I went to Tokyo a couple of weeks ago to go to Kokufu-ten, the 88th in the series. Over about 8 days that I was there I also visited Omiya, Tokoname and Kyoto.
The bonsai competition was held in the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art. For the first time this year there were two phases for the show with 170 trees shown over 4 days, followed by a changeover day and then another 170 trees.
There was a wide range of species shown; lots of pine and juniper but just as many deciduous species and even some bouganvillia. The trees are mostly big with just a few smaller than 600mm, apart from a small shohin display. They were of course all absolutely stunning. It was great to be able to get close and look within the tree and go beyond the usual two dimensional observations we make from pictures.
It’s winter in Japan so of course the deciduous trees were bare showing amazing branch structure.
The organisers eventually publish a hard cover folio of pictures of the trees and so photography in the show was not allowed, so no pictures I’m afraid; apart from this overview taken by a privileged visitor.
But they do run a sales area and the same rule did not apply there. Most of the trees offered for sale were also of a very high standard and I have a few pictures to show you.
This and the next one are general views in the inside area