Philosophical Tree

A poplar tree tilting as if it is thinking about something

(The tree was cut due to bad manners of tourists. You can no longer see this tree.) A lone poplar tree that pops up in the middle of the open farmland and beautiful hills of Biei Town is known as the Philosophical Tree (Tetsugaku-no-Ki), and as it endures the cold of winter, it is covered in lush green foliage in the summer.


A poplar tree that seems to be thinking

The Philosophical Tree is one of the notable tourist spots in the town of Biei, Hokkaido Prefecture. It’s a poplar tree that suddenly juts out in the middle of the wide farmland. It’s located among the hills that go off everywhere but it is that opposite-facing slanting stance of the tree which has given it its name of the Philosophical Tree. It is that force of life that is striking during the warm season when the greenery is thriving. Also in the winter, the tree appears even deeper in thought as it patiently puts up with the severe Hokkaido cold. No matter the season you visit, it will reveal a different expression. However in recent years, there has been some harsh criticism concerning the manners of tourists so that currently photography of the tree is now prohibited.

The two prime tourist spots of Biei

The town of Biei is a popular tourist area where you can enjoy wonderful views to enrich your soul through contact with Mother Nature. In Biei, there are two prime tourist spots known as Patchwork Road and Panorama Road. Patchwork Road, a course in the northwest area of the town, oversees a patchwork of farmland growing a variety of produce and flowers. Meanwhile, Panorama Road is a tourist course in the southern area of Biei which has facilities for handicrafts and a photo gallery, and an observatory park. On this course, there are plenty of tourist spots such as a gallery by photographer Shinzo Maeda who put Biei on the map, an observatory park where you can have a grand view of the landscape, the Chiyoda Farm where you can pet animals, and a spruce tree which can truly be called a Christmas tree.

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