May 25-June 1, 2014

Satsuki azaleas are becoming more popular because of their colorful long lasting blossoms, easy growing and adaptability for bonsai training. Although many grow satsuki for their flowers, the shape and form are important for bonsai design.



The word satsuki means “fifth month” in the Japanese lunar calendar which denotes the season when the azaleas flower. And, some cultivars are showy for over one month. Throughout Japan there are many satsuki festivals, however the Kanuma Satsuki Festvial is among the largest and best. The satsuki flower is the symbol for the city of Kanuma, nort of Tokyo where the famous kanuma soil is mined and processed. Ideally suited for satsuki cultivation numerous nurseries have established themselves in the region because of the kanuma soil availability and climate.


The entire city of Kanuma is aglow with colorful satsuki blossoms, from specimens being trained in the fields and gardens to established masterpiece bonsai specimens. The Satsuki Kaboku Center is the hub for the Kanuma Satsuki Festival. Established some 40 years ago it features satsuki, flowers, trees, landscaping and gardening material. They even offer an export service as well.


Ueno Park in Tokyo is the home of the famous annual Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition in February. However, in late May Ueno Park is the site for the Nippon Satsuki Exhibition, held in interesting outdoor display areas surrounding the lotus pond. Prize satsuki of new cultivars as well as masterpiece specimens can be seen and studied.

Kunio Kobayashi’s Shunka-en Bonsai Museum in Tokyo will also be visited and has over ten formal display alcoves. Well known for his masterpiece satsuki bonsai, they will be featured displays among other superb masterpiece bonsai.


For over ten years Kora Dalager, a California bonsai teacher and travel agent, and I have been leading two value priced bonsai tours to Japan. In addition to hundreds of people from the United States and Canada, members of our Japan bonsai tours have joined from Australia, England, Italy, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Switzerland, Mexico and Russia. The tours are limited in number so we can easily travel in Japan, see bonsai up close and provide individual attention to our members.

This year, for the first time we are leading a special tour to visit the Kanuma Satsuki Festival and Nippon Satsuki Exhibition. In addition to visiting the major bonsai exhibitions we have private visits to many of the world’s leading bonsai artists and gardens, many of which are not open to the public.

For additional information on the Winter 2014 Japan International Bonsai Exploration Tour which will visit both parts of the Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition and Suiseki of Japan.

For additional information on this exciting Satsuki Bonsai Tour check out our website at:


Or simply e-mail Kora or me at:






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