Introducing Unryu no Matsu in Eian-ji Temple | Stunning Scenery of Japan | Japan Highlights Travel, for sightseeing around Tokaido

A giant Japanese black pine whose creeping trunk calls to mind dragons

Instead of growing upward, the trunk of this tree divides into three, and each part then spreads out horizontally as if it were creeping over the ground. Thought to be some 300 years old, the black pine spreads 17 meters east-west and 24 meters north-south, and it's not difficult to see why people of old saw in its singular form images of "Japanese dragons striving to grab a cloud and ascend to heaven". Eian-ji Temple was built as a shrine to Sukedayu Shibata, who was executed after calling for the release of local people from "sukegoyaku", a kind of enforced heavy labor imposed on commoners during the Edo period. Today, maybe the dragons of the pine are watching over the townspeople in Sukedayu's stead...

※ Views like the one shown in the photo can only be seen under certain conditions (time of day, weather etc.).

  • Viewing period:
  • All year round
  • Challenge level:
  • ★☆☆
  • Feeling:
  • Overwhelming

Travel advice

Be careful not to miss this sight on your way through, as it is a small temple hidden away in a residential area. While you can see Unryu no Matsu spreading its branches all over the precincts of the shrine at any hour, a daytime visit is best if you want to see it clearly, since there's no special illumination after dark.

The pleasure of travel: Eian-ji Temple

Anjo Station, a 3-minute ride on the JR Tokaido Line from Mikawa-Anjo Station, offers convenient access to Anjo's sightseeing spots. It takes approximately 30 minutes to get to Eian-ji Temple by bus from Anjo Station. Seasonal events like the springtime Anjo Sakura Matsuri in Anjo Park and the summertime Anjo Tanabata Matsuri (one of the three largest Tanabata Matsuris in Japan) are also lots of fun. For visitors who want to sample local specialties, Pekin Honten, a long-established Chinese restaurant, is to be highly recommended. "Pekinhan", a specialty donburi, is a dish consisting of a bowl of rice topped with fried Mikawa pork and soft scrambled egg. If visiting in summer, Izumi hand-stretched somen, half-dried fine white noodles, are also recommended as a souvenir.

Anjo Sakura Matsuri

Izumi hand-stretched noodles

updated on Mar 31, 2015