Home > Japan In-depth > Cultural Quintessence > Japanese Colors and Shapes > Japanese Cypress

Japanese Cypress

Cultural Quintessence

Japan In-depth

Japanese Colors

Japanese Cypress

Many old shrines and temples in Japan are built with cypress wood. Japanese cypresses are evergreen needle-leaved trees that grow as high as about 40 m. The wood has beautiful woodgrain, is durable, easy to process, and highly tolerant of humidity. For these reasons, cypress is known to be superb building material. Homes built with cypress are considered a luxury even nowadays.
Another secret to its popularity is the sheen the pale yellow bark develops increasingly over time. With its anti-bacterial properties and refreshing fragrance, cypress is used often as a material for bathtubs in hot spring areas. The tree fragrance of these tubs is a delight.
Bamboo as an All-Around Tool
Bamboo is a plant that Japanese people have used for ages. Because it's light, flexible, and easy to process, bamboo was used to make a variety of tools such as baskets, fences, bamboo swords, and brooms. It can also be planted in the yard for aesthetic purposes. Young bamboos have refreshingly green leaves and trunks that gradually turn yellow as they age.