In Japan, in every Shinto shrine you will see a tree, usually a very old one, which is considered sacred. The explanation is that these trees are providing a place for the gods and spirits (kami), so that they can be present during the Shinto ceremonies.
But these aren’t the only sacred trees from Japan. The tree from today’s photo, located right next to the walls of the Inuyama Castle, is considered sacred because it actually protected the castle: it is said that over many years, this tree protected the castle against the fire by acting during storms like a natural lightning conductor… The tree is now dead (the green leafs are just a climbing plant), but since the castle survived untouched for almost 500 years (it is now one of the 4 original surviving Japanese castles designated as national treasures), the tree was declared sacred and was preserved as a shrine…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: