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Autumn attraction in Tokyo | Viewing Gingko leaves

"No, it’s not from me". It might be what you have probably heard or what you said in mind while passing by Gingko trees (Icho 銀杏) in early Autumn in Tokyo. The gingko fruit gives off a very "characteristic but familiar" smell, makes people unpleasant.

Watch out for not to accidentally step on any Gingko fruit, and..

Let not your children enjoy kicking them!. Otherwise, the smell from shoes will keep embarrassing you all the way home, on the Yamanote line train, etc.. I hope you don’t dislike Gingko trees even if you once had those bad experiences. Gingko tree has overall good points.

Gingko fruits begin to fall in early autumn, around late September in Tokyo.

The reason why you often see Gingko trees at temples and shrines

If you have visited a temple or a shrine in Japan, you might have seen Gingko trees growing in front of the main building there. Gingko trees are water-retentive and hardly burn, they are traditionally planted near precious wooden buildings as a conductor to avoid fires by lightning strikes.

Viewing Gingko leaves is an attraction in Tokyo

In Autumn, when the smell is about to be gone, the leaves of Gingko trees turn to gold. You will see rows of Gingko trees shining gold on streets, temples and shrines. In Tokyo, the best Gingko viewing spots are at Ueno Park, near JR Tokyo Station (Marunouchi area), Tokyo University. etc.. In particular, Gingko lined the street at Meijijingu Gaien (明治神宮外苑) is a popular spot where many people visit to enjoy walking on the leaf carpet.

Getting to Gingko lined street at Meijijingu Gaien

The nearest station is Aoyama-ichome Station on the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line Toei Subway Oedo Line. Get off at Aoyama-ichome station 青山一丁目駅, and walk down Aoyama Street toward Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium 秩父宮ラグビー場. You will see the Gingko lined street on your right side. From Aoyama-ichome station, it takes about 5 minutes on foot.

Meijijingu Gaien Official Website