-1868) it was thought it begun with people transplanting trees that were naturally growing nearby into pots and then selling them. 

Kandaka Shojuen Bonsai 012

Kandaka Shojuen Bonsai 007

Kandaka Shojuen Bonsai 003

Today, Takamatsu Bonsai are globally renowned, and buyers visit from Europe, Asia and around the world. 

Kandaka Shojuen Bonsai 014

Bonsai Pine Farms 002

Bonsai Pine Farms 006

Bonsai Pine Farms 008

Nakanishi Chishoen Bonsai Producer 008

Nakanishi Chishoen Bonsai Producer 013

Nakanishi Chishoen Bonsai Producer 015
Pine Fields 002

On leaving the small train station there was a large sign board with a map of the Pine and Bonsai farm locations which was a great help, so a quick photo of the map and we were off! Walking along the streets there were loads of fields full of Bonsai trees in rows, which was amazing to see. It was only about 5 minutes before we came across the first Bonsai pine producer, as we could see absolutely ‘thousands’ of trees on display on benches in various sizes, which was Nakanishi Chishoen Bonsai producer. There wasn’t anyone around, so we were a little apprehensive regarding just walking in. Also, with this not being a main tourist area not too many people seemed to speak English. 

Sign Board Map
300 Year Old Tree

As we walked around, we asked her how old the trees were pointing to particular trees of which she replied 300 years, 200 years, etc... Wow! We asked her the age of the trees around the size we have grown ours too, we were pleasantly surprised on her answers, as it meant we were fairly on par…so it was reassuring our growing techniques are working! We both enjoyed our small conversations we manged to discuss in the two languages, and hopefully we will return to this farm to continue our conversations! 

Nakanishi Chishoen Bonsai Producer 010
Nakanishi Chishoen Bonsai Producer - US
Nakanishi Chishoen Bonsai Producer 006
Dohyo-iri Pine Tree

The owner, which we later found out was called Kandaka Keiji san is the fourth generation producer of the farm! He like all the others was really friendly and was happy for us to just wonder around. There were loads of long benches and walking around we were both in awe of the fabulous trees on display from all sizes, including lots of developing trees, which is where our interest is. There were certainly some very stunning trees proudly on display! Our pictures will hopefully speak for themselves and do the rest of the talking!

Kandaka Shojuen Bonsai 017
Kandaka Shojuen Bonsai 010
Kandaka Shojuen Bonsai 013
Kandaka Shojuen Bonsai 011
Kandaka Shojuen Bonsai 004

Takamatsu is perfectly situated for growing pine trees with the right climate all year around. Grafting and pruning techniques derived from the cultivation of fruit trees were incorporated, and so Takamatsu grew into Japan’s top Bonsai production areas….a bit like Niigata is for Nishikigoi! 


After a super day, we retraced our steps back to Takamatsu station, a quick freshen up and back out to look for somewhere to have a nice meal…of which we found, and it was very nice! Like most of this trip, but especially here in Takamatsu we didn’t see any westerners…so when we walked into the restaurant the lady on the counter seemed surprised but also happy to see us! 

Bonsai Pine Farms 005

This particular day including Ritsurin Koen, we had walked a total of just over 12.5 miles!

Bonsai Pine Farms 001

Please find our other Kyoto articles in the 'Takamatsu' section of the website.

Bonsai Pine Farms 007
Nakanishi Chishoen Bonsai Producer 004
Nakanishi Chishoen Bonsai Producer 012
Nakanishi Chishoen Bonsai Producer 014
Kandaka Shojuen Bonsai 017