Bonsai Tree Castles are Fantasy Worlds in Miniature

Looking like the realms of the elves in The Lord of the Rings, these incredible bonsai castles by Takanori Aiba add sculptural elements to the traditional Japanese art of bonsai to create tiny miniature worlds. Aiba crafts the little buildings, bridges and towers from copper, plastic, resin and stone clay to produce these living works of art.

Aiba’s detailed arboreal cities make the tiny cultivated trees of bonsai look even more like their full-sized counterparts. The bridges, ladders and towers twist through the branches like the most insanely complex tree house you’ve ever seen, and peering into them, you half-expect to see them swarming with tiny people.

Aiba has also produced a few sculptures that remove the trees from the equation, focusing on the sculptural aspects. See more photos at Aiba’s Flickr stream.