The Great Camphor Trees

Since long ago, Takeo has been a place embraced by natural beauties, inhabited by many small and large animals, and surrounded by trees and forests.

When I first came here, I was surprised to learn that in Takeo, there are three huge camphor trees that are over 3,000 years old. In Thailand, it is considered miraculous if a tree avoids being cut down and survives for more than several hundred years. Certainly, it is easier in Japan to find trees that are over several thousand years old.

Here are the names of the grand old camphor trees in Takeo.

1.The Great Camphor Tree in Takeo

The tree is located in the back of Takeo Shrine.
The tree measures 30 meters in height, 20 meters in trunk surroundings, and 30 meters in branch spread.


2.The Great Camphor Tree in Tsukasaki

Lightning struck the tree in 1963, and it was split down the middle.
Despite this fact, the tree remains alive and well, still spreading its branches.
The tree measures 18 meters in height (southside half), 13.6 meters in trunk surroundings, and 15 meters in branch spread.


3.The Great Camphor Tree in Kawago

The tree is the fifth largest tree in Japan.
The tree measures 25 meters in height, 21 meters in trunk surroundings, and 27 meters in branch spread.


Among the trees, I saw the Great Camphor Tree in Takeo first, and that was when I felt like I realized the meaning of what Japanese people call “Power Spot.” Being there, I felt some spiritual energy flowing out from the tree.
I took a picture of the tree and showed it to my friends. Some said that it looked like the house of Totoro.

The second camphor tree I saw is in Tsukasaki and is accessible. You can touch it and go inside it through a crack. You can feel it’s alive. The Great Camphor Tree in Tsukasaki gives you strength to live your life fully.

The third great camphor tree I saw is in Kawago. I was considering moving to Takeo at the time and wondering where in Takeo I should live. When I saw the tree, I made up my mind to live in Wakaki-cho, where the tree was.

Photo: Saga Prefectural Tourism Federation

Author name: Noi
Hometown: Bangkok, Thailand
I live in Wakaki-cho, Takeo City, Saga Prefecture, together with my Japanese husband, raising our child.
In Thailand, I used to do art and publication-related work.
I have a Kyushu Special Zone Guide-interpreter’s license (in Thai).