Five Zelkovas of Kami-Itabashi - Atlas Obscura

AO Edited

Five Zelkovas of Kami-Itabashi

Various accidents and illnesses fell upon the developers who tried to remove these historic trees. 


Though a landmark of the town, the Gohon Keyaki or “Five Zelkovas” of Kami-Itabashi are often met with contempt, especially from drivers who consider them an eyesore and the cause of traffic problems as they take up quite a bit of space in the middle of a road. Despite that, they are unlikely to be removed anytime soon, and their historic status may not be the only reason.

The Five Zelkovas once stood together on the premises of the mansion of Yūjūro Iijima, the mayor of Kami-Itabashi back when it was a village, who generously donated his land for the construction of a road cutting through the area. There was one condition: that the zelkovas were not to be removed.

Later, following the end of World War II, developers attempted to remove the trees to expand the road, but had to give up after various accidents and illnesses fell upon them, which some interpreted as a curse.

To this day, the Five Zelkovas continue to stand tall and proud, though two of the original trees died in the 1970s and had to be replaced. Rumored to be haunted, some claim to have seen the ghost of an old lady or heard sobbing voices here at night.

Community Contributors

October 4, 2023

Make an Edit Add Photos
In partnership with KAYAK

Plan Your Trip

From Around the Web