After the BIB show in late January it was only just over a week before I took off for ten days to visit Japan. I’ve travelled to Japan three times previously, each time during February to coincide with the Kokufu-ten bonsai show in the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in Ueno Park, Tokyo.
Traveling to a one of the high caliber shows in Japan can be an eye-opening experience. The first time I saw some of the Japanese trees my mind was blown. I sometimes failed to even take photos on my first couple trips. Luckily, during this trip I snapped quite a few. And for the first time this year, the public was allowed to take photos during the Kokufu exhibit.
One of my favorite trees to enjoy while touring Japan is the Japanese Flowering Apricot – Ume. Ume bloom in winter, while the trees are leafless. Even after the blossoms drop, it can be weeks before the branches start growing for spring. The charm of ume is in the contrast between the craggly-barked, rotted and hollow trunks and the gently delicate and fragrant blossoms.