AUTUMN 2014 JAPAN BONSAI EXPLORATION– Part 7

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Stuck in Tokyo or a visit to Shunka-en Bonsai Museum In The Rain

Because of a delayed flight I stayed overnight at a hotel near Narita Airport. Got up early, worked on the magazine, wrote a recommendation for a close friend then took off to visit Kunio Kobayashi’s Shunka-en Bonsai Museum. I just got back to the airport and had the pleasure to ride on a bus, four trains, two subways and three taxis in order to visit bonsai in the rain, and well worth the effort.

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Bonsai look different in the rain and are difficult to photograph. Yuji Yoshimura taught me that bark texture and color are best when dry to see the details. Well, I did not have a hair dyer to dry off the trees and I have loads of Mr. Kobayashi’s bonsai in the sun, so simply enjoyed the bonsai in the rain and took some photos.

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Mr. Kobayashi was showing some Taiwan bonsai collectors some of his pine bonsai and explaining how he transformed a common appearing bonsai into an award winning masterpiece. Then they went into his studio where some satsuki trimming was demonstrated. There are three Chinese short term apprentices here and Mr. Kobayashi was checking their work and also cut off a large branch.

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A while later a small group from Mexico came to visit Shunka-en Bonsai Museum. Even though Mr. Kobayashi was busy, he spent a few minutes with me and we had lunch together that Mrs. Kobayashi prepared.

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The formal museum featuring many tokonoma of different formality is always of interest to me. The trees were different than when our bonsai tour group visited last week. A Camellia and Olive bonsai were also displayed.

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Enjoy the photos of beautiful bonsai I took in the rain. This IS the last blog entry as my flight to Chicago is “still” on time. I wonder how the flight from Chicago to Rochester will be.

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Enjoy your family and friends tomorrow on Turkey Day! I still have 98 of my best bonsai to put away for the winter. I’m especially thankful for my family and crew who will help.

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