Kiso Hinoki 木曽檜, kiso japanese cypress
Hinoki (Japanese cypress) is an evergreen tree that is widely distributed in Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu with the Tohoku region (Fukushima prefecture) as the northern limit, but only natural cypress that grows in “Kiso valley” that straddles Nagano and Gifu prefectures can be called “Kiso Hinoki”. The steep slopes of Kiso Mountain are rainy, especially in winter, when it is surrounded by severe cold and deep snow. Due to its harsh natural environment, Kiso cypress grows very slowly, taking twice or three times as long as cypress growing elsewhere.
Hinoki repeats expansion and contraction every time it absorbs moisture or dries. The wood is naturally antibacterial and has a refreshing scent. Its natural resin makes it resistant to mould and mildew, and ideal for use in wet or damp spaces.