Healing - Experience - Touching the Energy of Wood - Tree

Feeling the Vital Energy of Trees
Huge trees stand tall in the midst of the flow of time silently watching us as we lead our daily lives. Their silent 'ki' or vital energy consoles, energizes, and empowers us whenever we stand near them or touch them.
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At Tamaki Shrine one can find several trees which have stood more than one thousand years. The power of 'ki' energy around these trees is palpable and energizing. This particular 'Jindaisugi' cedar is said to be 3000 years old. It stands just behind the main building at the Tamaki Shrine. It stands as if it were there to guard the building. Whoever stands in front of this tree is overwhelmed by its greatness.
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Kounouchi Shrine

This is 'Anzanju' at the Kounouchi Shrine in Kiho town in Mie Prefecture. The name 'Anzanju' means 'tree of easy child delivery'. The tree holds a big rock between its roots, which looks just like a woman about to give birth. You can see numerous baby bibs hung on the gate as a token of gratitude shown by those who received some benefit by praying at this tree. The grove here was designated as a prefectural natural treasure in 1941.

In ancient Shinto there were no shrine buildings. Deities were worshipped through the objects of nature found in various power spots in the natural world. Here we have such an example. The shrine here is a huge rock with many caves inside. In front of the rock there is a tree covered with moss. At the base of the tree is a hole between the roots. It is said that young women who wish to have a child can conceive, and pregnant women can have an easy delivery if they pass through this hole. In 1941 this shrine was designated as a Prefectural Natural Treasure. The shrine is also famous for having 300 species of plants growing in its vicinity.
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The Kobosugi
The 'Kobosugi' Cedars overlook the Oto River in Hongu-cho. They are 45m in height, and can be seen along the Oto river near the Kawayu Onsen just off highway 168. These cedars are named after Kobodaishi, the famous Buddhist founder of Shingon Esoteric Buddhism. It is said that he left two cedar twigs there after using them as chopsticks. Legend has it that these two chopsticks took root and grew up to be these two huge trees.
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This photo shows a path lined with Pasania trees. The path meanders for about 500m on the way to Tomyozaki in Taiji. The branches of the trees form a tunnel which leads to Tomyozaki and feels like a passageway to the sea.
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Takijirioji Kyoboku
It has been said that the Kumano Mode Pilgrimage was protected and led by the great trees of Kumano. This huge tree is found behind the Takijiri Oji Shrine which is at the entrance of the Nakaheji path of the Kumano Kodo Old Road. Its roots can be seen spreading out as if they were holding the rock. This tree must have given a profound impression to the pilgrims who were just entering into the 'land of healing', the divine area of Kumano.
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Hikisaku no Ookusu
This big camphor tree has been taken care of by the locals for 1500 years as the home of the deity of the Hikisaku Shrine. If you place your hand on its trunk with your eyes closed you might just be able to understand something of the long relationship between the local people and this grand arbor. The tree is 48.5 meters high and its branches spread 40m in diameter. Hikisaku no Ookusu was designated as a Prefectural Natural Treasure in 1936.

This is the view of Hikisaku no Ookosu at a distance. It looks like a mountain of foliage over the orange orchard below. Minakata Kumakusu, a famous scholar born in Wakayama Prefecture, took great pains to protect this tree from being cut down. He campaigned hard against the Meiji government in order to protect the site and the tree deities. As a result this tree remains standing until this day.
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Nachi Genseirin (primeval forest)

Near the Nachi Falls there are lush primeval forests which haven't been touched by human hands for thousands of years. This forest is a biologist's delight and is well protected as a treasure-house of natural plant and tree species. There are about 3500 species of plants and trees in the forest called Genseirin which is on the mountain to the right of Nachi Falls. It is said that Minakata Kumakusu, who is famous for his study of local plant life, learned much by studying in this forest. Today, in order to protect the natural ecology, the public is prohibited to enter into this mountain area without special permission. Even large fallen trees are allowed to rot where they fall.
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Daimonzaka Meotosugi

These cedars, which are about 800 years old, stand like man and wife at the entrance of Daimonzaka on the Kumano Kodo Old Road. It is after crossing Furikasebashi Bridge, which is said to be where one crosses over from the mundane world into the world of the divine, that one comes to Daimonzaka and these ancient cedars. Many other old cedars are found alongside the stone-paved road which leads to the entrance of Daimonzaka. These particular cedars are about 55 meters in height and are about 8 meters in diameter and nestle close to each other near the entrance of Daimonzaka.
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Doi Chikurin
Doi Chikurin is the biggest bamboo forest in the Kumano area and is near Owase City. It is a quiet space filled with the fragrance of bamboo and the rustling of bamboo leaves.

This vast bamboo forest is being taken care of by the Doi Family. Doi Hachirobei, head of the eighth generation of the family started it by transplanting a kind of bamboo called Mososhiku from Satsuma (the present Kagoshima Prefecture). This forest covers an area of about 4000 square meters. Some of the bigger bamboo trees are up to 30cm in diameter.
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The Camphor Trees of Owase Shrine
Huge camphor trees stand at the entrance of Owase Shrine. They are designated as Prefectural Natural Treasures. These two huge trees are said to be more than 1000 years old. Their circumference is 9 to 10m.
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