After our visit with Mr. Morimae and Negishi we drove to see Masahiko Kimura. Although I’ve visited Mr. Kimura twice yearly for over 30 years, the beauty of his trees is always refreshing. However, during this visit I noticed a great number of new bonsai. I asked him how many new bonsai he had and he said “many” In a quick count there were at least a dozen. Now, twelve new trees might not seem like a great amount, however these were giant bonsai, two and three man trees, some with trunks wider than my waist. I wondered about this and then remembered the day before I saw several Kimura masterpiece bonsai at Kobayashi’s Shunka-en Bonsai Museum in Tokyo. Upon inquiry in Tokyo, I was told all the trees in the one section were sold and will be soon shipped to China. So, I guess Mr. Kimura had to bring new bonsai from his private area behind his home to his front display area to fill empty spots.
Be on the watch for new rock plantings by Mr. Kimura
After a delicious luncheon at the Bonsai Restaurant operated by Maki and Yoshi Nakamizu we crossed the street to see the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum. During the winter season Japanese flowering apricot and deciduous bonsai are displayed in the large, open air garden. And there were no weeds anywhere. In fact it would be difficult to find any weeds in the Omiya Bonsai Village.
We first visited Mansei-en Bonsai Garden operated by Hatsuji Kato and his son Haruhiko, a fourth and fifth generation bonsai artist and dealer. The garden was packed with bonsai of all temperate species, suiseki and large size bonsai including a giant Silverberry.
We walked through the village stopping by Seiko-en Bonsai Garden and Kyuka-en Bonsai Garden on our way to the last stop of the day, Fuyo-en Bonsai Garden. Although Mr. Takeyama was not home but on his way from Tokyo, his wife and staff allowed us to take photos of the trees. The Japanese flowering apricot bonsai were nearly in full blossom and filled the air with spicy aroma. For the first time I noticed inexpensive new Chinese containers. They were not being used, but rather sat under the tables, perhaps ageing. This was a long day for our group, but we saw a lot of beautiful and distinctive bonsai.