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Japanese ‘Bonrama’ Art Turns Beautiful Bonsai into Tiny Countryside Dioramas

bonsai dioramas

Bonsai and trains, these two seemingly disparate things actually come together beautifully in small dioramas called Bonrama. In Japan, train travel is a way of life for many people, which inspired Tetsuo Kawakami, president of the Railway Diorama Studio in Kyoto, to create these tiny art pieces that marry railways with the beloved bonsai.

Recently on exhibition in Saitama Prefecture, each diorama is a piece of nostalgia for Japanese people who are connected to train travel. As the train models are vulnerable to moisture, the tiny trees are not living, but give the proper effect. Delicate cherry blossoms or vibrant foliage mimics Japan's seasons, with train tracks intertwined with nature.

The beautiful miniatures range from a large dish 11 inches in diameter with a moving train to tiny bowls you can cup in the palm of your hand. Prices range from $390 for the large platter to just $19 for one of the smaller works. Each miniature is available in limited quantity at the Omiya Takashimaya department store.

model trains japan

model trains japan

model trains japan

h/t: [SoraNews24]

All images via Takashimaya department store.

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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