Name: The Lone Cryptomeria of Ikarugi (鵤木の一本杉)
Type: Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica)
Trunk Circumference: 5.9m
Age: 600 years
Location: 栃木県足利市鵤木町 (36° 18′ 52″N 139° 29′ 27″E)
Date of Visit: 2012-7-25
This is called the Lone Cryptomeria, but when you approach it, you realize there are three trunks. The top bit has died off, it looks like, but the side branches have grown long and vigorously. It’s almost pine-like. Or, alternatively, it’s like three bald eagles standing back to back and stretching their wings. I digress.
Here and there on the trunk, you can see a bit of burning. Whether this has anything to do with the top dying off, I cannot say.
It is said that, in the olden days, this cryptomeria was planted here, on this small hill, to act as a landmark for travellers on the local road. Before, you could surely see this tree from a long way off, as the land here is quite flat. Now though, you need to be rather close to see it, due to buildings here and there. I’ve heard that there used to be another giant cryptomeria 200m east of this place, but it has since withered and gone.
There’s a small park surrounding the tree and its mound. There’s a swing and… well there’s a swing. I guess at one time kids used to come here to play, but given the number of empty beer cans kickin’ around the park, I’d guess parents don’t do that so often these days.