Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Japan Trip Update, Week One

Meeting with project partners at Koishikawa Botanic Garden of Tokyo University

Gingko biloba 
Our first full week has seen visits to Koishikawa Botanic Garden of Tokyo University, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, followed by a flight up to Sapporo where we visited Hokkaido University Botanic Garden and Tokyo University Forest, Hokkaido.  The visit to Koishikawa Botanic Garden gave Tom and I a chance to meet with other project partners, representing the Ministry of the Environment, Niigata Prefectural Botanic Garden, Tokyo University Botanic Garden and the University of Bonn Botanic Garden.

 Of the plants encountered so far, two stand out in particular. Kalopanax pictus and Tilia japonica. Kalopanax pictus is grown as an important timber tree along with Betula ermanii and seeing it as a large tree, growing in a stand of Picea jezoensis and Abies sachalinensis was quite a sight!

L-R Tom Price, Hirofumi Stubano, Dr. Daisuke Sakue & Ben Jones
The second, Tilia japonica was encountered in a less obvious location – a local noodle bar! The seats were made from this tree, which we hope to encounter in its more usual context as we travel across Japan.

Kalopanax pictus
Bench in noodle bar made from Tilia japonica

At the meeting with other project partners, we gave a presentation, detailing the aims and objectives of the trip over the next two years, and where the outcomes of the project help us deliver the core activities of the University, Garden and Arboretum. The response was very positive with offers of support in the form of guides to accompany us in the field, permit applications, collaborative collecting trips into the field and other logistics. 

View from University of Tokyo Forest, Hokkaido

1 comment:

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