Say you live in a town where they’ve built a train station next to what you and other locals refer to as the Big Kusu Tree of Kayashima.

Perhaps they initially built the station just to the right of a 700-year-old camphor tree because it was a local legend and landmark.

But now the station isn’t big enough to accommodate the traffic, because your town isn’t quite as small as it used to be.

The train tracks have already been laid. They can’t just pick up and move the station.

One could make the same argument for the old tree, only the tree has been there much longer than the train tracks. And the train tracks don’t have a connection with Shinto deities. They aren’t sacred. But the tree is.

You need a new station in that spot, but you and your neighbors have made it clear that you aren’t willing to let anyone cut this tree down.

It’s a pickle…

I mean, what’re they gonna do? Build the station around the tree?


Photo Credit: did you know?

Sources: 1, 2, 3

Here you can see the main Shinto shrine on the ground, outside the station, as the tree pokes out from the roof:

Photo Credit: DVMG/CC 3.0

And again as you take the escalator up to the main platform:

Photo Credit: DVMG/CC 3.0

You can see how they’ve not only preserved, but protected the tree:

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Perhaps it will still be there, 700 years from now…

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