Japan 2011 - Akimoto shohin-bonsai nursery

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Japan 2011 - Akimoto shohin-bonsai nursery

Post  Guest on Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:57 pm

Just returned from a two week round trip in Japan. Here we visited several bonsai nurseries at different levels. We also seen Japanese temple gardens i.e. but here it is about bonsai.

One of the nurseries we visited was a nursery having the aim of raising shohin-bonsai from seeds and cuttings. This means raw material trained to a medium level. This material is then sold to customers who can afford to buy this level material, or just wants to develop the trees from this stage. Other parts of the material is sold to higher level nurseries like Koju-en in Kyoto, who then brings the trees further on to a high level stage, which means exhibition quality and below.
Like other nurseries in Japan, many customers have their bonsai placed at the nursery, and not at home. This is due to the lack of space and ability to be able to water several times a day e.g.

Below a series of photos from the very kind Akimoto who runs this nursery place in the area of Kawaguchi. In Kawaguchi there is a relatively large, and unknown to the west, bonsai nursery community. This nursery is placed in the town Angyo, between Omiya and Tokyo.

By the way, we experienced an earthquake sitting drinking cold green tea with Akimoto. Pictures were considerably at the wall, but after a minute it stopped, and the talk continued as nothing has happened (7,3 at the Richter scale).

More pictures from other places within the next days. Because of the big amount of pictures I can´t manage to show everything here I apologize, but it will soon be fully available at www.shohin-europe.com website too.

Regards
Morten Albek


Johnny Eslykke, who joined me at this trip.
















Johnny showing a website www.fuchi-bonsai.com of our local bonsai group to Akimoto and his daughter who translated the talk.








Akimoto - a very friendly man.









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Re: Japan 2011 - Akimoto shohin-bonsai nursery

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:19 pm

I am visiting Japan in Nov. for the BCI tour that includes Takamatsu and Kyoto, but a few of us are going early and plan to visit Omiya, can you give us any suggestions.

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Re: Japan 2011 - Akimoto shohin-bonsai nursery

Post  Storm on Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:23 pm

Nice pictures. Looks like a great trip.
Everytime I see what you guys post here from trips to the east, I almost drool, wishing to be able to go there soon too.
Thanks for sharing.

Storm
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Re: Japan 2011 - Akimoto shohin-bonsai nursery

Post  Guest on Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:47 pm

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:I am visiting Japan in Nov. for the BCI tour that includes Takamatsu and Kyoto, but a few of us are going early and plan to visit Omiya, can you give us any suggestions.

Hi Bill
Sounds great.

In Omiya there is the newly opened bonsai museum. Modern design with traditions in mind, it is a must see I think. Pretty easy to find. Take the local train from Omiya Station to Omiya-koen station on the Tobu Noda Line. You can also ask at the Omiya station how to get there. An information desk is available at the station, and they are very helpful.
There are signs in the area showing how to get around and find the nurseries and the museum.

Next there is the Seikou-en nursery which is a favourite of mine. A small 200yen fee is to be paid to see the bonsai area, but the shopping area is free to enter. Here the new style called Saika is viewable. Saika is a mixture between bonsai and Ikebana. You can call it flower arrangements with roots. Bonsai is still run by Tomio Yamada, and his daughter makes the Saika, which has gained great popularity among women in Japan. We saw her on television one night in a portrait about this new style.

Mansei-en was the late Saburo Katos work. The place is now run by his grandson, and is totally rebuild. Among one attraction here is the oldest bonsai in the world, a estimated 2000 year old Juniper collected in the mountains. Also a must see, because there are many top quality bonsai of any kind here. The new buildings looks very nice too, although not all in place yet.

Close to these places are Toju-en. Friendly atmosphere, and free to photograph there. The other places this is not allowed although I gained a special permission. Later a post from these places will be posted here.

There are more places to visit and a last one to pick could be Fuyoen Bonsai Garden run by Hiroshi Takeyama. Close to the rail station. I did not see it this time, but it is a very nice place with a great variety of bonsai too that I paid a visit at my last visit.

Best regards
Morten

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Re: Japan 2011 - Akimoto shohin-bonsai nursery

Post  Mark Cooper on Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:47 pm

Hi Morten, sounds like you had a great trip and had many memorable experiences .. including an earthquake !

Thanks for posting the pictures of Akimoto San’s garden. Ritta and I first met Akimoto San at the famous Shuga-ten Shohin exhibition in Ueno last November, and we have many happy memories of our trip to his nursery some days later. We learnt a great deal from Akimoto san too, and we would have loved to have spent more time in the Angyo area.

Billy, Morten’s advice about Omiya is very sound. All of the gardens in Omiya are well signposted, and within walking distance of Omiya Koen station. There are maps available on the internet. If you can get to visit Fuyo-en (Hiroshi Takeyama’s garden) too I’d highly recommend that…it’s a very beautiful garden with many famous trees. One tip though, I recall that the Bonsai museum and many of the gardens are closed on a Thursday.

Thanks again Morten for posting those pictures and bringing back those special memories for us! Mark & Ritta

Mark Cooper
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Japan 2011

Post  Bob Bailey on Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:52 pm

Hi Morten
Thankyou for your Photo,s of your recent trip to Japan,it brought back many happy memrories of my trip there in 2010.For many more photo,s go to Morten,s Shohin-Europe site, you won,t be disapponted.
P.S. Morten did you resist the urge to buy some of those beautiful Shohin/Mame pots
Bob

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Re: Japan 2011 - Akimoto shohin-bonsai nursery

Post  Guest on Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:45 pm

Thanks Mark and Bob
I bought one good pot and two less expensive but nice shohin pots. Difficult to keep the valet in control Very Happy but limited funds so it was a hard time there. To much goodies around Very Happy
Regards
Morten

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Re: Japan 2011 - Akimoto shohin-bonsai nursery

Post  Rob C on Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:19 pm

Hello Morten,
Absolutely outstanding shohin.. I was wondering if you knew, roughly how much some of these beauties would cost in american dollars. I know that if those were for sale here in the states, they would command some very high prices.

Rob

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Re: Japan 2011 - Akimoto shohin-bonsai nursery

Post  John Buttino on Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:42 am

I'm slowly turning my backyard into that nursery.

John Buttino
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Re: Japan 2011 - Akimoto shohin-bonsai nursery

Post  Rob Kempinski on Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:57 am

Rob C wrote:Hello Morten,
Absolutely outstanding shohin.. I was wondering if you knew, roughly how much some of these beauties would cost in american dollars. I know that if those were for sale here in the states, they would command some very high prices.

Rob
Rob,
This juniper has a price tag visible on it.



15 Man yen (150,000Y) which is about $1,700 US depending on the exchange rate.

Rob Kempinski
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Re: Japan 2011 - Akimoto shohin-bonsai nursery

Post  Guest on Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:12 am

Thanks Rob. The prizes varies very much from tree to tree. What may seem an expensive tree surprises to be cheaper than expected and opposite. Small preferences and what's modern may influence heavily on the prize tag. There are clearly a development though that makes the bigger trees drop dramatically in prize, and shohin are more and more expensive because they are still growing in popularity. More of the nurseries normally only dealing with larger trees, are now taking shohin in their store because they are sought fore.

Prizes also varies a lot between the nurseries. Omiya area have the higher prizes for the same material you can find in the Kawaguchi area to a far lower prize. If you also go for less developed material it is actually possible to find cheap good quality trees little money.

Regards
Morten

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Re: Japan 2011 - Akimoto shohin-bonsai nursery

Post  hiram on Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:27 pm

Thank you, too bad we do not have a nursery that we ( here in the states ) could find such an assortment of shohin, mame, and pots. Bonsai pots are so under studied. It is such an inetersting part of the art. Hopefully one day I can visit.

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Re: Japan 2011 - Akimoto shohin-bonsai nursery

Post  cosmos on Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:22 pm

Hi Morten
your pics have 'earthquaked' me too; an everending tsunami of bonsai trees.

Thanks for sharing.
Cosmos

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