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.