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Ginkgo trees: Don’t underestimate their beautiful yellow leaves

When it comes to autumn colors, the hearts of the Japanese are captivated by red leaves. Of course, some people stop to take a picture or two of Ginkgo trees. Combined with clear blue sky, saffron-yellow leaves look simply astonishing.Ginkgo

There is also the Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Festival, which is held annually in Icho Namiki-dori and Meiji Jingu Gaien.GinkgoA 300-meter-long avenue with 146 Ginkgo trees creates a breathtaking view; and there are also many food stalls and live shows on weekends. Although not as crowded and not as exciting as other festivals, it is very nice and refreshing.GinkgoThis year the leaves started turning yellow later than usual because of the warm fall.

In case if you try to talk to Japanese people about Gingko, remember to say ichou (イチョウ), because in Japanese ginkou means “bank” and they may misunderstood you. The mispronunciation happened in the 18th century.GinkgoGinkgo biloba is also known as maidenhair tree. It is native to China, where it was widely used as with medical purposes. It came to Japanese temple gardens in the late 17th century. Ginkgo leaves are also beautiful when they are green, but at that time they are only a part of everyday life. Ginkgo nuts (ginnan, 銀杏) are very tasty, but in large quantities can be poisonous.GinkgoDid you know that symbol of Tokyo prefecture represents a leaf of Ginkgo tree?


Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Festival (mid-November – early December)

Address: 1-1 Kasumigaoka, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Distance to Airport: 70km from Narita Airport
Opening Hours: 11am – 4.30pm
Entrance fee: free
Access 1: 5 min. walk from JR Shinanomachi Station
Access 2: 5 min. walk from Tokyo Metro Gaiemmae Station / Aoyama-itchome Station

Article by Olga Kaneda

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