Ueno Green Club (Tokyo) shopping in Japan

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Re: Ueno Green Club (Tokyo) shopping in Japan

Post  qseki on Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:57 pm

Hello all,

One of my pending objectives is to visit Japan and I am considering to attend next year Asian Pacific Convention to be held there. Sam&KJ's Blog present a vivid report of their journey on ocasion of this year Kokufu.
I think it should be appropriate that those of you that have already visited Japan provide some information of the type of:
- bargaining rules (it seems to be very important)
- indication on commercial zones
- sales areas on occasion of exhibitions
In particular, I am a little confused about Ueno-Green, as I do not know whether there it is worth paying a visit out of events/exhibition dates, as I have contradictory informations.
Would it be possible?
Thanks and regards,
Jesus

qseki
Member


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Re: Ueno Green Club (Tokyo) shopping in Japan

Post  Chris Cochrane on Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:40 pm

Hi Jesus... I saw a trip to Shikoku Island (great pine bonsai nurseries & garden studios), then Kyoto (Taikanten bonsai exhibition/fall season/change of color/~November in Kyoto), the ASPAC convention & Tokyo area including Omiya Village (& new Bonsai Museum), Kobayashi's Shunkaen bonsai studio/museum et al. posted by Kev Bailey in Announcements. Your trip sounds similar.

You ask about the Ueno (an area including an important park) Green Club[/i], I think, which is in Tokyo & has shuttle service during the Kokufuten in late winter (~February or March). The Green Club has its best bonsai & suiseki vending event accompanying the Kokufuten. It has selective vending events at other times. Suiseki vendors gather at the Green Club during the Sogoten stone exhibition at the Green Club in the fall season (you can check the date on the Nippon Suiseki Assn. website).

The normal Green Club vendors area is outside the multi-storied building & continually offers a variety of bonsai goods. I'm not sure it is worth a special trip unless you know something you want which they are likely to have. For example, I wanted a rosewood multi-tiered stand of not great expense (e.g., a new stand made in China) that met traditional shohin display standards (approximately one meter square across its face). The Green Club vendors had several from which to choose. I wouldn't guarantee they are always available. There is not a great deal of unique material at the everyday Ueno Green Club.

During the Kokufuten, there are so many unique extraordinary bonsai & suiseki objects available for sale by vendors gathered from throughout Japan. Those vendors have booths within the Ueno Green Club's multi-tiered building. The covered space outside the building as well as the normal parking area will also be filled with extraordinary objects. This is a buyers & sellers ideal, for bonsai & suiseki. It occurs during the Kokufuten with shuttles between the exhibition venue & the Green Club vendors venue. It isn't too far to walk, and walking is my preference to waiting for a shuttle.

Re' negotiating price. On the first days of the Kokufuten, prices are a bit more than they might be later. So much material is sold that you should not wait to purchase any item you really want, and it is expected that you will bargain. If the vendor gets his asking price immediately, you might receive a gift from him. I once saw a suiseki that I was determined to own, knew no better & immediately paid the full price. The vendor immediately took off Y5000 (very roughly ~ $50 at that time) with no urging by me. We were both happy at the exchange.

If you plan doing business in Japan, it is best to start a lifetime relationship with associates. This means you are aware of obligations to deal fairly & support one another. Nobody tells you this, but at some point it becomes obvious that your relationship includes social obligation. It is difficult to say what that means or how it affects purchases. It is best to not insist on seeing something you are not intending to fully appreciate or purchase; items will not be shared at that level if you ask prices yet seem only window shopping. Perhaps, you can ask to see something with scholarly focus while not asking the price. Ask prices when sincerely interested & consider stretching to meet your implied obligation to purchase. I'm sure that I flubbed this description but it is start. Others would know MUCH more than I-- I've attended only twice, though I've been at other sales events with similar as well as dissimilar shopping etiquette in Japan. Want to buy electronics in Akibara?

In the later days of the Kokufuten, especially after the buses carrying foreign visitors leave the Green Club, it is possible that a price will be dropped considerably for your consideration. I do not know how or why this happens. Perhaps, the vendor wishes to encourage you to own an item for which you have an attraction. In any case, the item you feel that you must own on the first day occasionallly avoids being purchased. You negotiate to a "best price" (arms length bargaining) and still cannot afford it. By chance, ask again in later days of the Kokufuten and the price you can afford might be met.

BTW, there are people with deep obligations to one another who can occasionally assist you. Again, I think it isn't by subterfuge or calculation but according to genuine respect & perhaps complex associations. A teacher once annointed me for a particular purchase & the price without haggling appeared a special price for the friend-of-a-friend.

Humility means a lot, I think. It is not about expressing yourself (or appearing to diminish self-respect) but about respecting others as first or, at least, that they are your senior in particular accomplishment.


Last edited by Chris Cochrane on Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:25 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : caught two probably many keying errors)

_________________
... visit the U.S. National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, Washington DC USA-- http://www.bonsai-nbf.com

Chris Cochrane
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Re: Ueno Green Club (Tokyo) shopping in Japan

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:03 pm

Hopefully Ben Oki's trip in Feb. 2011 will get the required minimum number so I can go.

I leave for China in 12 days and expect to see some fantastic stones.

Billy M. Rhodes
Member


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Ueno Green Club (Tokyo) shopping in Japan

Post  qseki on Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:49 am

Chris,

This only to thank you very much for your information and advice. It is actually worth gold.
Best regards,
Jesus

qseki
Member


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Re: Ueno Green Club (Tokyo) shopping in Japan

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