After Ieyasu Tokugawa, the founder of Edo government and the 1st
Shogun, was died in 1616 and was buried in Nikko, his general Masatsuna
Matsudaira had taken part in the construction of Nikko Toshogu shrine.
And he began to plant Japanese cedar trees along the main roads leading to Nikko from around 1625.
He had hoped to donate that to new Nikko Toshogu.
He continued to plant the trees for more than 20 years. The number of
trees was over 200 thousand.
For Edo period, 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.
Additionally, it is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest avenue in the world.
Now the number of trees is about only 12,400.
Since Meiji Period (1868-1912), many trees had been cut down for road maintenance and improvement.
And recently car exhaust emission damages the trees, then about 100 trees a year have fallen down.
Tochigi Prefecture is taking environmental protection measures.
The avenues are the followings.
Please walk from Nikko or Imaichi station (Tobu Line or JR Nikko Line).
Cedar Avenue of Nikko
Tobu World Square
Ashio Copper mine