It’s inspiring to walk through a beautiful bonsai garden.
A visit to Shinji Suzuki’s garden is a visit to a lot of really, really, good trees.
Looking up at a Chinese quince
The garden is arranged in a series of greenhouses with courtyards between them. In winter, nearly all bonsai are brought indoors to shelter them from the cold. In one room we found a group of trees bound for Kokufu.
Shimpaku displayed at 90th Kokufu-ten
Shimpaku displayed at 90th Kokufu-ten – one of my favorite trees from the exhibit
One of the main rooms was dominated by one of the more famous trees in Japan – a red pine famously designed by Kimura.
Below, you can see what makes the tree remarkable: unbelievable bark.
Fans of the dwarf Japanese quince ‘chojubai’ found many great specimens.
One deciduous tree that caught my attention was a Japanese beech undergoing significant re-tooling after the tree lost several branches in an accident.
Noticing my interest in the tree, longtime apprentice Yusuke brought out a book showing how the tree used to look.
Beech as it appeared a few decades ago
Walking through the garden, Boon was all smiles.
Eric Schrader was all smiles in a room full of white pines.
Actually, were were all grinning.
Back row: Eric, Paul, Tyler, Matt, Jonas; front row: Jeff, Boon, Bobby
As we headed through the garden for a final pass before catching the train back to Tokyo, the sun began to cast a golden light in the room. It was a nice send-off.
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