TsukuBlog

A Local Perspective on Life in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

Mushroom Mania at Tsukuba`s Botanical Garden (through Oct. 9th) at the Kinoko Exhibition

Table full of mushroom gathered from within the confines of the Tsukuba Botanical Garden

About 200 of the 400 types of mushrooms which grow wild within the Tsukuba City limits- laid out on a table at the Tsukuba Botanical Garden (through Oct. 9, 2017). The large white blob you can see is an ONIFUBE which can grow to be up to one meter in diameter

On a beautiful Sunday in Tsukuba -  rare sight - a young man sitting next to his girlfriend doing zazen meditation at the Botanical Garden.  An indication in recent resurgence of interest in traditional culture.

On a beautiful Sunday in Tsukuba – rare sight – a young man sitting next to his girlfriend doing zazen meditation at the Botanical Garden. An indication in recent resurgence of interest in traditional culture.

 

 
A tray of mushroom at the Tsukuba Botanical Garden 2013

A tray of mushroom at the Tsukuba Botanical Garden

 

For three hundrwd yen you can pick a packetfull of mushrooms

For three hundrwd yen you can pick a packetfull of mushrooms

By Avi Landau

Being a heavilly forested country with several climatic regions, Japan is very rich in mushrooms- with approximately 4000 identified species and many more yet to be named. Each autumn  the amazing bounty of this country`s fungi can be encountered at supermarkets, at the table, and ESPECIALLY( because most species are not eaten)- IN THE WOODS!

Coming in so many different shapes, colors, and sizes, the discovery of certain unusual mushrooms can often be the highlight of an autumn hike ( or stroll).

Of course, this holds true in the Tsukuba area, as well, where about 400 different mushroom species grow in the wild.

 

Mushrooms of different sizes, different shapes, and a surprisingly varied array of smells, around the freshly picked mushroom table

If you have a chance to make it to Tsukuba`s excellent botanical garden by Oct 10th, you will be able to encounter more than half of these species (about 200) freshly gathered and laid out on a table as part of the Mushroom Exhibition- KINOKO TEN, which opened last weekend and will run through the evening of  October 9, 2017.

This amazing FESTIVAL OF FUNGI  on display in a newly built glass house is especially  interesting for its labeling system which indicates whether species are edible or poisonous, and if poisonous, to what degree ( the angel mark indicates deadly mushrooms- of which there are several species which grow wild in the Tsukuba area!). You will realize from the sometimes close resemblance between the most poisonous mushrooms and those most commonly eaten-  that you should NEVER trust your own judgement about whether a mushroom that you find yourself in the woods is safe to eat.

All this amazing variety can be touched, handled and smelled to your heart`s content .

Muishrooms on display at the Connection between Living Creatures Exhibit at the Tsukuba Botanical Garden (2015)

Muishrooms on display at the Connection between Living Creatures Exhibit at the Tsukuba Botanical Garden 

The IBO TENGU TAKE , one of the deadly poisonous mushrooms which grow wild in this area

Mushrooms at the Tsukuba Botanical Garden 2013

Mushrooms at the Tsukuba Botanical Garden

On weekdays a mushroom specialist ( mycologist) will give a little talk about the Tsukuba mushrooms at noon, while on the weekend this will take place twice ( at 11:00 and 1:00).

After discussing some of the more interesting specimens on the table, the researcher will then take you on a walk through the garden in search of mushroom growing wild on the grounds.

Cultivated mushrooms on display

Cultivated mushrooms on display

A mycologist talks about Tsukuba`s mushrooms during the event ( there will be several such talks over the weekend)

Before you get to the amazing Table of Local Mushrooms you will pass through the main display of the exhibition which explains various aspects of some of nature`s most mysterious organisms ( though the texts are in Japanese only).

Entrance to the Botanical Garden costs 300 Yen, though I would recommend buying a one year pass for 1,000 Yen which allows for unlimited free entry for a period of one year. Since this pass will also get you into the National Science Museum in Ueno for free, I consider it to be one of the best bargains available to nature lovers in Tsukuba ( just ask the front desk clerk for a REEPEETAZ PASS –   リピーターズパス).

And for those interested in some more on interesting mushroom encounters in Tsukuba you can read about my own face to face with the stinkhorn PHALLUS IMPUDICUS here:

http://blog.alientimes.org/2010/10/encountering-phallus-impudicus-stinkhorns-or-suppon-take-in-tsukubas-bamboo-forests/

Some of Tsukuba`s edible mushrooms on display

 

And some of the fungi you should avoid eating!

This year`s classiification systwm has been symplified: GREEN: EDIBLE BLACK: POISONOUS RED: UNKNOWN

This year`s classiification systwm has been symplified: GREEN: EDIBLE
BLACK: POISONOUS
RED: UNKNOWN

 

In past years this was the system is used to classify the local  mushrooms displayed on the table outside.

Here is a key to the symbols:

The green character- EDIBLE

The red character- UNSURE

The purple character in the white background- EDIBLE BUT NOT TASTY

The purple in the yellow- EDIBLE IN SMALL QUANTITIES

The yellow character with lightning in the tummy- WILL CAUSE STOMACH OR BREATHING TROUBLE

The Yellow character with the swirls around its head- A HALLUCINAGENIC

The black angel- CERTAIN DEATH

Mushrooms at the IKIMONO NO KIZUNA TEN (生き物のきずうな展)

Mushrooms at the Tsukuba Botanical Garden

 

More mushrooms 2015

More mushrooms 



One Comment

  • Mamoru Shimizu says:

    Splendid mushroom collection over there !!
    One of my old friends is a maniac of wild Mushrooms, said he knew almost all edible and non edible
    natural grown mushrooms, he lectured about this one or that one when we were walking mountain side.
    But he never made us mushroom- cuisines (Kinoko-Jiru) for us even we insisted. I don’ t know why. So I lost interest to his stories which he said attracted many ladies.
    The other friend presented me a bucket full Boribori-mushroom (eatable!),when we lived mountainside of Fukushima prefecture every year.
    So I always made big cheers when he sang his good Karaoke Song in Bars in Shinbashi Tokyo later.
    Mashroom maniacs if they said so, should be certain enough to entertain Kinoko-Jiru for non maniac people, this is my personal opinion ! “Hanayori Dango: Cakes are beeter than flowers”
    Recently I have been persuaded to drink Enokidake-soup (Flammulina velutipes) by my wife, she had watched NHK Morning TV program “Asaichi “,and
    thought that it could possibly reduce my over inner fat by takin mushroom’s KITOSAN effect, fiber effect, and lenoletic acid effect.
    I hope my pottery berry would some how would be dismissed and also my a litle? overweight would be reduced.
    We are lucky to have JICKEN botanical garden in Tskuba. They always provide something interest.
    Thanks Avi-san your nice article for me to analyze my attitude toward mushrooms.