Cedar Avenue of Nikko [日光杉並木街道]
After the death of Tokugawa Tokugawa (the founder of Edo government and the 1st Shogun) in 1616, he was buried in Nikko.
Then, his general Matsudaira Masatsuna had taken part in the construction of Nikko Toshogu shrine for Ieyasu.
At the same time, Masatsuna began to plant Japanese cedar trees along the main roads leading to Nikko from around 1625.
He had hoped to donate them to new Nikko Toshogu.
He continued to plant the trees for more than 20 years.
The number of trees became over 200 thousand.
During Edo period (until 1868), these avenues had been protected carefully by Edo government.
The total length of the avenues is about 37 km, and it is designated as a Special Natural Monument.
It is also in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest avenue in the world.
Now the number of trees is about only 12,300.
Since Meiji Period (1868-1912), many trees had been cut down for road maintenance and improvement.
In addition, automobile exhaust has damaged the trees, then about 100 trees a year have fallen down.
Tochigi Prefecture is taking environmental protection measures.
The avenues are the followings.
- Nikko-Kaido road : The road to Utsunomiya toward eastern.
About 19 km along current Route 119.
- Nikko-Reiheishi-Kaido road : The road to Kanuma city toward southern.
About 14 km along current Route 121.
- Aizu-Nishi-Kaido road : The road to Aizu-Wakamatsu city toward northern.
About 4 km along current Route 119.
How to get here
Please walk Route 119 from Nikko or Imaichi station (Tobu Railway or JR Nikko Line).