Showing posts with label trees. Show all posts
Showing posts with label trees. Show all posts

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Kabura-Sugi The Turnip Tree of Dogo

Kabura Sugi

This unusual tree is called Kabura Sugi and it can be found on Dogo, the largest of the Oki Islands in the Japan Sea off the coast of Shimane. Kabura is a kind of Japanese turnip-like vegetable with a round body with numerous stems rising vertically.

Kabura Sugi

This particular tree has 6 trunks and rises to about 42 meters. It is estimated to be about 600 years old.

Kabura Sugi

I believe it a species of cypress called Urasugi that is found on the slopes of the mountains on the island. It's more famous cousin found nearby is the Boob Cedar.

Kabura Sugi

Monday, April 17, 2017

Asami Shrine Revisited

A pair of huge trees flank the entrance to Asami Shrine in Beppu. I posted on the shrine many years ago.

It is the main shrine for the town and enshrines Hachiman.

I was heading out of town to continue my walk around Kyushu.

It was early in the morning on a sunny day..... the golden hour for photographers....

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Kyushu Pilgrimage Day 11 Beppu to Oita

This is somewhat how I felt on the morning of my eleventh day of walking around Kyushu. After 2 days of miserable, grey, drizzly weather, the sky was clear and blue. The statue is of Kumahachi Aburaya, the entrepeneur who put Beppu on the tourist map and was to a large extent responsible for modern Japanese tourism....

Heading south out of Beppu I took lots of shots of the colorful manhole covers of the town before stopping in at the big Hachiman Shrine with its pair of giant cedars.

After heading down the coast I cut inland to get to Yusuhara Hachimangu, the major shrine of the area and home to a set of fantatsic carvings adorning the main gate,... from there downhill all the way into the outskirts of Oita City.

At Funai castle ruins I caught this married couple having their wedding photos taken among the cherry blossoms. Nearby was an older building designed by Oita native Arata Isozaki that now contains a small museum of his models and drawing which was a real delight.

I then headed to the hills to te south of the city center where there were some older temples, shrines, & Buddhist carvings.....

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Shimenawa & trees


Shimenawa, the sacred ropes that mark sacred space, can often be found wrapped around trees.

Sometimes the tree features in an old story or myth, but most often they are simply very old.


Shrines are one of the few places where these ancient trees can still be found in Japan.

One way I look for shrines is to look for an unusually large clump of trees in the landscape, and often that is where the shrine is.

A walk from Tsuwano to Masuda 7079

One historian has suggested that when Japan first began building its capital cities in the Nara area the cutting down of the forests led to all kind of environmental problems so shrines were placed where the rivers came out of the mountains and therefore were protected.


There used to a lot more of these sacred groves of ancient trees but the government cut them down when they closed half the shrines in the country. They were local "folk" shrines, not "national" shrines with connections to the imperial rulers, and so were irrelevant to the new state shinto they created.



Friday, April 3, 2009

4,000 years old trees.


At 1,126 meters in height, the seven peaks of Mount Sanbe make it the highest point in Iwami. There have been minor eruptions of this volcano in historical times, but somewhere between 3,500 and 3,750 years ago there was a major eruption.


A few years ago, while working on some rice paddies to the north of Sanbe, the topsoil was excavated away to reveal the top of an ancient tree buried during that eruption. Further excavation revealed a total of 30 trees that had been lying under the rice paddies, buried by the eruption.


The Sanbe Azukihara Buried Forest park shows some of the trees exactly as they were left after the volcanic activity. One can descend 13.5 metres below ground level to see them in-situ.


The biggest tree has a base of 1.8 metres, and the oldest tree has 636 tree rings making it easily more than 4,000 years old. The trees are Japanese Cedar.


One of the tree bases has its own building, and it feels like entering a missile silo.


The park and museum is located on the north side of sanbe, about 20 mins by car from Oda Station on the JR Sanin line. Like a lot of interesting sites "off the beaten track" there is no public transport that reaches it. Open Tue through Sun, year round, with several short breaks, so best to phone to make sure its open. (0854) 86 9500

Entrance Adults: 300yen, kids: 100yen

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The biggest tree in Shimane

A walk from Tsuwano to Masuda 7154

This is the biggest tree in Shimane Prefecture!
It is located in a small village just downstream of Nichihara Town on the Tsuwano River.
It is a Kusunoki , a Camphor tree, and last time it was measured it had a span of 12.3 metres, and a height of 29.5 metres.
I seriously doubt that every tree in the prefecture has been measured :).

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Japanese Plants: know them and use them,

Japanese Plants: know them and use them

Betty W. Richards Anne Kaneko

Shufunotomo Co. Ltd



This book is small enough to fit into a pocket or purse, yet absolutely packed with useful information on the flora of Japan. It covers trees, flowers, bushes, grasses, vegetables, and fruits, almost everything you are likely to see anywhere in Japan. Each plant is given in its English, Japanese, and Latin names, and has a color photo.

Information on where you can see the plant, where it came from, it's life-cycle, interesting tidbits on its cultural values and history, and, most usefully, how it is used. Wild food collection is still widely practised in the rural areas of Japan, and if you are a "stalker of the wild asparagus" this little guide is indispensable.

There is enough information for it to work as a field identification guide, or simply for learning the Japanese names of plants.

Excellent little book, I can't recommend it enough!!