Gallery: Takanori Aiba’s Amazing Bonsai Tree Castles are Miniature Livi...

Using the bonsai trees as the foundation, the dioramas are inspired by the unique shape of each tree, creating both vertical and horizontal landscapes and buildings.

Treating each tiny Bonsai as if it were a deep-rooted full-sized tree, Aiba creates incredible buildings that wind around the boughs and branches. Using copper line, epoxy putty, plastic, resin and stone clay, he fashions detailed buildings, bridges, balconies and towers. Using the bonsai trees as the foundation, the dioramas are inspired by the unique shape of each tree, creating both vertical and horizontal landscapes and buildings.

Aiba’s first few creations relied heavily on the function of the bonsai as a tree. The plants hold tree houses, and the leafy branches of the bonsai poke out of the tops and cascade to the floor. Each branch is adorned with patios, umbrellas, and tiny strings of lights, creating an incredible dwelling for a miniature Swiss Family Robinson.

Branching out, Aiba created a larger dwelling by recycling a pineapple can. The “Hawaiian Pineapple Resort” adds a fantastical theme to the everyday can while adding greenery that pokes out from the resort roof.

The treehouses evolved into towering lighthouse dioramas perched high on traditional rocks, with the delicate foliage encircling Aiba’s spiraling wooden walkways leading to the lighthouse model on top. Aiba’s architectural explorations also developed into the quirky Michelin hotel, which is a stone clay figure of the famed Michelin man. Hotel windows poke out around his body, with foliage, bonsai trees and balconies lining his abdomen and legs. Tiny Rolls Royces wait below.

The largest of the dioramas is called “Ice Cream Packages Tower.” Made from stained paper and wood, the levels cantilever unevenly on top of one another, carrying red and white ice cream shop awnings throughout the entire model.

Each of the bonsai dioramas are fitted with a beautiful custom terrarium casings, which range from simple cubes to more Victorian shapes that evoke the structure of botanical gardens. The tiny treasures are truly inspiring, and add a creative craft to the already beautiful tradition of raising bonsai trees.

+ Takanori Aiba

Via My Modern Met



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  1. Maureen Fukushima June 10, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    These are simply exquisite AND show that not only is Aiba talented with the art of Bonsai but also is fantastically creative with doing the miniature buildings.

  2. An Young February 22, 2012 at 5:37 am

    absolutely gorgeous and fantastically magical. Love it!

  3. muhaimincs February 22, 2012 at 4:09 am

    where can i buy this

  4. Bonsai Ku February 18, 2012 at 10:12 am

    I wonder what is in your mind Mr.Takanori.. really inspirative for me. salute..

  5. erikawarren February 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    I could sit there for hours, days, weeks starring into this magical lil world.. <3 <3 <3

  6. Shreddingmynotes February 15, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Absolutely brilliant design work. I’d love to see these scaled to reality. Great feature, Lori!

  7. GreenSteve February 15, 2012 at 5:56 am

    That is amazing!

  8. lefia February 14, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    These are absolutely incredible.

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