Usuzumi-zakura is an old cherry tree in Neo Valley, and is located about 28 km north-northwest of Gifu city.
The tree stands in the park on a hill located about 1 km west of Tarumi terminal station of Tarumi Railway.
"Usuzumi" means "pale sumi". Sumi is the Japanese black ink for calligraphy, and pale sumi is the color like very light gray.
"Zakura" is transformed from "sakura", so it means cherry blossom.
This cherry blossoms are light pink in the buds, becomes white in full bloom, and chenges to usuzumi color just before the petals fall.
The height is about 16.3 meters, the branch spread is 20-26 meters, and the trunk is about 9.9 meters around.
The cherry tree is more than 1,500 years old. It is said that Emperor Keitai planted the baby tree in 467.
Around 1913, this tree began to wane. And in 1948, Education Ministry decided that it would die down within three years on investigation. The following year, a dentist in Gifu city, who had also been good at treatment of trees, gave this dying tree a treatment. He cut 238 dying roots of the tree and put new grafts on it.
And the following year, this tree was restored beautifully.
But this tree was damaged by the very strong typhoon in 1959 (Isewan Typhoon in Japanese / Super Typhoon Vera in English). In 1967, Uno Chiyo (1897-1996, a lady novelist) saw the miserable state of the tree, and she contributed a magazine to appeal for the need to protect this tree.
And Gifu Prefecture launched the protection in 1968.
It is designated special national natural treasure. Now many tree doctors and the people in this area protect this old tree heartily. The season is from the end of March to early April.
* From Nagoya to Oogaki, by rapid train on JR Tokaido Line, about 30-32 minutes.
* From Oogaki to Tarumi, by local train on Tarumi Railway, about 1 hour and 5 minutes.
* About 20 minutes walk from Tarumi station.