Name: The Giant Zelkova of Touya Shrine (東箭神社のケヤキ)
Type: Zelkowa serrata
Trunk Circumference: 5.1m
Location: 栃木県小山市南小林 (36° 19′ 13″N 139° 44′ 23″E)
Date of Visit: 2012-7-28
Travel west from JR Oyama Station roughly 6km, and in the community of Minami-Kobayashi, you’ll find Touya Shrine. The main hall was built in Bunka 9 (文化９年, 1812 CE) and it, with its associated carved ornamentation are important cultural assets of Oyama. There’s an information board with all this information written on it standing by the roadside, and just beside it is this zelkova. However, the information board makes no mention of this zelkova whatsoever.
As you can see, the shape of the tree is like unto a dandelion all puffed up and ready to spread on the wind. It’s still growing, too. In the past twenty years, the trunk has put on nearly a meter of girth. I do hope it keeps on growing and growing until it is big enough for the Oyama Board of Education to deem it worth of inclusion on the information board here.