PLAN YOUR VISIT

HOURS

Tuesday – Sunday10am – 4pm
MondayClosed
3rd Thursdays, March to September10am – 7pm

 

PLEASE BE ADVISED: The Museum will be closed for a special event on Sunday, September 15, 2019.

HOLIDAY CLOSURES: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day

During extreme, inclement weather events (such as high-winds, subfreezing temperatures, snow, etc.) we occasionally need to close the Museum. Please be sure to check our homepage for closure announcements before visiting. Closures will also be posted to our social media; follow @pacificbonsaimuseum on Instagram and Facebook for up-to-date information.

DIRECTIONS

We recommend using a GPS-enabled phone or other device to navigate to the Museum. You can use Google Maps for directions.

 

Driving from the North

  • Take I5 South to Exit 143
  • Turn left on to S 320th Street (0.5 mi)
  • Right onto Weyerhaeuser Way (1.0 mi)
  • At the traffic circle take the second exit (0.1 mi)
  • Turn right onto Weyerhaeuser Road (0.7 mi)
  • The Museum will be on your left and parking is on your right in the West Parking Lot.

Driving from the South

  • Take I5 North to Exit 143
  • Turn right on to S 320th Street (0.3 mi)
  • Right onto Weyerhaeuser Way (1.0 mi)
  • At the traffic circle take the second exit (0.1 mi)
  • Turn right onto Weyerhaeuser Road (0.7 mi)
  • The Museum will be on your left and parking is on your right in the West Parking Lot.
Map of Pacific Bonsai Museum

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

From the Seattle or Tacoma area, make your way to the Federal Way Transit Center. Depending on connections on your travel day, from the Transit Center either transfer to the 501 Bus to 20th St E, the 402 Bus to 336th & Pacific Hwy, or call a rideshare car. From SeaTac Airport, Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail to Tukwila Station connecting to a bus to Federal Way may be a better option for you.  Use Sound Transit’s Trip Planner to find your best route: https://www.soundtransit.org/.

General Information

  • We offer admission by donation. A ‘Donation Station’ is available at the end of the exhibit.
  • Parking is located across the street. Look for the sign for ‘Garden Parking‘ near the West Gate Entry.
  • There is a passenger drop-off area at the Museum entrance and two handicap parking spaces.
  • The Museum is ADA, walker, and wheelchair accessible. We regret that we do not have a walker or wheelchair available to borrow.
  • We are an outdoor museum. The relatively flat walkways are comprised of fine gravel.
  • There is an extensive trail network on campus. Be aware that these trails traverse private property. The campus owner, Industrial Reality Group, is leaving the land open for public use and tenants of Woodbridge Corporate Park. Download a trail map here.

MUSEUM GUIDELINES

  • Please do not touch the bonsai.
  • Food is not allowed in the Museum exhibit area.
  • Pets are not allowed in the Museum; service animals supporting people with disabilities are permitted.
  • Please be courteous of our grounds. The facility is raked daily to ensure a serene environment for our visitors and to create safe walkways. Please help us respect the rake.
  • Personal photography is encouraged. The use of tripods requires permission from the Museum office.
  • Commercial photography must be scheduled in advance and may incur a fee. Please contact us at 253.353.7345 or info@pacificbonsaimuseum.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to visit Pacific Bonsai Museum?
We are happy to offer access to ALL with admission by donation. There is a donation station at the end of the exhibit area for visitors who are able to make a contribution towards the care of the collection.

What do the dates on the bonsai signs mean?
When you view our exhibit, you will notice two dates on our tree signs: ‘Date of Origin’ and ‘In training since.’ The Date of Origin is an estimate, based on known information from the original artist or collector, of the birth date of that tree, i.e. when it started growing from seed. The In training since date is the year that the tree was first put into a container and began being cultivated as a bonsai.

Which is the oldest tree in the collection?
The bonsai in our collection with the oldest estimated Date of Origin is a Korean Yew (Taxus cuspidata) that has an estimated birth year of 1500 and has been a bonsai since 1986. The bonsai in our collection with the oldest In training since date is the Museum’s signature “Domoto Maple,” named after the Japanese American nurseryman, Kanetaro Domoto, who cared for the tree after it was imported as a bonsai to America from Japan in 1913. Preliminary research indicates that the Domoto Maple is one of the oldest bonsai in America.

Where can I buy a bonsai tree?
Locally, we suggest Bonsai Northwest or Asia Pacific Gardening. If you are out of the local area, check with your local bonsai club to find out which sources other practitioners recommend.

Where can I learn more about practicing the art of bonsai?
We suggest reviewing links on our ‘Resources’ page to learn more about the art of bonsai.

Do you offer classes?
We do offer a Bonsai Basics Class suitable for beginners. Check our Events Calendar to find out when those are offered.

Where do the bonsai in the collection come from?
A large part of our collection was amassed in 1989 (when the collection was founded by the Weyerhaeuser Company) by an Acquisition Team who selected bonsai to represent countries of the Pacific Rim. Over the years, bonsai of the highest caliber have been donated and accessioned into the Museum’s collection. A few bonsai have been commissioned for the collection and a few exceptional others have been purchased by the Museum with the help of generous donors.

Who takes care of the Bonsai? Do the original artists come and maintain their bonsai?
When bonsai are donated to or acquired by the Museum, they become, according to practiced tradition, works under the artistic direction of the Museum’s Curator. Tradition also dictates that the original artist’s vision is respected and carried forward unless there is a sound reason to change that direction, or the health of the tree demands it. Once they become part of the collection or are accepted on long-term loan, bonsai are cared for by the Museum Curators and garden staff.

How often do the garden staff water the trees?
In the summertime, when bonsai are thirstiest, they are regularly watered up to three times a day. At other times of year, it varies by tree species, by container size, and by microclimate in the Museum. The garden staff are closely monitoring for drying, as under- or over- watering is the biggest contributor to determining future tree health.

How often are trees rotated through the display? If I revisit at a later date, will I see different bonsai on view?
Depending on the focus of our annual exhibits, and/or various stages of trees development, or if a particular tree is flowering or doing something particularly interesting, some bonsai are taken on- or off-view for a period of time. The amount of time varies by tree. If you visit two or more times a year, such as in the spring and winter, it is highly likely you will see different bonsai on view.

Do the bonsai remain outside all year-round?
Yes, all the bonsai in our outdoor display area (i.e. all except the tropical species in our Conservatory) stay outside all year long, all day and night. In the winter, we erect enclosures around the trees (like mini-greenhouses) to protect them from extreme temperatures. If temperatures drop below 32 degrees F, we put a small heater in the enclosure and put a ‘front’ on it. During those rare times, the collection is off-view.

What kind of tree/plant is ‘bonsai-able’?
Any woody plant is a candidate for bonsai, though ones with smaller leaves/needles tend to be the most ‘convincing.’