31Chūrenji Temple’s Shimekake Cherry Tree
(Tsuruoka City Designated Natural Monument)
The Chūrenji Shimekake Cherry Tree is a 200-year-old tree that blooms on the grounds of Chūrenji at the Shimekake entrance, one of the Happō Nanakuchi entrances. Kōbō Daishi (a.k.a. Monk Kūkai) is said to have practiced shugyō training under this tree. Legend has it that in the year of the ox, a lucky year for Mt. Yudono, the sacred rope around the tree ties itself.