As the season changes from winter to summer in the little town of Miharu, Japan, several workers come together to add compost into the ground at the base of the giant cherry tree, Takizakura. The number of tourists visits Miharu, to experience the site of the ancient tree, symbolizing strength and resilience. The ancient tree, Takizakura, is tucked in a valley between the two hills.
- The beautiful tree is alive for over 1,000 years now.
- It is a particular species of weeping cherry, which is known as “Pendula Rosea.”
- It is popularly known as the waterfall cherry, which has passed every test of time and thrived in nature.
- It blossoms beautiful pink buds, without any exceptional year.
- According to the locals of Miharu, it is the oldest member of the community who has seen much more than any other person alive, has seen today.
- Its stretched branches keep the tree free from the weed, and the many wooden posts are fixed in the grown around it to support its branches.
- The branches of the tree are spread in every direction to create the most breathtaking look.
What has the tree experienced by far?
Takizukara has survived over a countless number of natural disasters by far including:
- An 8.9 magnitude of the earthquake in 2011 caused a devastating tsunami resulting in the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi atomic power plant.
- Presently, it is facing a lack of visitors because of the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
- It has faced a large number of wars and famines in its lifetime.
The tree is still flowering happily, but the number of visitors has been reduced. It happened first because of the radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi atomic power plant. Secondly, because of the practice of social distancing due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.
Hirata, the caretaker of the tree, visits the tree ever since he grew up. He has the responsibility to protect the cultural heritage of Miharu, Japan. He keeps on a regular check on the tree, whether it is healthy or not.
He believes that taking care of the tree is just his work, but it is of the entire community; thus, the visitors must look for the bad signs like a weed. It thrives on the tree and reduces its strength to survive; therefore, it must be removed by anyone who notices it.
Sadafumi Hirata believes that just like any other disaster, the tree will prove to live for many more years to come.
If you are curious to look at this iconic tree at least once in life, then you can also watch it while sitting the comforts of your home with the special Google Earth feature. You can take a virtual tour around the ancient tree of Takizakura, the world’s most beautiful cherry tree.