Autumn 2023 Japan Bonsai Exploration- Part 8

World Heritage Kiyomizu Temple Bonsai Suiseki Exhibition, November 24-27, 2023 Kyoto, Japan.

Sponsored by Chinese Council General of Osaka, commemorating the 45th Anniversary of the signing of the peace treaty and friendship of China and Japan.

This special exhibit of bonsai and suiseki was organized and paid for by Kunio Kobayashi, (Shunka-en Bonsai Museum- Tokyo) took eight months of careful planning. Mr. Kobayashi brought six truckloads of bonsai and suiseki from his garden in Tokyo, plus a few client trees and a truckload of bonsai tables and folding screens. He brought a team of 12 apprentices to transport, set up, guard, load up and return everything back to Tokyo. Set up was required between 11pm and 4am. Mr. Kobayashi presented a demonstration at the opening ceremony and also free classes to the public conducted by his son-in-law, Minoru Akiyama.

It was very generous of Mr. Kobayashi to donate his time, funds and talents to help spread his passion and love of bonsai and suiseki to the world.

One of Mr. Kobayashi’s masterpiece Sargents Juniper was prominently featured at the opening ceremony in a special exhibit area and is valued at US $1,000,000. It has been estimated to be “approximately” 800 years old, and Mr. Kobayashi did not start it from seed…..

Autumn 2023 Beauty at the International Bonsai Arboretum- Part 2

In Part 1 of the Autumn 2023 Beauty blog I shared photos of my garden and bonsai as of October 25th. Part 2 has now been completed. I was waiting for two dozen bonsai which have not yet completed their autumn transformation to colorful foliage. 

On Monday my Senior Crew cleaned and moved most of the bonsai into the overwintering building (garage). It’s kind of full now and we still have many more to add. Each deciduous bonsai had all the leaves removed, then using a leaf blower, the surface was cleaned of leaves and old organic fertilizer balls. Moss growing up the trunks was carefully removed too. All the bonsai were carefully placed so they look good, kind of like a small bonsai display. Many will be moved, again, when the remaining bonsai are brought inside.

There are still a few bonsai not yet ready to photograph. After the bonsai were protected, the “bonsai in waiting” were brought to the front od the garden, for easier watering. Each tree was placed on a turntable and is turned daily for even coloring. It happens sometimes overnight, so they must be carefully watched and photographed at their peak beauty.

There are still a couple of Japanese maples and Dwarf contorted Bradford pears which have not yet completed their color change. There are two of these bonsai, sitting next to each other, one is turning red, the other yellow. As these remaining bonsai change color they will be photographed my one of my assistants, Alan Adair. Then they will be cleaned and he will have to put them away finding space. I’m leaving for Japan in a few hours so it’s up to Alan to carefully position each tree so it looks good, like an indoor exhibit. He knows me well and knows I’ll move most of them around when I return home.

All of the photos in Part 2 of this blog are different to show the wide range of beauty we are enjoying. Perhaps I’ll have a few more to share in a few weeks. Enjoy the beauty of autumn, it doe not last that long before the winter snows arrive…

Join Us For a Small Tour To Visit The the Best Of The Japanese Bonsai World

Join Us For a Small Tour To Visit The the Best Of The Japanese Bonsai World

Join Kora Dalager and me to visit the Bonsai World of Japan, featuring the Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition, Nippon Suiseki Exhibition, as well as the finest bonsai gardens in Omiya and Tokyo. Additionally, we will be taking the bullet train around Mt. Fuji to visit Tokoname, where some of the finest bonsai containers are produced. We can purchase containers directly from the ceramic artists at an excellent discount. But the containers must be hand carried home.

There are many highlights to this special tour. First is attending both Part 1 and Part 2 displaying some of the finest bonsai in the world. All together including the shohin bonsai you can see approximately 500 trees.

One of the best parts of the Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition is the sales area in the nearby Ueno Green Club. This is the headquarters for the Japan Bonsai Cooperative which is used for a giant sales area, plus auctions and exhibitions. There are complimentary shuttle busses running all day long from the exhibition held at the the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and sales area.

Private visits to Masahiko Kimura’s garden as well as Kunio Kobayashi’s Shunka-en Bonsai Museum. In the famous Omiya Bonsai Village visits will be made at all the finest bonsai gardens where their private bonsai collections are often on display. See where these artists work their magic creating distinctive bonsai. 

Also, the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, which we will visit is directly across the street will host lunch for us.

Between Parts 1 and Part 2 of the Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition is closed and every bonsai is changed. Both parts will be attended. We will visit Tokoname, a famous production area for high quality containers, where you will have the opportunity to purchase directly from the ceramic artists at a great discount.

Additionally, we will have the opportunity to see the Nippon Suiseki Exhibition which is in the same building as the bonsai exhibition.

Kora, an experienced travel agent and bonsai artist as well, will be joining me for this exciting tour. Kora and I have organized and conducted bonsai tours to Japan for over 25 years. We are well experienced with the Bonsai World of Japan. Hundreds of people have joined us from the US, Canada, Australia, England, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and more. Please join us for an exciting bonsai tour! You will NOT be disappointed!