Hidehira Fujiwara walked the paths of Kumano to this place using a young sapling of a cherry tree for a walking stick. A few days before arriving at Tsugizakura Oji, Hidehira and his wife were pleased to have their prayers for a heathy baby boy to be born to them. However, as they couldn't manage the pilgrimage with a newborn baby, they reluctantly had continued on their way after dreaming that the gods of Kumano told them to leave their baby behind and continue their journey.
When Hidehira reached Tsugizakura, he had an inspiration to graft his walking stick onto a cedar tree. He grafted the stick and thought that if the stick should be successful in the grafting, the stick would live and bear blossoms. Hidehira and his wife continued on their way through the lonely passes leading to Kumano Honogu Grand Shrine, then down the Kumanogawa River to Shingu and the Hayatama Grand Shrine. They made their way along the beach leading to Nachi to pray at Seiganto-ji Temple and Nachi Grand Shrine. Then, they began their arduous journey back to retrace their route to Tsugizakura and the baby left behind at Chichi-Iwa.
The couple were overjoyed to find that the tree not only survived but was in blossom. They thought this was a sign that their baby lived. They hurried on and found the baby healthy in the shelter of the rock where they had left him. They learned that wolves had cared for the baby in their absence, and the baby had received nourishment flowing from Chichi-Iwa.
Hidehira's family were very wealthy, and he was so impressed by the gods of Kumano that he gave many gifts to Takijiri Oji Shrine and built a Shichido Garan complex there. It was later destroyed by Hideyoshi Toyotomi in the invasion of the Kii Peninsula area in 1585.
Sadly, the current cherry tree toppled in 2011 and a new, young tree replaces it. In the years ahead, the new tree will continue to inspire those who hear the story of faith and Hidehira's cherry tree.