Today the exhibition quietly opened on time, but without a ribbon cutting ceremony, which was cancelled because of Covid. The large crowd of visitors was missing as were foreigners. However, within an hour the exhibition was filled. And the vendor area many foreign customers. I’ve been doing this for several decades and have noticed foreigners head straight to the sales area first, then when they run out of money proceed to look at the trees. By early afternoon there were quite a few foreigners, even Peter Warren from England with his wife and young son Leo.
Often there are several Persimmons displayed, in addition to many Princess persimmon which were colorful and used as accessories for larger bonsai. This time, there was only one larger size but full of fruit and colorful foliage. I’m traveling with Julian Adams from Adams’ Bonsai in Lynchburg, Virginia, and author of the best-selling book, Growing Pines for Bonsai. He is particularly interested in the larger sized Persimmon because one of his specialties are Princess persimmon. Julian and I are frequent travelers to Japan together. All I need to say to Julian is let’s go back to Japan and he is ready. This trip was a bit different as we met up at our Kyoto hotel. He traveled through Dallas, Texas where his suitcase was left for a couple of days. He kept complaining that he had no clean underwear or socks. I have a suitcase filled with clean underwire (baklava all gone), but he did not take me up on my offer to borrow a pair. You will need to ask him if he went commando for a few days.
At 2pm I lead a walking tour through the exhibition in English. Approximately 25 people visitors from the United States, England, Australia and Serbia atoned and asked questions. Even several Japanese natives joined in. One more walking tour is scheduled for Saturday afternoon. On Sunday afternoon at 2pm Mr. Morimae is organizing a big charity auction benefiting Ukraine. Lots of good trees will be auctioned including award-winning bonsai from the Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition. More later on this exciting event.