Name: Tarou Sugi of Omiya Shrine (大宮神社の太郎杉)
Type: Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica)
Trunk Circumference: 6.7m
Age: 530 years
Location: 栃木県日光市長畑 (36° 40′ 52″N 139° 41′ 22″E)
Date of Visit: 2012-7-23
About 2km west of Myojin Station on the Tobu Nikko Line, on a hill on the left bank of the Nagahata River, there is Omiya Shrine. According to the information board at the site, the shrine was founded in Houki 4 (宝亀４年, 773 CE), so it’s a very ancient place. This tree stands in the main compound of the shrine. It seems to be the guardian tree of this place.
As for the origin of the name, Tarou Sugi… there is no record, so I don’t know! As the largest tree in this area, surrounded by other trees… perhaps the trees bestowed the name themselves? Listen to me, nattering on like a crazy.
This tree is a protected National Natural Monument. There are a lot of other big trees kickin’ around too. And don’t forget, this is in old Imaichi (now a part of Nikko), which is home to the longest cryptomeria-lined avenue in the world. In a town such as this, for this to be the biggest tree, it is surely an important place.