This Earth Day, Spare a Tree

Wednesday, 22nd April 2009 by

It's Earth Day today, an event designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment. To celebrate, we're looking at the unlikely survival of a very tiny piece of nature in the heart of one of the world's largest metropolitan areas.

From directly above, it appears that there is somehow a large tree growing on the roof of the Kayashima train station in Osaka.

However when we look at the Street View of the station, we can see that only the canopy of the huge tree protrudes from the roof1, and in fact the entire station, platform and all, have been built around the tree so as to avoid damaging it.

This is a camphor tree which the locals believe to be sacred, so they appealed to the railway company to avoid chopping it down. One of the suggestions for celebrating Earth Day is to plant a tree, and here they found a way to avoid knocking one down in the first place.

It's just one tree, but it might serve as an example of how much better we could incorporate the natural world into our environment.

Thanks to GEarth Hacks.

  1. Although there is also a bonus UFO up there↩︎