I had long been curious about the Sakufu-ten. I’d visited Kokufu and seen the books from past Sakufu-ten, but didn’t know much about the event beyond that.
Toward the end of my visit to Japan, I learned that my flight home was scheduled for the same weekend as Sakufu. Not only did I not want to miss the event, but my ride to the airport, Junichiro Tanaka, was scheduled to be in Tokyo the same day, receiving the award for top large conifer. Before the day was out, I’d changed my flight. I was going to Tokyo.
The drive from Nagoya filled about half a day. Upon arriving in Tokyo, the three of us, Tanaka, Peter Tea and I, headed straight to the Green Club to set up Tanaka’s tree. Everyone else had set up their display before lunch – we arrived just before sundown. We walked past many beautiful displays with tree and stand in hand and found an empty display on the second floor with a photo featuring a familiar white pine. As soon as the tree stopped teetering on its stand, Peter and I took in the rest of the exhibit.
It was getting chilly when we headed to our hotel about a mile away. We checked in, relaxed for a bit, then headed out for dinner in Ueno. Dinner was a fantastic affair that entailed many delicacies that we could not identify. Sometimes it’s better that way.
Korean hornbeam with spectacularly dense branches
White pine on a rock
Japanese maple – very good trunk
Japanese flowering quince, ‘Chojubai’
Japanese pepper tree
Very old pot
Shimpaku rock planting by Kimura