Sinajina, the brain child of bonsai artist Kenji Kobayashi, is hidden in Tokyo’s Jiyugaoka neighborhood.
It took me some time to find it but it was totally worth it!
The entrance to this modern shop + studio + classroom is lined with trays of young and old bonsai.
Inside, the shop is like a dream. Maples and pines and the cutest hedgehogs that grow moss on their backs… every corner fill with beautiful living bonsai.
Kobayashi opened this shop 10 years ago, after living in Portland, Oregon, where he studied with bonsai master Kawamoto Toshio. Unlike traditional bonsai which focuses on a single old tree, Kobayashi’s style is closer to “saikei” (literally, “planted landscape”) that can contain several trees and younger plants.
He uses young plants and experiments with a wider variety of pots and styles, leading to a more contemporary approach that attracts young people.