Tag Archives: 杉

The Giant Trees of Tochigi: #13 The Giant Cryptomeria of Matsuda Shrine

#13 The Giant Cryptomeria of Matsuda Shrine
There’s a handy sign!

Number: 13
Name: The Giant Cryptomeria of Matsuda Shrine (松田神社のスギ)
Type: Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica)
Height: 30m
Trunk Circumference: 5.2m
Age: 480 years
Location: 栃木県足利市松田町宮前 (36° 23′ 46″N 139° 25′ 35″E)
Date of Visit: 2012-7-25

#13 The Giant Cryptomeria of Matsuda Shrine
I can just about see it!

From Ashikaga Nishi High School, if you follow the Matsuda River about 5km up Prefectural Road 219 (The Matsuda-Hajika Line) towards the foothills of the mountains, you’ll find Matsuda Shrine.

#13 The Giant Cryptomeria of Matsuda Shrine
Thar she blows!

This large cryptomeria is behind the front shrine, and in front and to the left of the main shrine. There is a thin shimenawa. It seems this is a sacred tree.

On the tall, slender trunk of this cryptomeria, there are no side branches until the top third or so of the tree. At the very top, it has branched out in three directions, which gives it a lovely canopy shape.

#13 The Giant Cryptomeria of Matsuda Shrine
You’re lovely, you are.

Compared to the other, younger cryptomeria around, this one certainly does stand out as an old one. Nevertheless, it still seems to be a strong, vital tree, with no worries as to its future.

The Giant Trees of Tochigi: #11 The Giant Cryptomeria of Nikko Shrine

#11 The Giant Cryptomeria of Nikko Shrine
What might I find at the end of this path?

Number: 11
Name: The Giant Cryptomeria of Nikko Shrine (日光神社のスギ)
Type: Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica)
Height: 30m
Trunk Circumference: 6.6m
Age: unknown
Location:栃木県足利市名草中町 (36° 23′ 40″N 139° 28′ 31″E)
Date of Visit: 2012-7-25

#11 The Giant Cryptomeria of Nikko Shrine
What might I find at the top of these stairs, for that matter?

Nikko Shrine is located 8km north of Central Ashikaga, along Prefectural Road 218 (The Nagusa-Omata Line), on the right bank of the Nagusa River.

#11 The Giant Cryptomeria of Nikko Shrine
Here is the shrine.

This Sacred Tree is on the left once you climb the stone steps to the top. The main shrine building lies to your right. Because it lies a short distance from the main shrine, you may not specifically notice it as you visit, but once you’ve finished praying and turn back from the shrine, you can’t help but notice it standing there, waiting.

#11 The Giant Cryptomeria of Nikko Shrine
Oh, there it is.

As it has grown, this tree has branched into five trunks, though one of them is a bit spindly, so you can be forgiven for only noticing four. There is the possibility that this is a case of several trees growing together at the base, which, as we have seen, is something that often happens with cryptomeria, but I’m not entirely convinced in this case.

#11 The Giant Cryptomeria of Nikko Shrine
You can see how the left one has no foliage.

The information board says that the foliage shows the tree is full of vigour. I would not necessarily go quite that far. If you look, of the many trunks, only one has a good amount of foliage, and one has none whatsoever. The information board was erected in 昭和55年 (1980) though, so things do age in 30 years. I know!

#11 The Giant Cryptomeria of Nikko Shrine
Creepers!

Still, a tree that seems to be quite old, and one that is as large as this, it’s not unusual to lack needles at any time. It’s not unusual to shed trunks at any time. But when I see this tree standing here at this time, it’s not unusual to hear me sigh.

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
Tall!

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.