CONTRIBUTED BY IVAN
I was cruising down the street in my ’64—actually it’s my ’98, but the year of my whip is not what I wish to share with you—when I spotted a plant nursery. Not just any nursery—a Bonsai nursery. When I see Hiragana, Katakana, or any other form of Japanese writing it makes perfect nonsense to me, but I easily understood a Bonsai tree painted on the side of a building as totally awesome. I promptly did a U-turn to partake.
The nursery is approximately half the size of a basketball court and contains nuthin’ but Bonsai trees. Now, before I start to explain this place, please recollect where you have previously seen Bonsai trees for sale on Okinawa, if at all. Probably Makeman or Tabata where they were expensive and you had to squint your eyes to get some sort of resemblance of a manicured midget tree.
Now, envision this: a single location that contains any type of Bonsai your heart desires. I could not believe what I saw when I first walked in: 500 yen for a 10-year-old tree! Not just a single plant, but many, many trees for sale in the 500 to 1000 yen range. Take a look at the pictures to see what you can get for 10 bucks. Impressive!
And now to the exciting part: Google “best Bonsai on planet earth/universe,” and this place has comparable trees!
I would have spent the afternoon observing and studying the many varieties of trees that were in stock, but I was dragged out by my earlobe since my girlfriend made reservations for ballroom dancing of all things (but that is another story).
The owner/operator is Mr. Arakaki, a very nice man who seemed quite informative and eager to share his passion of Bonsai. I nodded in agreement but did not understand much since he only speaks Japanese. It does not matter though; prices are clearly marked on the trees and it is a professional facility that is easily navigated.
Directions: From Kadena Gate 3 go straight on 26 until it T’s into 329. Make a left onto 329 and go for approximately 2 miles until 329 forks, make the Right (there is a Family Mart on the right as a land mark) and then approximately 300 yards take another Right onto 8 and head down the hill like you are going to Camp Courtney (you will pass Camp McTaureous on your right). Keep on 8 and pass through 75 and then through 224. As you cross 224 set your odometer, approximately 1 KM ahead on the Left is the Bonsai Nursery.
Hours: Unknown. His house is part of the nursery, so knock on his door if the nursery gate is closed.
Phone: 090-9782-3646 (No English Spoken)
Payment: Cold, hard, cash.