On the west side of Honolulu, just near the big pink building (Tripler Army Hospital) before you reach Aloha Stadium – is one of the most famous trees that you’ve seen but never heard of. The Hitachi Tree – the symbol of the Hitachi Company – the large monkeypod tree with it’s distinct umbrella shape is so important to Hitachi that they have paid a license fee to use it since 1973. Currently in the neighborhood of about a half million US dollars. The tree is a huge draw to Japanese tourists, though most Americans or other nationalities have never heard of it. It is a magnificent tree – but in truth, the gardens around it are more of a draw for me. The Moanalua gardens are a privately owned botanical garden which contain not only the Hitachi Tree, but also the cottage of King Kamehameha V of Hawai’i and large grassy areas that are perfect for picnics, days playing frisbee, or just lying under a huge tree and reading a book. Just don’t try to relax under the Hitachi tree – about once an hour a bus full of Japanese tourists will pull in and crowd the area to get a picture with the most famous tree in Japan.