Bonsai Is Big in Kinashi

If you've long admired the art of bonsai -- the crafting of miniature pines and other trees through skillful manipulation -- you might wish to take a stroll through Kinashi, a western suburb of Takamatsu. With more than 80 nurseries, half of them cultivating bonsai, Kinashi has been a center of bonsai since the Edo Period and remains the largest bonsai-growing region in Japan. To reach it, take a local JR train from Takamatsu Station two stations to Kinashi, walk north a few minutes, and then turn right into Bonsai Street. One of the largest nurseries, Nakanishi Chinshouen (tel. 087/882-0526;, across the street from the station, is owned by a fifth-generation bonsai cultivator; some of the larger pines here were started by his ancestors. You're welcome to walk through this and other nearby nurseries. This is the only place I've ever seen bonsai groves, with hundreds of tiny pine trees planted in rows. On the 5th, 15th, and 20th of each month from 9am to 5pm, there's a Bonsai Auction on Bonsai Street, where serious bidding takes place.

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