Nature & Culture of Japan

To make your trip to Japan more interesting

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A strange needle-leaf tree, nagi

Trees can usually be  divided into broad-leaf and needle-leaf. The tree in this photo looks like a broad-leaf , but it is actually a needle-leaf.

Broad-leaf trees usually have a leaf with a central vein, but this leaf does not.

Nagi, the scientific name as Nageia nagi Both the first half and the second half there originate from the Japanese name.

Although it lives along the Pacific coast in Japan, it is thought to be cultivated around Honshu. This tree was cultivated here and there because it is a sacred tree. There is a nagi forest in the primeval forest of Kasugayama in Nara. Thought it is not native, it is a national natural monument. There is a huge 1,000-year-old tree,and it is also a natural monument of Nara City.

As one of the natural scientists, I feel a bit strange to call something other than nature natural monuments. However, historically, the designation of 1,000-year-old trees and forests may be understandable.

Leaves of a nagi tree

Location of the 1000-year-old nagi tree


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