Many businesses in Japan announce closing time by playing a song called Hotaru no Hikari – The Light of the Firefly. It’s based on the tune of Auld Lang Syne. When the tune begins, you know it’s time to wrap up whatever is going on.
It’s hard to leave a good bonsai show at the end of the day. What’s surprising is how hard it is to leave the sales area. Partly because there is so much to see, partly because there are hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered, and quite possibly because there is so much that’s desirable but unattainable.
As I heard Hotaru no Hikari begin on the last day of the Taikan bonsai exhibit, I made a final pass through the sales area as the vendors began packing so many items that would be so fun to take home.
Taikan-ten sales area
The trees below are arranged in order of price, from the least to the most expensive. For those curious about the prices, the character “万” or “man” (rhymes with “on”) represents ¥10,000. “円” is the Japanese character for yen (¥).
Ginkgo – note the low-cost alternative to bonsai pots
And lest we forget the available suiseki or pots, here are a few examples of each.
Tofukuji above, kowateri shudei below
Heian Kouzan – mid 20th century
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