Thursday, 24 February 2011

The Aizenkatsura Tree

Visiting the Kitamuki Kanon Temple, I was enthralled by this majestic looking tree. This Aizenkatsura tree was designated by Nagano Prefecture as a natural monument in 1939. It is said that a Buddhist deity, Avalokitesvara (Guan Yin) changed form to this tree some 1,200 years ago.

The tree leaves bears the shape of hearts, and there's a believe that single people who came to the tree will meet their perfect partner there. You should know that Kitamuki Kannon is also unusual in that she is said to answer prayers for this life rather than the next.

Aaaah.... the tree of love. The tree's name from the Aizen Myoo (The Japanese god of love/Ragaraja/Airan Mingwang) and was given by the master artist Kawaguchi Matsutaro. Aizen Myoo is known to transform worldly lust into spiritual awakening.
Another "romantic" spot one can visit here is the Nogura Couple Dosojin, some 20 minutes walk from Bessho Onsen. Don't you just go aaaawwww looking at the statue. :) 

They do say that Dosojin are worshipped for bringing fertility and children's growth apart from warding off danger near village borders and crossroads.


  1. Interesting tree, how romantic!

  2. Divine tree of love!
    I briefly looked it up and found one interesting tip. Praying at Kitamuki kannon is beneficial for your next life (afterlife), whereas praying at Zenkoji temple is beneficial for your present life. So one is encouraged to visit both...
    Well, I guess it's a trick to convince tourists to drop money on both sides!!!

  3. Great story and what a wonderful tree!!

  4. @Alice,
    It's the tree of love. ^^

  5. @Yoshi,
    I read that visiting Zenkoji at least once will ensure a passage into the Land of Happiness.

  6. @Japan Australia,
    A tree steeped in history. :)

  7. I love that tree! Initially I just loved its gnarly shape, now I love the allround significance of it! I'm soooo going there! Thanks for the great tip!!! *starts packing her bags* hehe ;P

    That statue is adorable too. :) Very sweet!!

  8. You made such a beautiful blog about the Aizenkatsura Tree and the legend behind it. I will have to write down all these places of interests that you blogged for my own travel references. Well done !!

  9. @Ri,
    And I have to thank you as your comment earlier about loving the gnarly tree that made me dust off my records and finding the photo I took about the tree's significance and posting them up here. :)

    Happy packing! :p

  10. @cuteandcurls,
    No need to write down. Just print them all up for reference. ^^

  11. I would like to recommend my daughter(22 years old) goes there to meet her perfect partner.
    (v_v。)人(。v_v)♪ (LOL)
    Thank you for sharing a lovely Couple Dosojin.

  12. @Anzu,
    She's still young. :)

    But it'll be fun going there and try her luck finding a perfect partner with the help of both gods, I bet! ^^

    Let us know if that happens! :p

  13. Am I the only one who thinks that tree looks just a little bit evil? Like those gnarly trees in haunted forests from old fairytales?

  14. @Anna,
    Your vivid imagination! ;D

    All I thought when I saw the tree was Inuyasha's Anime. Inuyasha; a half demon, was sealed in a tree and was found by a modern day girl named Kagome. To cut a long story short, they were married in the final episode.

    Didn't I tell you I watched too much TV? ^^

  15. I hadn't known such valuable tree.Thanks.I often visit Ngano prefecture.But I visit only around Karuizawa.

  16. @cocomino,
    This tree and the place (Bessho Onsen) is not really far from Karuizawa.

    We had a nice ride on the Shinano railways from Ueda to Karuizawa on our trip back. :)

  17. Oh.I'm sorry.I mistook to read sentence.Anyway I like this tree.

  18. @cocomino,
    I like it too. :)

  19. I'm excited for spring after looking at these photos! :)

  20. Great! That tree is full of character. Nice bell tower too.

  21. @LR,
    It is. I got fascinated when I saw it and again when trying to find info about it later. :)

  22. @Sarah,
    When is Spring expected to come and visit this year? :)

  23. @Kyushudan,
    OMG! I only realised that's a bell tower next to tree after reading your comment. How can I be so remiss? I should have paid more attention to it because now that you mentioned it, it sure is a nice tower. :)

  24. Love the picture of that tree! : )

  25. I've seen that tree so many anime! lah!

  26. @Ayie,

    The rope around the tree like the ones seen in Inuyasha?


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