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The Bald Cypresses of Sasaguri Kyudai Forest: Video Introduction

This video, titled "Giant Conical Trees in a Pond "Bald Cypresses" in Sasaguri, Fukuoka" (view 池に浮かぶ円錐の巨木 福岡県篠栗町の「ラクウショウ」), was uploaded by "SankeiNews."

Sasaguri Kyudai Forest is located at the western edge of the Kyushu University Forest in Sasaguri, Fukuoka, in Japan's Kyushu Region.
Approximately 50 species of evergreen broad-leaved trees and 40 species of deciduous broad-leaved trees grow in this lush 42-acre forest.

The mysterious beauty of the bald cypresses floating on the surface of the water in Sasaguri Kyudai Forest has become a hot topic in Japan, attracting a constant stream of visitors from all across the country. Please take a look at the video below to see the mystical view of Sasaguri Kyudai Forest created by the bald cypresses.
[Video] 0:37 - Sasaguri Kyudai Forest

An Introduction to Kyushu University

Kyushu University, often abbreviated to "Kyudai," is a Japanese university in Fukuoka Prefecture. It is one of the top universities in Japan according to various sources, including the Times Higher Education Japan University Rankings, where it currently ranks 6th. While most courses at Kyushu University are taught in Japanese and will require a JLPT N1 certificate to qualify for, the university also teaches a number of courses in English, and accepts students with an IELTS score of 6.0 or greater.

In order to study abroad at Kyushu University, you must be enrolled as a degree student at one of Kyushu University's partner institutions, and be nominated by your home university as a candidate.
Kyushu University's graduate school programs have differing requirements in each department, but enrolling in graduate school at Kyushu University requires students pass an entrance exam that is regarded as one of the most difficult in Japan.

What is Sasaguri Kyudai Forest?

Image of Sasaguri Kyudai Forest, Sasaguri, Fukuoka
Photo:Sasaguri Kyudai Forest, Sasaguri, Fukuoka

Sasaguri Kyudai Forest is located at the western edge of Kyushu University Forest in Sasaguri, Fukuoka, and is jointly managed and operated by Kyushu University and the town of Sasaguri. There is also a walking trail and the area has been open to the public since 2010.

The vast 42-acre Sasaguri Kyudai Forest is home to about 50 species of evergreen broad-leaved trees, including itajii and Japanese blue oaks, and around 40 species of deciduous broad-leaved trees, including jolcham oaks and Japanese wax trees.

The most eye-catching of all are the giant bald cypress trees. More than a dozen conical trunks can be seen standing in a corner of Kamata Pond.
The bald cypress is characterized by its aerial roots. The aerial roots protruding from the ground supply oxygen to the submerged roots.

In Japanese, the bald cypress is called "Rakusho" (ラクウショウ), but another name for the tree, which is native to North America, is "numasugi" meaning "swamp cedar." As this name suggests, it prefers places such as swamps and wetlands.

The bald cypresses at Sasaguri Kyudai Forest were planted from seedlings in 1977 by Kyushu University to study the tree. The trees are currently around 20 meters tall, but can grow as tall as 40 meters in their natural habitat. The tree's appearance also changes with the seasons, with bright green leaves in the summer and autumn colors in the fall.

There's a 2km-long promenade around Kamata Pond in the center of Sasaguri Kyudai Forest, which has been certified as a "forest therapy base" by the Forestry Agency of Japan for its pleasant atmosphere which is great for forest bathing.

The Habitat and Characteristics of the Bald Cypress, and How It Differs From the Dawn Redwood

Image of dawn redwoods
Photo:Dawn redwoods

The bald cypress is a deciduous coniferous tree of the cypress family (Cupressaceae) native to North America. The name bald cypress comes from their historical tendency to be among the first trees in the American South to lose their leaves in the fall.

The bald cypress is characterized by its ability to grow in swampy areas, as evidenced by its other name, "numasugi" (ヌマスギ, lit "swamp cedar"). Another characteristic of the bald cypress, which grows very fast, is that when it becomes an old tree, it grows aerial roots that serve to supply oxygen to its submerged roots.

The bald cypress is easily mistaken for the dawn redwood, which has a similar leaf shape, but the difference is obvious when looking at the way the leaves are attached. The bald cypress' leaves are attached to the branches in opposite directions, while the dawn redwood's leaves are attached to the same part of the branch in pairs.
[Video] 0:42 - The Roots of the Bald Cypress

The Waterfront Forest at Sasaguri Kyudai Forest + the Best Times to See the Bald Cypresses

Image of bald cypresses at Sasaguri Kyudai Forest, Sasaguri, Fukuoka
Photo:Bald cypresses at Sasaguri Kyudai Forest, Sasaguri, Fukuoka

The 2km-long promenade around Kamata Pond at Sasaguri Kyudai Forest is dotted with attractions, including five plazas. Among them, the Waterfront Forest offers a mysterious view that makes you feel as if you have wandered into the world of Ghibli, and has become a popular spot on Japanese Instagram.

This spectacular view can be seen when the water level of Kamata Pond is high. The best time to see the water level rise is from early spring to around the end of Japan's rainy season (June-mid-July).

In contrast, the water level is low from summer to fall, but during this period, you can see the aerial roots of the bald cypresses. The best time to see the autumn leaves is mid-November, when the falling leaves decorate the area around the trees in place of the water.

Sasaguri Kyudai Forest – Directions and Nearest Station

Here is how to get to Sasaguri Kyudai Forest. If you go by train, the nearest station is Kadomatsu Station. Take the JR Fukuhoku Yutaka Line rapid train bound for Nogata at Hakata Station (platform 8), get off at Kadomatsu Station, and take a taxi to the Sasaguri Kyudai Forest south exit parking lot (篠栗九大の森南口駐車場, Sasaguri Kyudai no Mori Minami-guchi Chushajo), which takes about 10 minutes.
The train ride from Hakata Station takes about 17 minutes, or 4 stops if you take the rapid train. The fare is 280 yen.

If you take a bus, the nearest station is Kasuya Police Station. Take a highway bus bound for "Iizuka/Tagawa" from Tenjin Expressway BT bus stop #1 and get off at "Kasuya Keisatsu Sho-mae" (粕谷警察署前).
Go straight for about 300m east on the sidewalk with the bus stop, turn left and keep going straight until you see the information board for "Sasaguri Kyudai Forest", follow the sign and you will arrive at Sasaguri Kyudai Forest in about 15 minutes on foot from "Kasuya Keisatsu Sho-mae". The bus ride from Tenjin to "Kasuya Keisatsu Sho-mae" takes about 35 minutes and costs 510 yen.

If you're going by car, the shortest route to the waterfront forest is via the "North Exit Parking Lot." Directions are as follows:

Exit the expressway at the "Fukuoka IC" and go straight for about 2 km in the direction of Iizuka (飯塚). Then turn left at the "Wadabashi Signal," go about 50m, turn left again, go straight for about 300m, then turn right and go uphill. Continue straight and you will arrive at the South Exit Parking Lot of Sasaguri Kyudai Forest.

Go straight for about 200m from the South Exit Parking Lot, then turn right and walk about 300m through the forest to reach the North Exit Parking Lot.

Although you can get there by car, we recommend using public transportation to avoid traffic congestion caused by the increase in the number of tourists to Sasaguri Kyudai Forest.

Summary of the Bald Cypresess of Sasaguri Kyudai Forest

Sasaguri Kyudai Forest is a photogenic spot that is rapidly gaining popularity. However, it's become so popular that many tourists visit the forest. As a result, the forest is experiencing problems, such as traffic congestion, and destruction of the forest due to violations of etiquette, such as barbecuing, littering, and taking photos in restricted areas.

They've even considered closing the area to allow the forest to recover.... To prevent this from happening, please follow the rules and manners, and enjoy the cypresses of Sasaguri Kyudai Forest, one of the best healing spaces in Fukuoka.

[TripAdvisor] Sasaguri Kyudai Forest

Written By
Last Updated : May. 25, 2023
もりありさ(Arisa Mori)
Writer and blogger living in Germany. Former flight attendant who loves traveling and food.
Sasaguri Kyudai Forest – Like Something You'd See in a Ghibli Movie! Discover One of the Most Scenic Spots in Fukuoka Prefecture, Plus Access Information and More!
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