Satsuki azaleas are the jewels of the late spring/early summer bonsai season. The colorful blossoms in many shapes, colors and sizes as well as the interesting trunk shapes are eye candy for the discriminating bonsai enthusiast.
Because of their popularity, Satsuki azaleas are a big time bonsai industry in Japan, mostly centered around the Kanuma area, north of Tokyo near Nikko. The natural availability of Kanuma soil is the secret to producing dynamic bonsai at reasonable pricing. Satsuki azaleas thrive in Kanuma soil, which is minded in the Kanuma City area. You can see fields upon fields and greenhouses all full of Satsuki azaleas being propagated, field grown, then finished in containers ready for the Japanese as well as foreign markets.
Since Satsuki azaleas blossom in late May and early June the City of Kanuma holds an annual Kanuma. This year the Kanuma Satsuki Festival will be held from May 31 to June 9, 2014 at the Kanuma City Kaboku Center. The two acre complex includes: a permanent exhibition and sales area over a half acre alone, one and a half area auction area, and greenhouses. Additionally the complex has a garden tree sales field of seven acres, additional greenhouses, restaurant and a 66 acre wild bird forest, plus more. This is a truly unique center for Satsuki azalea bonsai production, exhibitions and sales.
This year for the first time Kora Dalager and I will be leading a special tour to Japan highlighting the Kanuma Satsuki Festival in addition to visiting Omiya Bonsai Village, the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, the private collections of Kunio Kobayashi and Masahiko Kimura and Seiji Morimae’s S-Cube, the largest bonsai garden in Japan. Additionally we will begin our exploration to Japan by visiting the Nippon Satsuki Exhibition in Ueno Park and also the colorful Toshogu Shrine famous for its colorful buildings and ancient giant Cryptomeria trees. This was the home of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
We will attend the opening of the Kanuma Satsuki Festival and have a full day to study the thousands of Satsuki bonsai, visit the sales area as well as the lovely garden areas. Photos from the 2013 Kanuma Satsuki Festival are included here.
A Private Visit To The Garden Of Shinji Suzuki
Additionally, also for the first time, we are having an optional tour to the bonsai garden of award winning bonsai artist Shinji Suzuki. The optional tour will take place the day before the Satsuki Bonsai Tour begins. Mr. Suzuki lives in Obuse, north of Nagano Japan which will a ride on the bullet train, regular trains, taxi ride as well as an additional night in our Tokyo hotel. Additional photos may be seen in this blog from my recent visit in the February archives.
Please contact Kora Dalager or me for availability of this small limited optional tour and pricing:
Join us on an exciting new tour to see, study and explore the Satsuki Azalea world in Japan as well as experience the Japanese bonsai world and culture of Nikko.