Sunday Driving – Takanezawa 9-24

So I thought what I’d do is on Sundays, I’d share a video recently taken by drive recorder, which may be interesting or which may be not interesting at all. Videos are saved in 5 minute chunks on the drive recorder, so there are hundreds of 5 minute videos to choose from at any time, and I choose by asking someone to pick a number. Maybe this will be the only time I do this, but maybe I will do it Kind Of Regularly.

This video was shot here in Takanezawa on September 24th. No, that wasn’t a Sunday, but I am posting this on a Sunday, so thpppppppt.

The Giant Trees of Tochigi: #11 The Giant Cryptomeria of Nikko Shrine

#11 The Giant Cryptomeria of Nikko Shrine
What might I find at the end of this path?

Number: 11
Name: The Giant Cryptomeria of Nikko Shrine (日光神社のスギ)
Type: Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica)
Height: 30m
Trunk Circumference: 6.6m
Age: unknown
Location:栃木県足利市名草中町 (36° 23′ 40″N 139° 28′ 31″E)
Date of Visit: 2012-7-25

#11 The Giant Cryptomeria of Nikko Shrine
What might I find at the top of these stairs, for that matter?

Nikko Shrine is located 8km north of Central Ashikaga, along Prefectural Road 218 (The Nagusa-Omata Line), on the right bank of the Nagusa River.

#11 The Giant Cryptomeria of Nikko Shrine
Here is the shrine.

This Sacred Tree is on the left once you climb the stone steps to the top. The main shrine building lies to your right. Because it lies a short distance from the main shrine, you may not specifically notice it as you visit, but once you’ve finished praying and turn back from the shrine, you can’t help but notice it standing there, waiting.

#11 The Giant Cryptomeria of Nikko Shrine
Oh, there it is.

As it has grown, this tree has branched into five trunks, though one of them is a bit spindly, so you can be forgiven for only noticing four. There is the possibility that this is a case of several trees growing together at the base, which, as we have seen, is something that often happens with cryptomeria, but I’m not entirely convinced in this case.

#11 The Giant Cryptomeria of Nikko Shrine
You can see how the left one has no foliage.

The information board says that the foliage shows the tree is full of vigour. I would not necessarily go quite that far. If you look, of the many trunks, only one has a good amount of foliage, and one has none whatsoever. The information board was erected in 昭和55年 (1980) though, so things do age in 30 years. I know!

#11 The Giant Cryptomeria of Nikko Shrine

Still, a tree that seems to be quite old, and one that is as large as this, it’s not unusual to lack needles at any time. It’s not unusual to shed trunks at any time. But when I see this tree standing here at this time, it’s not unusual to hear me sigh.