What Does a 2,000-Year-Old Tree Look Like?

On the tail-end of our recent trip to Japan we stopped by Kinomiya Jinja in Atami to check out the local kami, as the deities Isotakeru, Yamatotakeru and Okuninushi are rumored to live there.

Here’s what Yamatotakeru apparently looks like (an artist’s conception, I can only assume):

Our shrine visit was also a chance to reminisce about my first son’s fake baptism into the Shinto religion there 25 years ago. Ah the memories!

Of course we had to purify ourselves prior to entering the Shrine complex. Here’s Japanese dad showing us how it’s done.

Wandering around the complex we stumbled onto a 2,000-year-old Camphor tree (it’s kind of hard to miss). It’s said to be a  “power spot”, and that your life gets extended a year every time you walk around the trunk. Of course I don’t believe in these silly superstitions. But I did ten laps just in case.

Then out came our camera for video footage of this amazing, sacred old grandpa of a tree. Check out what a 2,000-year-old Camphor tree looks like in the clip below. And if you’re interested in what a Shinto Shrine courtyard looks like, there’s a bonus clip below.

The courtyard of Kinomiya Jinja:

Copyright © Tim Sullivan 2011


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