The Giant Trees of Tochigi: #59 The Giant Sawara Cypress of Nasu Shrine

#59 Giant Sawara Cypress of Nasu Shrine
Despite being labelled a tourist attraction, Nasu Shrine's grounds seem to be littered in scrap, and I know not why. Nevertheless, the Giant Sawara Cypress is still a sight to behold.

Number: 59
Name: Giant Sawara Cypress of Nasu Shrine (那須神社のサワラ)
Type: Sawara Cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera)
Height: 31m
Trunk Circumference: 5.0m
Age: 250 years
Location: 栃木県大田原市南金丸 (36° 51′ 46″N 140° 05′ 17″E)
Date of Visit: 2011-5-21

#59 Giant Sawara Cypress of Nasu Shrine
Of the many giant trees on this path, the Giant Sawara Cypress is the greatest.

The path leading to Nasu Shrine opens up from National Route 461. In 2004, Nasu Yoichi no Sato Rest Area (道の駅 那須与一の郷) opened adjacent to the shrine grounds. Tradition states that Nasu Shrine was founded during the reign of Emperor Nintoku (who is said to have reigned from 313-399 CE and is entombed in Japan’s largest kofun, Daisen Kofun in Sakai City, Osaka). The shrine’s two-storey outer gate is one of Tochigi’s Tangible Cultural Properties. It is a lovely shrine, and it’s a shame about all the scrap littering the grounds.

The Sawara Cypress stands along the path leading to the shrine, set back a little ways from the path itself on the left side. Of course, on the grounds there are many great zelkovas and sawara cypresses, but this one seems to be the largest.

#59 Giant Sawara Cypress of Nasu Shrine
Here, too, stone lanterns have been tumbled by the earthquake of March 11th, and have not yet been righted.
#59 Giant Sawara Cypress of Nasu Shrine
御神木 - Sacred Tree. Bidding farewell, I toddle next door to the Michi no Eki for a brief respite before continuing my adventure.

I try to show you my Japan. Won’t you show us your Japan?

3 thoughts on “The Giant Trees of Tochigi: #59 The Giant Sawara Cypress of Nasu Shrine”

    1. I know, right? It’s weird. At first I thought I’d just shown up in the middle of active quake-repair work, but looking closer, everything was on its way to being overgrown, so it had been there for a while.

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