Nihon de Hajimete, Part 4: Koju En, Kyoto Temples, and Yamataen

Hello all! It’s been awhile! It seems it’s taking ten times as long to finish up writing about our trip to Japan as at has actually going! Between work and a problem with my trees(while I am a pot guy, it’s still all about the trees) I haven’t had a free second to post anything for a couple of months. Sorry about that. So, let’s rectify that now. With fall here and winter close behind, I have much more free time. So, I hope to finish up the last 5 posts about the trip this week, then we’ll take a look at some new pots I’ve added to my collection, followed by profiles on Kanzan, Sharaku, and Antique Chinese pots. Let’s get to it!
Koju En
Let me start off by saying that our visit came at a fortuitous time! Not only did we bump into Masumi San on our way, who gave us directions, but the day before our visit a collector had stopped in to sell a significant portion of his collection. I’ll go into more detail about all that was there in the last post, but here’s a couple of teasers:

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Yusens and other majorly pricey pieces

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Seas of pots!

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The recently purchased collection covered nearly every surface of the obligatory meeting space, including the floor!

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World class Tofukujis, Kouzans, and more Tofukujis!
Koju En is one of the top 3 Shohin Nurseries in Japan, and the trees certainly didn’t disappoint! Masumi San and his father were both very friendly and indulged us, despite the poor, rainy weather.

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Veritable seas of world class Shohin bonsai!

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A few shots of Shimpaku.

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A few pines!

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Super nice Goyomatsu Cascade.

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Various Species: Akebia, Zelcova, Beauty Berry, and more!

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Akebia

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Broom style Zelkova

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Really impressive and large Kifu Sekka Hinoki

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Shimpaku

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Various Species: beauty berry, pines, osteomeles, chojubai, Viburnum…

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Japanese Maples!

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And still more maples, this time Kaede!

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One bad mother of a Shimpaku!

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A Pyracantha in a Koyo pot showing some fruit.

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Masumi San, me, and the nurseries’ founder, gracious hosts and great artists!
To-Ji Temple
Apparently, one can’t visit Kyoto without seeing some of the temples, and our guide wasn’t remiss in making sure we absorbed some non-bonsai related Japanese Culture.

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A stork flees while I try to snap his photo

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One of the few highlights of the poor weather was the way the water pooled inside these leaves

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Kiyomizu Dera
Next we visited Kiyomizu Dera. A fair hike into the hills, through rolling streets filled with vendors, and the occasional Geisha, the hike up to the temple, and the temple itself, is like a microcosm of what Kyoto is: a strange mix of the very modern and the very ancient. Kyoto seems to have both feet firmly planted in two entirely different times.

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The entrance.

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Pilgrims are supposed to drink from this cultivated spring for good luck and prosperity.

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Kyoto far in the distance.

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The foundation pillars. Massive!

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Far in the distance, another temple.

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A tranquil garden

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Wisteria

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Old pine, it’s elongated branches supported by bamboo beams.
Yamataen
Located in a beautiful and tranquil forest, a bit out of the way, was Yamataen. The bonsai there were spectacular, and run the gamut from shohin and kusamono to omono size bonsai, deciduous and Conifers. Despite the rain and mist, it was well worth the visit.

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Sorry for the poor photo, but keep an eye out for this pine this February!

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The surroundings of Yamataen.

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Some killer pines.

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An awesome hawthorn, with Matt Ouwinga in the background on the right, and Neil Dellinger peeking around the left.

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Ume

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Root over rock Kaede, with Peter peeking around on the right.

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Tosho

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A few impressive conifers.

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Shohin and Chuhin pines.

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Big and well ramified Chinese Quince.

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Impressive old Momiji.

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A few Japanese Maples.

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Kusamono and shitakusa.

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A large and want tree. Can’t remember the variety, and the poor weather wasnt as conducive to photos as I would’ve liked.

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Assorted pines and Junipers, shohin and chuhin size.

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Maples!

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Shohin…..viburnum?

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A couple of Shohin Japanese Maples.

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And we’ll finish up our look at the bonsai at Yamataen with this massive Beauty Berry forest.

Thanks for coming along with me, again, and after such a long time. Ill have plenty of time to post all winter, so the articles should keep rolling out, a couple a week, for the next few months!
Up later today or tomorrow: we visit our friends at Fujikawa Kouka-En, Yoshoen, and drive a ways to Miura Baijuen. Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!

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About japanesepots

I've been collecting Japanese Bonsai pots for a few years, and feel that the famous, and some of the lesser known but great Japanese pot artists could do with a little more writing and exposure in English. Additionally, this blog will feature My own And others bonsai for discussion. The purpose of this blog is to further knowledge of Japanese pottery and Japanese style bonsai. If you have any questions about Japanese bonsai pottery, or would like to acquire pots by some of the potters presented in the blog, feel free to email me at gastrognome@aol.com
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One Response to Nihon de Hajimete, Part 4: Koju En, Kyoto Temples, and Yamataen

  1. L’ha ribloggato su Kitora no doe ha commentato:
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