The Giant Trees of Tochigi: #31 Tarou Sugi of Omiya Shrine

#31 Tarou Sugi of Omiya Shrine
There he is! Tarou-kun! Standing about with his other tree friends~

Number: 31
Name: Tarou Sugi of Omiya Shrine (大宮神社の太郎杉)
Type: Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica)
Height: 45m
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

#31 Tarou Sugi of Omiya Shrine
There’s a wee shrine in front of this tree for the kodama who lives there.

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.

#31 Tarou Sugi of Omiya Shrine
That is a weird-ass bulge! I wonder why it’s like that.

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.

#31 Tarou Sugi of Omiya Shrine

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.