Hiba, a precious variety of wood with many properties

05 Aug 2016 in Just Relax

This Japanese tree with incredible properties keeps mosquitoes and spiders at bay, is mold-resistant, kills germs, deodorizes, is water-resistant, and lives for 300 years! The Hiba tree deserves acclaim!

Arbre hiba

Hiba is a tree in the cypress family and is deemed as one of the three most beautiful forests in Japan. It is endemic to the four main islands of Japan, Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu, from north to south. Its wood is considered precious due to its many properties. The Hiba tree is unique for its lifespan – it lives 300 years on average – and especially for its resistance to the rough climatic conditions of mountainous areas, as well as for its natural antimicrobial and germicidal properties.

This wood is the perfect material for building in humid or tropical climates, as it is naturally resistant to rot and mold. It is notably the wood used to build temples and sanctuaries. The Shinto religion almost considers it to be the perfect tree, as cleanliness and purification are important parts of religious rituals. The wood’s many properties are due to one of its compounds, hinokitiol.


Hiba is antifungal, meaning that it is protected from wood-decomposing fungi (which feed on wood). It is also an insecticide and keeps termites and mites at bay. Even spiders stay away! It is even believed that houses built from Hiba wood keep mosquitoes away for three years.


Oil with a delicate aroma can also be extracted from its bark. This oil is used in aromatherapy and in incense with deodorizing properties. Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel has chosen to use Hiba woods in some places of the resort for these qualities, and is proud to honor this exceptional tree.

Private exterior hotel bath

It has been used to build “private” hot baths in some of the rooms, where you can enjoy the region’s thermal source water in an intimate setting. This “auto-resistant” wood also has a pleasant fragrance that is quite distinctive and which will soon feel familiar to you during your stay in Japan.



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