Name: Heike Cryptomeria (平家杉)
Type: Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica)
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
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.
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”.