Japan Destinations

(Keith T) #1

Hi- what are your favorite places to visit in Japan? Looking for bonsai and non-bonsai destinations for a short trip. Easily accessible from Tokyo is preferable.
Thanks in advance.

(Jonas Dupuich) #2

Ooh, fun. Here are some bonsai destinations that come to mind.

One of the easiest places to visit when you’re in the greater Tokyo area is the Omiya Bonsai Village:

Depending on the season, there are good bonsai exhibits to visit:

  • January: Gafu-ten (shohin bonsai, Kyoto)
  • January: Sakufu-ten (high-level show, Tokyo)
  • February: Kokufu-ten (Japan’s best annual show, Tokyo)
  • May: Satsuki azalea shows in Tokyo and Kanuma (Tochigi prefecture)
  • November: Taikan-ten (great show, Kyoto)

For bonsai pots, stop by Bonsai Pots Marutatu and nearby kilns in Tokoname (outside Nagoya, a day trip from Tokyo).

As for non-bonsai visits, any place you’ve heard of is pretty great. Kyoto is definitely worth a visit if you want to experience famous Japanese gardens. Do note that the city is very busy in fall when the maples are in fall color. Here are some photos of selected Kyoto temples: https://bonsaitonight.com/tag/kyoto/ and here’s a resource for finding them: http://kyoto.travel/en/shrine_temple

If you can make it to Kokufu, walk around Ueno park - the park in which the exhibit is held - and be sure to explore the nearby pedestrian mall (Ameya Yokocho) just south of the Ueno train station.

The Shibuya and Shinjuku neighborhoods are obvious Tokyo fun spots to visit in the evening.

(Keith T) #3

Good tips. Thank you. Are there any nurseries where one can observe the development process of younger trees? Such as pines from seed?

(Jonas Dupuich) #4

The best examples of trees I’ve seen in development have been in private gardens. The best nurseries I know for growing pines are in Kagawa prefecture, near Takamatsu on Shikoku: http://bonsai.shikoku-np.co.jp/en/

I didn’t see many younger trees there, but there are lots of pines in the ground there:

Closer to home, feel free to stop by my garden if you’re ever in Northern California - I have a few pines at different stages of development from 1yr - 20+yrs.