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Shizuoka Japan adventures

October 11, 2013

On the last day I was given a day off. Oyakata said I can go to a castle, that has very nice gardens. He said is very near, and it is beautiful. So I decided to take my bicycle and not use a taxi.Thought there are so many trees and shrubs with seeds on them along the road, I can collect some. So I took pictures of the way to go there on my I pad, since I was not sure if I will find internet everywhere, and started off. The good thing was that our school was at the end of Shizuoka, and on top of a hill. So going there was not going to be so bad for a lazy bum like me. Oyakata told me if I expire….get tired …to call him and he will come to pick me.So I started of for the castle.

I was stopping often, having a drink, food…and leisurely taking my time exploring Shizuoka. At one point I found this huge building and saw lots of people going in…looked like a departmental store a bit. So I decided to check it up. Inside in a wide entrance hall I saw lots of people waiting in a line in front of huge door. It was not yet 09 hrs in the morning. I could not figure out what they were waiting for so I decided to go to the front of the line of people and see what is inside, since the big door was open. So I reached it and before I could look inside, a Japanese man aproached me and started shouting and sort of pointing to the end of the line…and indicating that I must go and wait at the end….I was puzzled…tried to tell him that I just wanted to pip inside…but I doubt if he understood me. So I retreated…near by I saw a man who was not on the line and asked him: What are this people waiting for? He said Pachinko…Pachinko???? I did not know what that is. When I reached home I asked Oyakata what is Pachinko and why are people lining so early in the morning for it…he told me that it is gambling…
Some very dedicated gamblers in Japan

On the way to the castle, I found lots of tiny shops looking like converted garages, with this strange fruits, that I had never seen before. Later I was told they are some kind of yams. This was all the merchandise at this shop.

Found this phaelenopsis orchid growing outside someone’s door. Little burned by the sun, but flowering. Japanese people are dedicated gardeners.

In front of another garage, i found this crates with bonsai…not nice, and I could see they were done my an amateur, and probably still in the stage of trunk development. I would guess, someone no longer wanted them so just left them on the road…

. After asking…people that knew no English where is the Castle…by showing them my Japanese map on the Ipad…after 2 hours I reached it. Near it I found an american boy who agreed to take a picture of me.

Entrance to the castle.

I expected to see heaven on earth…but the only castle was the one at the gate…actually just a fancy gate with a building on one side. Some terribly neglected garden, lots of dirt and overgrown grass.I did not even feel taking any pictures of that.

But look what I found. This are azaleas, and they have been hacked…terribly…and looked ready for bonsai.

It was not me that chopped them like that. I promise you I was a good girl.

In another flower bed I found trachelospermum. Do you see the little climber on the ground with very long internodes? That is the one. Can you imagine that from that is made one of the most popular bonsai in Japan. Now I understood why trachelospermum bonsai are so expensive…for this little climber to form a trunk and short internodes…it must take ages.

It was hot and humid…I was sweating like a pig…When I reached home and checked the map…I realized that I have cycled close to 20km. That for sure was a record for me. It took me time to find a taxi…and it took me even more time to convince him to take me together with the bicycle…but eventually I found my way to Taisho en, before lunch, and started wiring a juniper though it was my only day off. Bonsai for me is a disease.

Here I am before lunch already in the nursery, with very sore fingers styling an yamadori juniper.
The same evening Oyakata took me for supper to celebrate my graduation, but it seems I have lost the pictures.

I hope you enjoyed some of my adventure in Japan. I did! And thank you for reading.

  1. Anonymous permalink

    My darling Mama Gaga Bonsai I love so much reading your funny adventures but you should have gone back to Taisho by bicycle. You are really a lazy brat. I hope the taxi driver overcharged you.

    • He he he! Oscar! It does not show who wrote this comment but I know it is you! It is only you who calls me that. I was going to collapse in that heat. I had to explain to the taxi driver that I am about to faint, in order to convince him to take me with the bicycle. Can you imagine all that explanation in sign language? Using hand legs…and other pats of the body?

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