Big Trees in Japan --- Cool Website

Lee_ME(z5)October 7, 2005

For anyone who loves big and/or old trees, here is a fabulous website you can navigate without necessarily needing to read Japanese.

Here's the site for a sample entry:

The sample is the biggest pine tree in Japan, known as "Entsuji no matsu." It's a Japanese Black Pine, reputed to be 650 years old. It's located on the island of Shikoku in Kagawa Prefecture at a Buddhist temple called Entsuji. The trunk is 7 meters in circumference and the tree is 10 meters tall.

To browse through huge trees at other locations in Japan, go to:'ll see a map of the prefectures of Japan. Click on any prefecture and you'll get an enlarged map of that prefecture with dots of various colors representing big trees of various types (for example, the pink dot is for cherry trees). Click on a dot to get photos and descriptions of individual trees.

We're planning our next trip to Japan next fall and my husband is an arborist and big fan of big trees, so we were happy to find this site to help us include some fabulous big trees in our itinerary!


Here is a link that might be useful: Entsuji no Matsu

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Lee : )

Thanku!! Thanku !! So awesome. Truly

I could not resist clicking on your thread before I headed off for bed .
The Trees wow. thanx : )

    Bookmark   October 8, 2005 at 1:43AM
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Gardener_KS(zone 5 KS)

Many trees are venerated in Japan. If you go to Hiroshima, you will find a number of trees wearing placques that signify that they are survivors of the atomic blast.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2005 at 10:27AM
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Cool! :) -- great site, Lee. There's someting truly inspirational about viewing these ancient survivors.. your fall trip is making me envious..

I'll have to content myself with one of Thomas Packenham's books instead :)


    Bookmark   October 8, 2005 at 8:27PM
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Hi Jack ---

Yes, the Packenham books are fabulous, aren't they?

We're really excited about this next trip. I'm sending one of my employees to the Kyoto University of Art and Design intensive seminar on JG (which I attended a few years ago), and I just have to tag along myself! Before long we had also made plans to include my husband (the big tree fan), a close friend & her daughter. Still have to figure out how to pay for three trips --- but these things have a way of working themselves out.

We're thinking of making a home base in Okayama and doing day trips out from there for about a week of the trip. Does anyone have suggestions of interesting gardens or other cultural activities within striking distance (e.g., w/in two hours' train ride one way from Okayama) of there? Also looking for a good place to stay near the station (preferably with a good communal bath).

There's an interesting restored castle garden at Akoojoo (east of Okayama) I learned about in Niwa magazine. Eastern Shikoku also seems to have a lot of interesting stuff (including that biggest pine tree).

I'm already worried about what we'll miss! So much to see.....


    Bookmark   October 9, 2005 at 10:31AM
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joefromsd(San Diego)

Could someone explain what the significance of the ropes (and the things attached to them)tied around some of those trees is ?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2005 at 3:50PM
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Gardener_KS(zone 5 KS)

Here's a site with info about some Japanese customs. The ropes with white zig-zag attachments are Shinto symbols, shimenawa, and they guard sacred places and trees.

Here is a link that might be useful: Japan info

    Bookmark   October 9, 2005 at 4:38PM
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joefromsd(San Diego)

Ah, thanks Gardner, that was some interesting info. I've seen those on Torri before, and on Sumo wrestlers, never made the connection.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2005 at 5:43PM
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Lee - Sounds like you're going to have a great old time.. and don't forget to post pics for us poor saps stuck in the western hemispheres :)


    Bookmark   October 10, 2005 at 4:25AM
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Old trees abound around temples and shrines for sure. I'm lucky enough to live near two mountains festooned with old growth forests. One is a sugi (cedar) forest and the other a broad leaf evergreen forest. Here's a kusunoki (Cinnamoma camphor v. japonica) growing in the later. It's the biggest one I've seen in the wild here, but some temple specimens rival it for size:

    Bookmark   October 10, 2005 at 4:26PM
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ScottReil_GD(z5 CT)

Amazing tree! Amazing site!

Thanks to all (especially Lee for starting this)

Lee, send me an application. I want to work for someone who will send me to Japan, better yet to really study J-gardens!


    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 6:55PM
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Thanks, Tom (Plantfreak) for the great tree portrait. Do you live near Yakushima? That looks like a great destination if you have some days to roam around.

Hi Scott! :) I'm just trying to win the "Boss of the Year" award. Actually, somebody else paid for my first trip to Japan 30 years ago, and it suddenly seemed like a good time to pass on the favor! Plus, I have my own self interest at heart --- it's more fun to work with people who are willing to learn how to say things like "monkey butt" in Japanese.


    Bookmark   October 15, 2005 at 2:35PM
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The solanum cultivating monkey has quite a chafed butt

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 4:28AM
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yama(7b Ga)

Hi all

The rope you asked is called "shimenawa". It is things of Shinto. why Shinto things at Buddhist temple ? . It is long story and I will explain later.
mike y

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 12:44AM
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joefromsd(San Diego)

Yama san, thankyou for the correct Japanese word. I just spent 1/2 an hour looking at all the different examples online. There sure are many types!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 11:11AM
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