As you may have seen from the link at the top of the page, I am trying to document as many giant trees in Tochigi as I can. If you’ve given the page more than a cursory glance, though, you’ll see that I did three trees in January 2010 and then never did it again, which is kind of ridiculous.
Anyway, on Saturday I got off my ass and then sat on my ass in a car for hours while I hunted them. I bagged 9!
First I got #77 The Sacred Zelkova of Shirahige Shrine, which is actually hyperclose to my home but I’d never bothered to go. Then drove way into the sticks of Otawara to find #53 The Giant Zelkova of Sakuyama.
Since it was nearby, I then headed off to bag #52 The Giant Evergreen Oak of Takioka Onsen Shrine. What I found was a shock and a disappointment, though.
Then to #59 The Giant Sawara Cypress of Nasu Shrine, and a much-deserved rest at the nearby Michi no Eki Yoichi no Sato (道の駅 与一の郷) rest area.
Next, off to #54 The Giant Zelkova of Yakumo Shrine in Kurobaneta. After that, I tried to bag #55 The Giant Quercus Sessilifolia of Horinouchi, but could not find an entrance to the place my navi was telling me it was. I gave up on it and moved on, bagging #56 The Giant Nutmeg-yew of Fudouin.
Next up, I planned to find #57 The Giant Cryptomeria of Onsen Shrine, but my navi had other ideas, and took me up some long-disused road (which was fine, and not unexpected), and then told me to walk 3km through a forest to get to the shrine. I took exception to that, because I knew that the shrine was not in such a place and also because I could hear buzzing, and did not want to stumble upon a nest of giant Asian hornets (スズメバチ for those in the know) out in the end of forever all by myself. So I gave up on that one.
Headed next for #58 The Giant Ginkgo of Oonomuro, and found that just fine (though there were a fair few buzzy flying things there too that set me a little on edge.)
On a whim, I decided I’d try #57 again, and though the directions my navi gave were still dodgy, I did, at last, manage to find it.
It was past 6pm by this point, and so I was heading home. I needed gas, but didn’t need it right then. Stopped at an intersection I’d passed through several times that day, on another whim I decided to pull in to the gas station there. While filling up, I again was struck by a serendipitous whim, and asked the lady filling my tank if she knew about #55. She didn’t, but knew someone who might. A few minutes later, I had a place to park and a guide lined up to show me to the tree.
So at the end of the day, I ended up bagging all 9 that I had set out to find, and had a pretty great adventure doing it.
I’m processing pics, and preparing blog posts for each part of the adventure, so do give those a look when they show up, yeah? :D?