February 08, 2007
These trees are called saru saberi in Japanese. It can be translated as "monkey slide or slip".
You can tell why. The trunk and branches look slippery. We call these crape myrtles in English.
The big old trees are gone. I remember this grove having huge trees. I remember thinking that in the winter they looked like sculptures.
This is the trunk of one crape myrtle. Our old house had a piece of crape myrtle trunk on the tokonoma, the decorative space in a washitsu (a room with tatami mats as flooring). A beautiful piece of wood is used as one of the side beams of the tokonoma.
These trees were at the Jindai Botanical Garden in Chofu, Tokyo.