The Giant Trees of Tochigi: #33 The Heike Cryptomeria

#33 The Heike Cryptomeria
Big ol’ tall tree with only a graveyard as a neighbour.

Number: 33
Name: Heike Cryptomeria (平家杉)
Type: Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica)
Height: 30m
Trunk Circumference: 7.7m
Age: 600 years
Location: 栃木県日光市上栗山 (36° 51′ 51″N 139° 35′ 08″E)
Date of Visit: 2012-7-23

#33 The Heike Cryptomeria

If you drive west along Prefectural Road 23 (The Kawamata Onsen-Kawaji Line), and then turn south to cross the Kinu River over the Kaiun Bridge, you’ll enter the community of Kamikuriyama. No matter where you are in Kamikuriyama, you can see this tree.

#33 The Heike Cryptomeria
I’m not entirely clear what happened here ! It looks pretty fresh. No one was around to ask.

After their defeat in the Genpei War, the fleeing members of the Taira Clan are said to have planted this tree to pray for the revival of their clan. Of course, their prayer was for nought, and the Minamoto Clan went on to decisively trounce them at the Battle of Dan-no-ura. And just as the children of Taira never recovered, so too this tree has no children, and it is sometimes referred to as “The Childless Tree”.