The Giant Trees of Tochigi: #46 The Sacred Zelkova of Nakamura Hachiman Shrine

#46 The Sacred Zelkova of Nakamura Hachiman Shrine
Here is the shrine, and there is the tree, over there in the shadows.

Number: 46
Name: The Sacred Zelkova of Nakamura Hachiman Shrine (中村八幡宮の神木)
Type: Zelkowa serrata
Height: 33m
Trunk Circumference: 5.5m
Age: 800 years
Location: 栃木県真岡市中 (36° 24′ 50″N 139° 57′ 13″E)
Date of Visit: 2012-8-2

#46 The Sacred Zelkova of Nakamura Hachiman Shrine
Behold!

On the left bank of the Kinu River (鬼怒川), about 1.5km east of the Mooka Kinu Park Golf Club, on a bit of high land you’ll find Nakamura Hachiman Shrine. It is a shrine that is blessed with a grove full of huge trees.

#46 The Sacred Zelkova of Nakamura Hachiman Shrine
This tree has a proper shimenawa.

According to the information boards, in Bunji 5 (文治5年, 1189 CE) upon his triumphal return home from taking part in Minamoto no Yoritomo’s (源頼朝) subjugation of the north, local feudal lord Nakamura Tokinaga presented a Gunbai (軍配団扇) to the shrine. At that time, this zelkova was planted. The age above is based on this story being true.

#46 The Sacred Zelkova of Nakamura Hachiman Shrine
Branch. Leaves.

This is a stern, bumpy tree, and the shrine folk say that this is appropriate given the story of its planting.