Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

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Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

Post  Mikey P on Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:29 pm

Hi IBC
Earlier this year I took a trip to Japan with my girlfriend and arrived in perfect time for the cherry blossoms. My two weeks there were incredible. I not only got to see the blossom of old and beautiful trees in the city, I was also privileged enough to see my favourite bonsai in full bloom (Prunus). I arrived in Tokyo and spent my first week there before heading off to Narra where I spent 2 days and two nights in the mountains. Then we travelled to Osaka by coach and back to Tokyo for the last 3 days of my journey.
The blossoms just seemed to follow our footsteps. When ever we arrived in a city the blossoms had not opened just yet. However the next morning we awoke, we was greeted with the most magical and unforgetable views. It was like Winter. However only the Cherry trees were snowed upon Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy thumbs up thumbs up

My first real day of bonsai began with a trip to the Ueno area of Tokyo. Here we travelled to visit the Nippon bonsai association. There was not much to view here as the bonsai season for sales had only just begun. There were many small kusamono and young seedlings and quite a lot of pots. Mainly shohin bonsai and accent pots. I managed to still spend a fair bit of money on magazines and the odd pot. On our way to and from the yard, we walked across Nippon park. There is no other place in Japan that has that many Cherry trees in one place. As we arrived at the park entrance there where what looked to be like half of Japans population. Thousands of people had come to view this glorious park and its trees.
I didn’t even take one thought upon the fact that the place was so crowded. How could I when all I could see was beautiful blossoms and new maple buds beginning to open. This was truly an incredible, beautiful and romantic place to be.






















S-CUBE

After my visit and walk around Ueno park, we decided to take a trip to the Ginza part of town. Here we had a nice dinner before walking many back streets trying to find S-Cube’s shop. After an hour of searching we finaly came across small pinus bonsai and a few accent plats outside a very small yet well packed out shop. In side the shop was a small tokonoma display with a beautiful natural looking Pine and about 20 other bonsai trees all on display. There was a young women behind the till reading. When she saw us enter she lept up out of her seat and welcomed us in. After looking threw many magazines and viewing the trees we were invited up stairs. Here we found a mix between two more tokonoma displays and quite a few expensive pots and scrolls.






















OSAKA


My main reason for travelling to Osaka was to visit Kouka-en nursery. On my arrival at the train station, I quickly jumped in a taxi and handed the driver an address I had written down back in England. About 10 minutes later the taxi stopped and here I was. I arrived at Kouka-en at about 11.30am, plenty of day light and time to take photos. As I walked threw the gate the first thing I noticed was a white guy with a bright red T-shirt. “Owen” I said and he replied. After a hand shake and introduction we were thrown in to many great stories about a few of the bonsai sitting on the benches. During my visit I managed to ask Owen a few questions on camera. This was a short interview in Mr Fujikawa’s study. As the day progressed and one of Kouka-en’s favourite customers came, I was lucky enough to film the re-potting of a very old and powerful Bunjingi Pine (Interview and footage will be coming shortly). The customer happened to be Kouka-en’s best and funniest customer Mr Yanai. Mr Yanai is a bonsai collector and owner of mino-o saryou restaurant. I will never forget the trousers he was wearing and the amount of laughter the man created.









































That is all I can post tonight as there is till much, much more to come. Over the next few days I will be posting more of my story from my visit to OMIYA Bonsai village and Mr Kobayashi’s Shunka-en bonsai museum.

SO STAY TUNED thumbs up thumbs up

Mikey P
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Re: Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

Post  Paul Stokes on Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:44 pm

Great pictures, thanks for sharing!

Paul Stokes
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Re: Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

Post  rockm on Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:41 pm

Wow. Beautiful pics. Thanks.

rockm
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Re: Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

Post  DangerousBry on Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:46 pm

Great write up Mikey!!!
You've been privalaged with such a visit!! The photos are fantastic!!

I'll be tuned in ;)

Bry

DangerousBry
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Re: Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

Post  marcus watts on Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:50 pm

nice one Micky,
you're seeing the sites, great you're sharing the pics too - looking forward to the next ones too

cheers Marcus

marcus watts
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Re: Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

Post  yamasuri on Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:02 pm

Thanks for sharing. Nice pictures.

yamasuri
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Re: Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

Post  Guest on Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:41 am

thanks for sharing look forward to the interview and the repot. owen seems like a really nice person i actually have him scheduled to come out to my place so we can work on my trees together

Guest
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Re: Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

Post  Todd Ellis on Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:05 am

Thank you for sharing your tour of Japan. Lucky you!!!

Todd Ellis
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Re: Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:28 am

Beautiful!
Thank you for taking the time to put up all of those images.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

Post  Mikey P on Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:34 am

Thanks for the comments guys Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy . Yes it was a great trip. I still have many more pics to come. We are not even half way through hahaha.

Andre: Yes Owen is a great person. He realy took time out for me and attended to all my needs. As it goes he gave me and my teacher Tony Tickle (www.yamadori.co.uk) a gift, a Japanese pot and an accent pot for me.

Mikey P
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Re: Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

Post  Mikey P on Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:30 pm

OMIYA

This was my second visit to Omiya bonsai village and for sure It was going to be the best. Last year I dragged my girlfriend around all day. She was not amused and became very tired. This year, her idea was to go shopping on her own and for me to do what I wanted. With out thinking twice I ran out the door and jumped on the first train to Omiya Koen station.
The first garden I happened to visit was Fuyo-en (芙蓉園). This is the closest garden to the train station. The garden is owned by Hiroshi Takeyama. The garden is very beautifully arranged with a relaxed and pleasing atmosphere. There were a few Bonsai master pieces which I was familiar with. The staff working was kind and left me to walk around. There was an old man working on a twin trunked maple and another misting the trees.
































































Once I left Fuyo-en the next destination was Toju-en (藤樹園). It was a straight street from Fuyo-en and the sign posts lead me to this garden before. This nursery holds some great trees in all stages and offers bonsai classes during the weekends. The last time I was privileged enough to visit this garden, it was a week prior to the Kokofu-ten exhibition. When the owner noticed my soulful interest in bonsai, he invited me in to his home to view and take some photos of his entries. I was so excited and greatful that I could not keep my hand still. Just for this story I will chuck a few of these pictures in there for each of you to enjoy as much as I do.











































































These are the photos from last years visit. The three trees were exhibited in last years Kokofu-ten.










The sign posts then pointed to Mansei-en. This garden belonged to the late Saburo Kato. Unfortunately I was not allowed to take photographs, however I did have a good conversation with the new owner Hatsuji Kato. This nursery guarded some of the most amazing trees I have ever set my eyes upon. It was a grate shame not to allow photographs. I must have spent at least 2 hours in this garden and after walking around the rest of the Village, I decided to return and take one last peak at the trees in Mansei-en. As I entered the gate there was a huge Black Pine that I was very familiar with. It was the Kokofu grand prize winner of last year. Just behind it was a huge Juniper. It is said to be at least 2000 years old and the oldest bonsai in the world. And when I say huge I mean HUGE.
As I walked around the garden I spoke with many of the students there and asked many questions. Was intrigued with my interest in bonsai and invited me in to his show room for a cup of tea and to view some incredibly beautiful old red deshojo maples. And if that wasn’t enough, he gave me two large size calendars of last years Kokofu ten exhibition.


Here is the 2000 year old juniper.




Next up was Omiyas Bonsai Art Museum (さいたま市大宮盆栽美術館)
It is located just a few yards away form Mansei-en . Omiya Bonsai Art Museum hosts a collection of stunning trees. The Museum also offers an insight in Bonsai history, culture, tools and pots.
There is no photography prohibited here either, apart from the designated table that allows photos of what ever tree is displayed. To my surprise there were a few trees on display, so I snapped them up with no question.










Tomorrow will be my last installment. Stay tuned for my visit to Kunio kobayashi's Shunka-en Bonsai museum.
Thanks for all the nice comments and I hope you enjoy the rest. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Mikey P
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Re: Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

Post  Todd Ellis on Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:54 pm

Wow!!! Thank you for another fantastic tour!

Todd Ellis
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Re: Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:05 pm

Once again thank you very much.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

Post  Nigel Parke on Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:13 pm

Beautiful photos!!
Thank you for posting and sharing what must have been a tremendous experience.

Nigel

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Re:[b]BONSAI TRIP TO JAPAN.APRIL2012[/b]

Post  Bob Brunt on Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:17 pm

Brilliant Mikey brilliant.
I Love posts like these will probably need to read it a few times.. .Well done mate..Keep it coming santa

Bob Brunt
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Re: Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

Post  rockm on Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:47 pm

Gorgeous stuff, from the trees to the containers...Awesome

rockm
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Re: Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

Post  Mikey P on Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:05 pm

Thanks every 1.
Bob: im sick of reading it now hahahaha. got about another 30 photos if not more to post. but i am going to leave that for a little bit now well this forum sickness clears haha.
Rockm: Sadly I was not aloud to take photographs of the Pot collection at Shunka-en. However I managed to get a few of the ones on display in Kobayashi's trophy room. coming very soon. ThumbsUp

Mikey P
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Re: Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

Post  Guest on Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:39 pm

mikey you are lucky to work with tony i wish he would do a us tour but im thinking about going to the burrs next year but i dont know what they would say as i wouldnt be able to bring my trees and i dont have money like walter paul who has trees all over the world i just want a chance to work with tony hans and all that go to the burrs

Guest
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Re: Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

Post  Mikey P on Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:11 pm

Hey Andre. Well if you ever decide that you would like to come to the next burrs event, do not worry about having no trees to work on. You are more than welcome to work with me on my trees. Tony also has trees for people to work. There is plenty of work to be done when it comes to Burrs. Many people would jump at the chance for an extra hand. Burrs is not a workshop to be missed. Yes Tony and hans are great guys. And not forgetting Will Badley. He was my partner in crime at the last event hehe. Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad

Mikey P
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Re: Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

Post  Hans van Meer. on Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:26 pm

andre_f wrote:mikey you are lucky to work with tony i wish he would do a us tour but im thinking about going to the burrs next year but i dont know what they would say as i wouldnt be able to bring my trees and i dont have money like walter paul who has trees all over the world i just want a chance to work with tony hans and all that go to the burrs

Andre you should come to Burrs because there are all way's trees to work on and there are always people that could use a extra pair off Hans (no not a typo)! Wink This last Burrs edition I hat the honor to meed and work with Ofer who came all the way from Israel ! He had no material with him, but in the 3 days he spent with us, there wasn't a moment were he was not working on trees! He would only stop to eat or drink, just like the rest off us who were there! Very Happy So dont worry about material, just come! I can promise you that you won't be disapointed and that you will sleep like a baby during your flight back! Very Happy

I have already seen Mikey's lovely pictures during his Saturday evening presentation at this years Burrs, but I am realy glad that I can see all off them now over and over again here on IBC! They make me realise just how high the overall standard still is in Japan, realy amazing stuff!!! It also makes me realize that we here in Europe are blessed that we have so many different styles and dirrections in our still young and developing Bonsai scene!
Thanks for posting my friend!
CU at the Noelanders!!!!
Cheers,
Hans van Meer.

Hans van Meer.
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Re: Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

Post  Stan Kengai on Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:12 pm

Mikey, You must have the worst luck ever to travel half way around the world and end up running into an infernal University[sic] of Georgia fan lol! How unfortunate!

Thank you for sharing. It looks like you had the bonsai trip-of-a-lifetime.

Stan Kengai
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Re: Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

Post  Kakejiku on Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:20 pm

桜見は懐かしいですね。写真を見せたことを感謝しています。

Kakejiku
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Very nice photographic essay ~!

Post  Jim McIntyre on Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:02 am

I really enjoyed all the pictures-well done ~!

Jim McIntyre
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Re: Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

Post  Mikey P on Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:42 pm

Thanks alot guys. dont forget there is still the last bit to come.
Stan Kengai: yes i have the worsed look in the world hahaha. so unlucky that it was forced upon me hehehehe Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Mikey P
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thanks

Post  jorb on Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:10 pm

I spent whole hour watching all this incredible bonsai, thank you, want more santa

jorb
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Re: Bonsai Trip To Japan, April 2012

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