Said to be over a 1000 years old, Daigozakura is an enormous, hugely impressive cherry tree that stands alone on top of a hill in the midst of a tranquil mountainside area. It has even been selected among Japan’s top 100 famous trees, and attracts vast numbers of visitors when in full bloom, which has been around April 10th in previous years.
According to legend, in 1332 when Emperor Go-Daigo was exiled to the Oki Islands, he is said to have admired this particular tree, and that’s how it got its name, Daigozakura.
Towering over its tranquil mountain valley surroundings, the enormous Daigozakura stands majestically as a representative of the whole Chugoku region.
This is Daigozakura’s thick trunk; its circumference at the bottom is a whopping 9.2 meters! A fence surrounds Daigozakura, but there is one place where you can enter and get close to its trunk.
A walking route has been set up around the fence, and no matter from what angle it is viewed from, the tree shows a different face. With a height of around 18 meters, the tree’s branch spread is 20 meters from east to west and south to north.
Along the walking route you can also find spring flowers such as the oriental paper bush in bloom – one of the points for people wanting a photo together with Daigozakura.
As the surrounding terrain in uneven, you can even see the cherry tree from places quite far away. It’s also fun to take a walk in the tranquil mountainside valley while searching for places where you can see Daigozakura!
If you get tired on your walk, you can also stop by at the nearby resting area. They offer light meals such as udon, and they also sell processed local agricultural products such as pickled Japanese leek and yuzu miso. In addition, during the blooming season, the tree is illuminated from sunset until 9PM, and you can see other dream-like cherry trees in the evening, as well.
How about a flower-viewing walk in a simple mountainside valley while admiring a famous rare cherry tree??
Location: 2197 Bessho, Maniwa city, Okayama prefecture
Guide Homepage: http://cms.top-page.jp/p/maniwa/3/4/7/ (Japanese – some English information available on a PDF found in the upper right corner of the site)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Hironobu Matsuoka
Hironobu Matsuoka / Photo-writer Born in 1974 in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, and currently living there, Hironobu is the president of Mediapolis Inc. "I travel around the country in Solar King, an eco-camping car that has a solar power generator, and film the beautiful scenery of Japan in high-definition. I want to move around the country as much as possible and leave behind videos of precious Japanese nature and scenery for future generations to enjoy. Although I travel all over the country, I love my home area of Setouchi." 'Healing Japan TV' - Traveling virtually around the country through 'healing videos'.
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