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Bonsai and Champagne Review - an event at The Peninsula Tokyo

  • Article and photo by Patricia Yarrow
  • December 6, 2023

The five-star “Bonsai & Champagne Night” event in The Peninsula Tokyo hotel celebrated the evening of November 2, 2023 with the aristocratic creations and their caretakers from “Tree House Bonsai”, visiting from the countryside of Ami, Ibaraki, not far north of Tokyo.

Within the twinkling, cathedral-like soaring lobby of The Peninsula Tokyo hotel, a forest of astonished tiny trees on individual plates and podiums surveyed the delighted party in progress. One centenarian Japanese maple (Acer palmatum), contemplating its many decades of life, meticulously tended by generations of adoring experts, found itself daydreaming of its approaching autumn holiday in the soaring urbane foyer and twinkling lighting. Its grey elephantine trunk oozed into thick roots, plunging luxuriously into the green mossy blanket below. Its branching cap of late summer deep-green leaves kept overly inquiring hands at a polite distance. Balancing lightly yet anchored securely in their home in alarmingly shallow ceramic boats, perched on tall pedestals, the lordly arboreals serenely tolerated appreciative onlookers leave-to-eye.

Other Acer friends, both palmatum and trident, frozen in motion mudslides of roots and trunklets on elevated display, were serenaded with other equally Japanese traditional elements of duelling shamisen players, a set of elegantly twirling kimono-bound dancers flashed and folded their fans to a koto and the singer’s wailing call. Perhaps the shrubbery wondered, “How did we ever become these pampered pets, and in this magnificent enclosure?” Meanwhile, between clinking glasses of rosé champagne with friends familiar and new, selecting elegantly crafted hors d'oeuvres, guests of the ensconced trees chatted with bonsai experts and aficionados. As the evening progressed, the first of the bonsai leaves began their journey from green to yellow and orange, and their wintery rest.

Tree House Bonsai with Adam Jones. 1228 Wakaguri,Ami-machi, Inashiki-gun, Ibaraki-ken 300-0333. From Tokyo take the Joban train line to Hitachinoushiku station, and a short taxi drive to Tree House Bonsai.
The Peninsula Tokyo, 1-8-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, by Hibiya station, exit A6 & A7.