There are two "Ookusu"trees(A Big Camphor Laurel) in Kinomiya Shrine. The main "Ookusu"tree is over 2000 years old with a circumference of 23.9m and a height of approximately 26m, the 2nd "Ookusu"tree is 1300 years old with a circumference of 9.45m and a height of approximately 11m.
Sentence below is reproduction from Kinomiya Shrine's brochure.
Kinomiya Shrine and "Ookusu"(A Big Camphor Laurel)
The ancient people of Japan believed that gods dwelled in large natural formations, such as large trees, rocks, and waterfalls, and performed rituals in front of these natural formations, gibing their thanks and prayers. This was called the HimorogiIwasaka faith. As time progressed, and the culture of buildings advanced, it is believed that the modern shrine came into existence, with shrine pavilions and Torii gates being constructed. Kinomiya Shrine , located in Atami, was known as "Kinomiya Myojin" until the end of the Edo period, and was written as "木 Ki(tree)" in ancient texts as opposed to the current "来 Ki(come)". The shrine was revered as a place to worship the gods that dwelled in the trees, and nurtured a faith for giving thanks to the trees, which were a crucial part of ancient lifestyle and culture.
In the past, lightning struck the trees, and in particular, the "2nd Ookusu"tree(2nd Big Camphor Laurel) is believed to be mostly hollow. However, throughout the year, the camphor trees become lush with leaves, and given the fact that even today the tree is still growing, the tree is believed to have tremendous vitality. Based on the people's wishes to have the tree's vitality rub off on them, the tree has been worshipped as a Sacred Tree that grants health and longevity, and grants wishes.
The eight islands of Japan sprang into existence through Divine Intervention.The first two gods who came into existence were Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto, the Exalted Male and Exalted Female. It was their job to make the land for people to live on.They went to the bridge between heaven and earth and, using a jewel-encrusted halberd, Izanagi and Izanami churned up the sea into a frothy foam. As salty drips of water fell from the tip of the halberd the first island was formed. Its name was Onogoro.So far, so good. But when Izanagi and Izanami first met on their island, Izanami spoke to Isanagi without being spoken to first. Since she was the female, and this was improper, their first union created badly-formed offspring who were sent off into the sea in boats.The next time they met, Izanagi was sure to speak first, ensuring the proper rules were followed, and this time they produced eight children, which became the islands of Japan.I'm sure you did not fail to miss the significance of this myth for the establishment of Japanese formal society.At present, Japan is the financial capital of Asia. It has the second largest economy in the world and the largest metropolitan area (Tokyo.)Technically there are three thousand islands making up the Japanese archipelago. Izanagi and Izanami must have been busy little devils with their jewelled halberd...Japan's culture is highly technical and organized. Everything sparkles and swooshes on silent, miniaturized mechanisms.They're a world leader in robotics, and the Japanese have the longest life-expectancy on earth.Text by Steve Smith.