2017 4th Zhongguo Feng Penjing Exhibition– Part 1 Shohin Bonsai



The 2017 4th Zhongguo Fen Penjing Exhibition is being held on September 28-30, 2017 at the International Garden City in Rugao, China, a long three hour bus trip from the Shanghai Airport. This is the largest penjing exhibition in China with 150,000 members. There are well over 200 exhibit areas and a countless number of individual bonsai because of the large presence of shohin bonsai.


This blog part will cover some of the shohin bonsai which rather impressed me. Larger bonsai, demonstrations and more during the next parts.






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Autumn is the time of the year pomegranates begin to ripen and I like the small fruit, especially when displayed on SMALL size bonsai. Actually, I’m working on a new pomegranate program, and exposed root style program as well, but I guess you can tell that from these photos….



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2017 Autumn Open House & Sale Report


The 2017 Autumn House & Sale was held on September 2-3, 2017 at the International Bonsai Arboretum in Rochester, New York. In addition to my garden and bonsai collection we hosted the Upstate New York Suiseki Exhibit.





Two programs on suiseki and four bonsai demonstrations were scheduled during the two day event. Despite the cool and occasional wet weather we had a good turn out and were able to welcome visitors from New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Canada, Ohio as well as China and other states. Jason Henderberg brought his drone and camera and was able to take some aerial photos as well as video clips included in this report.




The first program was presented by Les Allen from Erie, Pennsylvania, who recently returned from China where he also presented a program on American suiseki. He brought several examples from his collection to share with the audience as well as a map of the United States indicating famous collecting areas.





His teacher, Zhou Yishan from Shanghai came with Les and spoke about Chinese stone appreciation for a while. He is one of the top authorities on stones in China and has lived in Japan for many years. He recognized me from visits many years ago in Japan and we enjoyed memories.




Alan Adair, my assistant and Larch authority presented a program and demonstration on how to train Larch for bonsai. He brought several of his specimens to illustrate his training techniques and how the bonsai should be developed.







My first demonstration was held outdoors because of the large size of the Dwarf Alberta spruce bonsai. I created it 43 years ago and it needed trimming and the perspective was changed from a distant view forest to a near view forest.


Sunday began with Marc Arpag, President of the Bonsai Society of Upstate New York and suiseki leader speaking on Japanese suiseki. A large number of fine suiseki from his collection was explained and shared. At the end he took a some of the audience into the suiseki exhibit and explained fine points of stone appreciation.


Next Harvey Carapella, past president of the Bonsai Society of Upstate New York brought one of his older collected Eastern white cedar bonsai to show how strong the growth has developed. He continued to thin out the foliage then wired the bonsai. He also brought a developed Eastern white cedar bonsai he developed from another collected tree for several decades.


I concluded the two day event with a demonstration on a Colorado blue spruce which Todd Schfaler, First Branch Bonsai, in Denver, Colorado, collected several years ago. He had it well established so it was safe to prune, wire and shape into a classical bonsai form. Actually the demo began the day before when I explained what I was attempting to show and did some wiring with my assistant Alan Adair.



The second day was necessary to complete the demonstration because the tree was exceptional and I did not want to rush the shaping into a short time period. Some pretty heavy annealed copper wire was used to move the large heavy branches. Actually not too many branches were removed from the tree, most were only rearranged to fit into my classical bonsai form ideals.




After the demonstration the tree was photographed and then restudied. Its best to photograph a bonsai, ideally in black and white, to actually see how the bonsai looks. Photographs do not lie. Several branch adjustment were made and the tree was rephotographed. Two virtuals were made in Photoshop to illustrate how the bonsai will be developed during the next few years. A vintage red glazed container was used at first to emphasize the height of the bonsai. Next an unglazed modified oval Chinese was used which added balance and stability to the presented form. The bonsai will be transplanted next spring when the new growth emerges. Although both the glazed red and unglazed brown containers are suitable, my taste, today is for the unglazed modified oval. However, the final decision will be made next year.



Many of my friends and students came and helped to host the event. Some cooked and served hot dogs, some acted as guides for the suiseki exhibit as well as my personal bonsai collection. And, a few friends were on hand to direct visitors to where the bonsai and containers were for sale. Everyone had a wonderful experience to learn and to appreciate bonsai as well as suiseki.


Even one of our cats, Zeus, liked my suiseki display!

2017 5th Upstate New York Suiseki Exhibit


On September 2-3, 2017 the Upstate New York Suiseki Study Group held their 5th exhibit during the International Bonsai Arboretum Open House & Sale in Rochester, New York. The greenhouse was transformed from a working area to an unusual setting to highlight the beauty of suiseki.




A total of 39 suiseki were displayed from members in New York State and Pennsylvania. Stones originated from New York, California, China and Japan.







Members who displayed suiseki included: Ron Maggio, Harvey Carapella, Joe Moore, Les Allen, Harry Clark, Bob Blankfield, Marc Arpag, Ken Buell, Fran Mahoney, Joe Letner, Rick Marriott, Tom Friday and Wm. N. Valavanis.





A variety of suiseki forms were displayed including figure stones, landscape stones, and object stones. The stones were displayed in hand carved daiza as well as in American, Chinese, Japanese and antique ceramic and bronze water basins.







On Saturday Les Allen spoke on American suiseki and on Sunday Marc Arpag discussed Japanese suiseki. They took visitors into the suiseki exhibit and answered questions as well as discussed interesting stones.






The 6th Upstate New York Suiseki Exhibit will be held in 2019.

What’s New At The Open House & Sale?


Our 2017 Autumn House & Sale will be held this weekend, September 2-3, 2017, at the International Bonsai Arboretum in Rochester, New York.


This spring has been quite productive for creating new bonsai as well as refining classic masterpiece bonsai. Here are a few highlights visitors can see this weekend. Some of these bonsai have never been publically displayed.

Bonsai Demonstrations

My demonstration tree for Saturday and Sunday’s FREE demo is an old collected Colorado Blue Spruce. Todd Schlafer, First Branch Bonsai, in Colorado, collected it.



Before the Saturday demonstration I’m going to change the appearance and feeling of an old Dwarf Alberta Spruce forest I originally created 43 years ago.



I promise it will not snow during the Open House & Sale. However, snow has been recorded in Rochester, New York, EVERY month of the year!

Award winning demonstrators will transform and refine some beautiful bonsai, explaining their techniques and answering questions. Alan Adair will discuss the culture and care of Larch bonsai on Saturday at 11am. Harvey Carapella will demonstrate his techniques for refining an ancient Eastern White Cedar on Sunday at 11am.


Dwarf Colorado Blue Spruce

A few weeks ago Diane stopped by a nearby garden center and discovered a couple of interesting trees, a Waldbrunn Colorado Blue Spruce and a Sharps Pygmy Japanese Maple. She sent me a few photos and the next day we went together to pick up the two trees. She has a good trained eye. This cultivar of spruce is new to me and has small foliage with a bluish color.




After 6 hours of shaping

We recently displayed at the 41st Park Avenue Fest, featuring over 350 artists from across the country. We have participated in nearly 30 of the events selling indoor beginner bonsai, a few specimens and demonstrating. This is done to introduce another group of the public to bonsai, hopefully for them to register for my Introductory Bonsai Course and purchase a healthy and beautiful indoor bonsai. It works; so far we have 11 students for Saturdays and 5 for Monday evenings, plus those who register at the Open House. Good friends Rick Marriott and Alan Adair along with Diane talked to the public and sold bonsai while I demonstrated on the spruce and maple.


Although the retail price was $42.99, there was a 30% sale on so I actually only paid $30 for the tree. Not bad….
Diane really picked a winner with the Waldbrunn Colorado Blue Spruce! The trunk had excellent trunk taper and movement with plenty of branches. On Saturday I worked five hours to shape the tree, this is in addition to spending another hour finding the base of the trunk and surface roots before the festival demonstration. The wiring and shaping took so long because I had to answer questions too.

We took the new bonsai to the Mid-America Bonsai Exhibit and quite a few people wanted to buy it. Diane was offered $500 for the bonsai but refused the offer. She wants us to develop it for the 7th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition in 2020.

The Sharps Pygmy Japanese Maple also came out well, but did not take nearly the time to design, prune, wire and shape. When I finished I was mad because it would have made an excellent demonstration for my Black Scissors Live Demo Around the World on Sunday, September 10th at 2pm. I did not expect the tree to be a good demonstration tree, but it was. It’s extremely difficult to demonstrate on a deciduous species and end up with more than a skeleton or stump. This tree had plenty of branches with small foliage.

Since the maple and spruce came out quite nice we returned to the garden center to look for more. Luckily we found two more of the Waldbrunn Colorado Blue Spruce and another Sharps Pygmy Japanese Maple. I’ll use the maple as part of my live demonstration, which will be on Training Maple Bonsai on Sunday September 10th at 2pm East coast time.

My assistant Alan Adair and I transplanted the spruce into a training pot. He washed the soil surface looking for additional roots to display.

Senbazu Satsuki Azalea



A few years ago Joe Noga traveled to Japan to purchase Satsuki azalea bonsai. I was enthralled with a new cultivar, which has GREEN blossoms so purchased two young specimens. Both are growing and began to bloom in June. They are still blossoming, now in September! Come see the green flowers.


Large Scots Pine

I have a couple of very large Scots pine bonsai. One needed transplanting a few years ago, but we did not have time to repot it. A few weeks ago my Monday Senior Crew and I took an hour out of our weeding time and finally transplanted it into a large container.

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Spanish Olive


In September 2013 I was invited to an international conference on Penjing and Bonsai in China. Bonsai artists from ten countries participated in the event where I met Antoni Payeras from Spain. He talked about the fantastic small leaf olives native to Spain. He told me he was going to send me one and to simply treat it like a Bougainvillea. Some time later Diane called me while I was teaching somewhere informing me that someone sent me a dead stump from Spain. She said there were no roots and most of the trunk was dead wood. Upon return home I immediately potted the stump and put it into my cold greenhouse.

Well, it sprouted everywhere with tiny dark green leaves, unlike the commonly grown Olives seen in California. Antoni later told me that the stump was over 150 years old and it is rare to find a small old specimen with aged bark and deadwood. I simply allowed the shoots to grow and wired the long ones into horizontal positions. Of course, all the long shoots, which were removed, were rooted. The long shoots are stiff, but manageable to shape when young.

Five years later the tree began to look interesting so a few days ago I trimmed it and transplanted it into a special container that Cheryl Owens presented to me on my 40th anniversary of bonsai study, which was 14 years ago. The container was hand made by Michael Hagedorn who no longer makes containers, so it is rare. The dead wood was treated with lime sulfur to preserve the interesting and delicate dead wood.




Shohin Bonsai Fingered Citron


The Fingered Citron, also called Buddha’s Hand, Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis, is an interesting plant to grow for its unusual fruit shapes. I have tried to grow it for decades, but only about ten years ago figured out how to grow it. Flowers and fruit are generally present on the plant.

A couple of years ago three shoots looked like they would make good cuttings, so I trimmed and rooted them. One of the small cuttings was wired and to my amazement now has three fruit developing. I wonder how it will stand up when the fruit matures.



Dwarf Ezo Spruce


I’ve been growing an unusual cultivar of Dwarf ezo spruce for about 40 years. It is finally ready for a special display container. I looked in Japan several times but did not find the right container. Finally, I commissioned, Gyozan, (Yukizyou Nakano,) who is currently considered to be the top potter to make a container for the Dwarf ezo spruce. He finally completed the container and I was able to pick it up in April during my tour of the World Bonsai Convention. This bonsai has not been publically displayed in its new container.


Koto Hime Japanese Maple Forest

I’m fortunate to have created three Koto Hime Japanese maple forests. They are a large, medium and small size. The medium size forest was transplanted into a 150 year old antique Chinese container obtained at Seiji Morimae’s S-Cube Uchiku-Tei garden.



Third Anniversary Black Scissors World Wide Demonstration Tree

At the Park Avenue Festival I also had time to work on the Sharps Pygmy Japanese Maple, which also came out well, but did not take nearly the time to design, prune, wire and shape. When I finished I was mad because it would have made an excellent demonstration for my Black Scissors Live Demo Around the World on Sunday, September 10th at 2pm. There will be live demonstrations from 50 artists around the world throughout the day. I did not expect the tree to be a good demonstration tree, but it was. It’s extremely difficult to demonstrate on a deciduous species and end up with more than a skeleton or stump. This tree had plenty of branches with small foliage. We returned to the nursery and were able to find another suitable specimen. My demonstration on Maple Bonsai will be on Sunday, September 10th at 2pm East coast time.


Suiseki Exhibit

The Suiseki Study Group of Upstate New York will be having our 5th exhibit during the Open House. In addition to the stones on display there will be two suiseki lectures by Marc Arpag and Les Allen, both days at 10am.


There are many more “new” bonsai in our garden. My Monday crew has been busy weeding and cleaning up the main display area as well as the sales area and growing area. I can’t afford to pay anyone, but we can feed our friends.





Join us this Labor Day weekend. All the demonstrations and exhibits are FREE, no registration or entrance fee. However, the delicious hot dogs, chips and soft drink are $2.00. Mark is bringing his special hot sauce too. Vintage Japanese bonsai magazines as well as old copies of International BONSAI are free. I look forward to welcoming friends and sharing my bonsai.



40th Mid-America Bonsai Exhibi


The Midwest Bonsai Society held their 40th annual exhibit on August 18-20, 2017 at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, IL. Having attended, exhibited and selling all 40 of the exhibits (except for two when our home burned down seven years ago) I can say the quality of the trees is improving, especially with the professional category in my opinion. There are many more companion plantings displayed with the bonsai and this year there are many more suiseki on display.
Best of Show: Twisted trunk pomegranate by Dr. Gary Andes
First Prize in the professional division: Kahima Japanese maple by Wm. N. Valavanis
Second Prize in the professional division: Japanese black pine by Mark Fields
Kathy Shaner from California spent considerable time, all day on Friday, judging the bonsai and making comments for improvements for the exhibitors.
The many parking lots were full on Saturday, but crowds visiting the bonsai exhibit and vendors did not seem as large as in the past. There were several events going on at the same time throughout the large botanic garden.  Admission is free for the bonsai exhibit, however the Chicago Botanic Gardens charges $30 per car for parking. Larger vehicles must pay higher parking fees.
As usual the Chicago Botanic displayed several of their bonsai in two courtyards on unusual display tables with backgrounds and lighting. Curator Chris Baker is doing an excellent job maintaining and improving their large collection.
I also brought my Dwarf Brush Cherry bonsai which I displayed 40 years ago. The companion planting created in my last blog was next to the bonsai. The Chicago Botanic Garden made a nice sign to commemorate the event.
Workshops and demonstrations were also being conducted during the three day exhibit. Participating in this exhibit is one of the highlights for my year seeing long time bonsai friends and family but sadly denotes that summer is nearly over.

Creating A Companion Planting For Display

9There is more to displaying a bonsai than to clean the container and groom the foliage. I enjoy creating a distinctive and effective display with a main bonsai and companion planting. Sometimes if necessary a hanging scroll is used to denote seasonality.


I’m displaying a Dwarf Brush Cherry, Eugenia myrtifolia ‘Compacta,’ bonsai for the 40th anniversary Mid-America Bonsai Exhibit that will be held this weekend, August 18-20, 2017, at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, IL. I also displayed the same bonsai at their first show 40 years ago.

The bonsai has been groomed, moss artistically arranged and the container has been cleaned. The display table selected for the bonsai is a thick wood round from a historic 200-year-old tree in Canada. I have a taller display table for this bonsai, but don’t think it will look good in this exhibit because the sponsoring organization raises the table heights so the public can easily see the trees. I personally do not like raising the table heights and generally use taller display tables to raise the height of the bonsai.

For this composition since the companion planting is in bursting bud, it was not necessary to add a scroll. The fewer elements as possible in a formal display create a more effective and refined quiet display.

My personal taste for display avoids duplication as much as possible. Of prime importance is a difference in containers. If the main bonsai is in a symmetrical (round, square or even-sided) container, then the companion planting should be in an asymmetrical (rectangular, oval, irregular or stone slab) container. Likewise if one container is glazed, the other should be unglazed or at least of a different color.

The Dwarf Brush Cherry is growing in a handmade custom made container by Tom Dimig from South Carolina. Unfortunately he does not make container any more. The container is round and blue-green in color. The symmetrical shape was selected to draw emphasis to the long, low, sweeping character branch. The blue-green glaze was selected to contrast with the small white fuzzy flowers.


Companion plantings in a shade house

Unfortunately, due to a quite wet summer (we have only reached 90F twice this summer) all the flower have not opened, but the buds are there.



Companion plantings in a sunny location

Now that the main bonsai and display table have been selected and prepared for exhibit it’s time to select a companion planting. I generally have approximately 100 companion plants and plantings in two different areas, sunny location and in a shade house. Of course I could have easily selected an established planting I decided this morning to create one specifically for this special display.


First an appropriate container was selected and to tell the truth, more time was spent selecting the container than creating the companion planting. For my taste the container ideally should be asymmetrically shaped and unglazed, PLUS the appropriate size, not too small and not too large compared with the large size bonsai. Finally, underneath my collection of bonsai containers I discovered an oval, unglazed Japanese container, which I obtained in Tokoname, Japan, a few decades ago. The container is unusual because it is does not have smooth sides, they are irregular. Also, I prefer companion planting containers to have very short feet so they do not detract from the composition and to present a solid stable feeling.


Next I selected a golden color bamboo raft stand, which was an ideal size for the container. Generally black bamboo rafts are used, but I wanted to emphasize the summer season with the golden color.


A mixture of perennials was selected which included:

Stonecrop, Sedum, sp.

Miyazaki Toad Lily, Tricyrtis hirta ‘Miyazaki’

Burgundy Glow Ajuga, Ajuga reptans ‘Burgundy Glow’

Dwarf Mondo, Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nana’

Creeping Thyme, Thymus sp.

Selection of mosses

Often artists use plants native to the habitat of the main bonsai for a companion planting. It is not wise to use tropical species for a companion planting when displaying a tree from a temperate region.


Flowers should not be duplicated on the main bonsai and companion planting ideally. Since the Dwarf Brush Cherry has shiny dark green leaves and is in bud with a few blossoms, I decided to use primarily light-green plants for the companion planting. However, to indicate seasonality the Sedum was in bud and perhaps might blossom for the weekend. The larger three Sedums were cuttings I took from a taller companion planting earlier this summer because it grew too tall. Three cuttings were simply put in a small pot. Also, I have more Sedums in even smaller pots, some with green foliage and other with purple leaves. The Burgundy Glow Ajuga was selected to brighten the color of the composition in a couple of areas. Tall Miyazaki Toad Lilies were used in a several areas because they will soon blossom and this companion planting is destined to be used in autumn when they are in flower. Dwarf Mondo was used to add texture to the composition and the Creeping Thyme was added to hide part of the container edge.


When designing the companion planting eye movement direction is quite important. The main bonsai is leading the eye from left to right; therefore the companion planting direction should be from right to left. Combining the directions will lead the eye to the center of the bonsai display. Therefore the tallest Sedum was positioned on the right side of the container. The smaller, thinner Sedums were planted to the left of the main Sedum leaning towards the center. Also, this companion planting also looks good from the other side, so it can also be used flipped around to compliment another bonsai with a different eye movement.



When completed and photographed I noticed that the front of the companion planting seemed a bit dark, so additional smaller Burgundy Glow plants were added. Yes, I’m familiar with important negative space, but the area was too dark and a brighter green moss did not work. Generally companion plantings are full and lush, not sparse.


As this companion planting becomes established and matures the plants will slow down in grown and the foliage will reduce in size, which will make an even better addition to a bonsai display next season.

I’ll post a photo of the final exhibit of the Dwarf Brush Cherry and newly created companion planting as displayed in the 40th Mid-America Bonsai Exhibit. Come, see and enjoy the beauty of about 100 bonsai this weekend.

Did you realize this much thought and planning is necessary for the creation of an effective companion planting? Also, I had fun planning and creating the composition!

You can also see this companion planting at the upcoming 2017 Open House & Sale on September 2-3, 2017


Upcoming Events!



40th Mid-America Bonsai Exhibition

Exhibition, Programs, Workshops & Sales Areas

Chicago, Illinois

August 18-20, 2017




This is one of the largest and oldest regional shows in the United States and takes place at the Chicago Botanic Gardens in Glencoe, IL, just north of Chicago. Bonsai from many states will be displayed along with masterpieces from the Chicago Botanic Garden Bonsai Collection.


There will be 20 vendors from across the country including:

American Bonsai Society

Asian Antiques

BC Bonsai

Bonsai by Fields

Cass Bonsai

Da Su Bonsai Studios

First Branch Bonsai

Tarnows Pots

Flower Market

Golden Arrow Bonsai

Hidden Gardens

International Bonsai

Linda Lppel Studios

Meehans Miniatures

Nature’s Way Nursery

Nitju Clayworks

Owen Reich

Sara Rayner

Tadamiti Bonsai

Wildwood Gardens


Workshops for all levels will be conducted by the vendors and guest artist Kathy Shaner. All 13 workshops will have excellent plant material provided by the workshop instructors.


Kathy Shaner from California will be the guest artist and will judge the exhibition, present a lecture/demo and have a critique too.



Valavanis bonsai display in August 1977. The Dwarf brush cherry bonsai is in the  center of the four table display.

I was fortunate to have displayed at their 1st Exhibition in 1977. One of the bonsai I displayed will be returned for an encore appearance. It has truly matured during the past 40 years and is now full of flower buds, hope they open….

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Dwarf brush cherry August 1978



Dwarf brush cherry 2004



I’m also bringing one of my Kashima Japanese maple bonsai too.


Come to Chicago and enjoy a wonderful weekend of bonsai!

Additional information:




International Bonsai Arboretum

Autumn 2017 Open House

Sale, Displays & Free Programs

Rochester, New York

September 2-3, 2017



Classical bonsai are featured in an unusual garden setting as well as seven formal displays. In addition to a 20% discount of bonsai, pre-bonsai, supplies, container and tools new bonsai creations can be studied.



Bonsai Demonstrations

Award winning bonsai artists Harvey Carapella, Alan Adair and Wm. N. Valavanis will present lecture/demonstrations.


Harvey Carapella


Marc Arpag


Alan Adair



Wm. N. Valavanis

Suiseki Display

This year our Open House will include a Suiseki Display by the Suiseki Study Group of Upstate New York. Stones from around the world will be on displayed and members will answer your questions.



Vintage Japanese bonsai magazines will given away FREE. Refreshment will also be available.


Saturday, September 2, 2017

10AM    Les Allen– suiseki program

11 AM     Alan Adair– bonsai demonstration

2 PM      Wm. N. Valavanis– bonsai demonstration

Sunday, September 3, 2017

10 AM   Marc Arpag­– suiseki program

11 AM   Harvey Carapella– bonsai demonstation

2 PM      Wm. N. Valavanis– bonsai demonstration

(Cake will be served for Bill’s birthday)


For additional information or map:



Autumn 2017 Japan International Bonsai Exploration

November 12-20, 2017


Travel to Japan with Wm. N. Valavanis and Kora Dalager to visit private bonsai collections in the Tokyo and Omiya area including Omiya Bonsai Village & Museum, Masahiko Kimura, Kunio Kobayashi and Seiji Morimae’s S-Cube Uchiku-Te Bonsai Garden.


Next a bullet train ride will lead us to Daiju-en Bonsai Garden of Toru Suzuki in Okazaki featuring pine bonsai.  A unique lunch at a bonsai temple featuring famous bonsai in a bamboo grove featuring delicious bamboo edibles.


In Kyoto we will visit many gardens and temples where an abundance of Japanese maples changing color will be highlighted. Next we will visit the Taikan-ten Bonsai Exhibition, one of the largest and most famous in Japan.


Our final stop will be the pottery town of Tokoname, famous for producing high quality bonsai containers, tea sets and toilets.


Join a small group to explore Japan like you have never seen before.





Winter 2018 Japan International Bonsai Exploration

February 5-14, 2018



Join Kora Dalager and me to visit the private bonsai gardens in the Tokyo and Omiya areas including: Omiya Bonsai Village & Museum, Masahiko Kimura, Kunio Kobayashi and Seiji Morimae’s S-Cube Uchiku-Te Bonsai Garden.


The Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition is the finest bonsai exhibition in the world where you will see fantastic bonsai from throughout Japan formally displayed in the Tokyo Metropolotian Art Museum. Since the museum was remodeled a few years ago and the bonsai area was reduced the Nippon Bonsai Association now holds two exhibitons where about 500 bonsai will be featured. After Part 1 of the exhibition all the bonsai will be removed and another 250 bonsai will be brought in for your appreciation.



During the same time period, on another floor in the same museum, the Nippon Suiseki Association will hold their display of fine suiseki. We will be able to be attend the opening ceremony.

A special visit to Taisho-en Bonsai Garden in Shizuoka will highlight the spectular shohin and larger size bonsai Taiga Urushibata and his father.


Finally we will visit the Ueno Green Club where you can see three floors of bonsai for sale as well as in outdoor sales area. Everything you could want, except American collected trees, can be found there.

This special tour begins on the day following the popular California Shohin Seminar. On your way to Japan, stop in California for the Shohin Seminar then continue to Tokyo with us.


Join us for this special tour!