Japanese beech
 (Fagus crenata )
 

 
A representative tree of Oirase and Towada. Distinctive mosaic patterns are covered by lichens. Sprouts are beautiful.

 
 

Japanese horse chestnut tree
(Aesculus turbinat )
 

 
The nuts that Japanese horse chestnuts drop abundantly in autumn are ingredients in Tochi-mochi, a rice cake made from pounded horse chestnuts and mochi rice (glutinous rice). This tree was the theme of a famous picture book titled “Mochi Mochi no Ki.

 
 

Katsura tree
(Cerciphyllum japonicum )
 

 
Features of this tree include a bushy appearance and beautiful heart-shaped leaves. The sweet aroma of its fallen leaves is especially popular.

 
 

Japanese wingnut
(Pterocarya rhoifolia )
 

 
Featuring straight trunks and leaves that resemble bird feathers, this tree produces inedible rectangular seeds that hang from its branches.
 
 
 

Pussy willow
(Salix bakko )
 

 
Belonging to the genus Salix, it grows in rather dry environments. Flowers stand out in early spring by turning vivid yellow. Curly hair grows thick on the underside of the white-powdery leaves.

 
 

Japanese maple
(Acer japonicum )
 

 
Named after a leaf shape that resembles a long-nosed goblin’s fan made of feathers, it is also known as “beautiful moon maple” for its red and yellow leaves. The magenta flowers are beautiful, as well.

 
 

Japanese ash
(Fraxinus lanuginosa f. serrata)
 

 
Known for its use in making baseball bats, its wood is hard and viscous. The species name in Japanese, Aodamo (Blue ash), derives from the branches, which can be broken and soaked to dye water blue.

 
 

Japanese poplar
(Populus suaveolens )
 

 
This family has the strong nature of pioneer popular trees. It encroaches on newly formed bare land near riverbanks and grows rapidly.

 
 

Maruba-mansaku
(Hamamelis japonica
  var. obtusata )

 
Ribbon-like flowers come into bloom in early spring when there is still snow. The trunk and branches are so tenacious and hard to break, even by a heavy blanket of snow.

 
 

Arage-Hyotanboku
(Lonicera strophiophora )
 

 
A shrub with a height of one to two meters. It has bristles on the leaves and in spring cream-colored, funnel-shaped flowers hang down from the branches.

 
 

Early spiketail
(Stachyurus praecox )
 

 
This tree produces what looks like fruit, but is actually hanging scapes  growing from each branch knot before new leaves come out in spring.

 
 

Scarlet Leaved Viburnum
(Viburnum furcatum )
 

 
This shrub is representative of the beech tree zone. As its name suggests, the leaves resemble a turtle’s shell. It flowers in May, and red fruits grow in the summer, causing this tree to stand out in the forest.

 
 

Spicebush
(Lindera umbellata )
 

 
The leaves of this plant give off a fragrance when kneaded, so it they are used to make “Kuromoji oil” for perfume. Twigs are called “Kuromoji (black letters)” and used as a material for high-quality cocktail sticks.

 
 

Murasaki-yashio
(Rhododendron Albrechti )
 

 
One of the representative azaleas in beech forest. The name Yashio is an expression of the vivid color of the flower as if it was dyed purple eight times.

 
 

Rhododendron
(Rhododendron kaempferi )
 

 
A vermillion color shines in a spring green forest. In flowering season, Samidare Stream (Samidare-no-nagare) and “Kujyuku-shima” become popular locations for taking photographs.

 
 

Dogwood
(Cornus controversa )
 

 
The Japanese name Mizuki comes from its sappy nature. Branches spread horizontally to create a unique tree form, and it produces many small, white flowers in early summer.

 
 

Taniutsugi
(Weigela hortensis )
 

 
Having lots of light-red, funnel-shaped flowers that bloom in early summer, it likes the sunny riverbank and is rarely found in the woods.

 
 

Tea-of-heaven
(Hydrangea serrata )
 

 
It adds color to the predominantly dark green forest of summer. You can enjoy various shades of deep blue, pink, light purple, etc., depending on its location.

 
 

Panicled hydrangea
(Hydrangea paniculata )
 

 
This hydrangea has panicle inflorescence and gives a slightly different impression from a normal hydrangea. It blooms later than a normal hydrangea, producing flowers in summer when few plants are still blooming.

 
 

Spindle tree
(Euonymus alatus 
  var. alatus f. striatus )

 
This tree belongs to the same species as the winged spindle-tree (Euonymus alatus). The winged spindle-tree yields cork “blades” on twigs, while the spindle tree does not.
 

 
 

Korean spindle tree
(Euonymus oxyphyllus )
 

 
Flowers and fruits hang from the tip of a long stem. Red fruits are conspicuous and draw attention away from the small flowers, which range in color from greenish white to light purple.

 
 

Japanese beautyberry
(Callicarpa japonica )
 

 
A shrub growing on rocks, etc., the lucid purple fruits it produces in autumn are beautiful. It looks far better when it is covered with snow.

 
 

Hime-aoki
(variety of Japaneselaurel)
(Aucuba japonica var. borealis )

 

This variety of Spotted laurel grows in snowy regions and is representative of broad-leaved evergreen trees in Oirase. Its lucid and lustrous red seeds are impressive.

 
 
Mistletoe
(Viscum coloratum )
 

 
Green stems often divide into two branches to become a globe shape, which is especially conspicuous with the seasonal falling of leaves. This hemiparasite plant is photosynthetic on its own.
 
 
Japanese wisteria
(Wisteria floribunda )
 

 
A creeping, ligneous plant belonging to the genus Wisteria of Leguminosae (pea family), its vine-like trunk sometimes enwraps and strangles other trees to death. Beautiful purple flower clusters hang down in early summer.
 
 

Hardy kiwi
(Actinidia arguta )
 

 
A kind of silver vine (Actinidia polygama) closely related to kiwi fruits, it twines as it creeps up other trees so it can grow longer.

 
 

Climbing hydrangea
(Hydrangea petiolaris )
 

 

Produces many aerial roots from the trunk that grow up other trees in order to reach the sunniest spot to make a lot of white, hydrangea-shaped flowers bloom.
 

 

Crimson glory vine
(Vitis coignetiae )
 

 
A creeping deciduous shrub of the genus Vitaceae. Grape leaves indigenous to Japan are the biggest in size, and the fruits are eaten raw and used for wine.

 
 

Asian poison ivy
(Rhus ambigua )
 

 
A creeping plant frequently found in Oirase, it has brightly colored leaves, especially in autumn. Please be careful not to touch this plant as it is poisonous. Three leaves on each stem serve as a visual marker helping identify this plant.

 
 

Staff tree
(Celastrus orbiculatus )
 

 
A climbing tree with subtly colored flowers that bloom in early summer, also produces beautiful red seeds covered with yellow aril from autumn to winter.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
 

 
 

ALL