On Mount Takao 「高尾山」, near the Monkey Park, there is an old cedar, over 500 years old, whose roots resemble the tentacles of an octopus. Hence, it bears the name tako-sugi, octopus cedar. The tree is considered sacred, and there’s a beautiful old Japanese story related to it:
Once upon a time, a monk working to make a footpath to the Takaosan Temple, encountered a big obstacle: a big cedar, with huge roots, was on the way of the footpath. Since it was already late in the evening, the monk decided to cut down the tree the next day and went home.
But the next morning, he was stunned to find the roots out of the way, curled like the tentacles of an octopus…
A different and more mythical version of the story tells that the worker was a tengu, and the tree decided to open the path for him. Today, the tree is worshiped as a path-opener for the good luck:
And here’s another picture, taken from the trail, with a different perspective towards the “tentacles":
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: