2019 Autmun Leaves in Tokyo: 10 of the most beautiful rows of Gingko trees!
For most of the year Tokyo’s Gingko trees display their leaves as a fresh, summery green, but when autumn arrives the leaves transform into a stunning shade of golden, glowing yellow, which can be seen at its peak from late November to mid-December. It’s a sight that becomes even more superb when the leaves fall to the ground, creating magical golden carpets. Let’s take a look at 10 locations in the Tokyo area where this prime example of nature’s beauty can be appreciated.
Meiji Jingu Gaien Gingko Avenue
This is one of the most famous spots in Tokyo known for its Gingko trees, and is definitely a must-see for Tokyo’s visitors. Lined all the way to the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery are 146 Gingko trees, each roughly aged around 100 years old; trees which have been skillfully planted using perspective, which combined with periodic pruning, has created the picturesque beauty we see today.
At night, the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery is illuminated, enchanting people with its surreal ambiance.
Meiji Gaien Gingko Avenue stretching elegantly straight toward the Picture Gallery
Meiji Gaien Gingko Avenue
Illumination of the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery
A 3-minute walk from Harajuku station, there is a haven of nature where many people like to gather, to either enjoy a stroll in the park, sit quietly on the benches, have a picnic, or engage in outdoor activities such as playing Frisbee.
One of the best spots in Yoyogi park is near the fountain, where the spray of water can create rainbows with the right timing, which in combination with the beauty from the color changes of the autumn leaves, can bring about a magical sense of wonder and joy.
There is plenty of bench space available, so we suggest enjoying a leisurely read, whilst relaxing in the midst of the golden carpets of Gingko.
The Imperial Palace
“Gyoko Street（ Gyoko-dori ）” runs from Tokyo station all the way to the Imperial Palace, and is a beautiful 73 meter wide road, which was built after the Great Kanto Earthquake, and has been kept well-maintained since. Both sides of the street are lined with Gingko trees and offer gorgeous views during the season. Our recommended walking course would be one starting from Tokyo station, heading along the moat, and then coming out at Hibiya Park.
Gyoko Street Autumn Gingko trees and horses.
Gingko trees and Tokyo Station
The Gingko trees along Wadakura moat
Opened in 1903, Hibiya Park is another one of Tokyo’s large parks. It has a large restaurant called Hibiya Matsumotoro which has a beautiful open terrace, and in front of the terrace regally stands the Kubi-kake (head-staking) Gingko that was planted by Dr. Seiroku Honda (who designed Hibiya Park in 1901). The name Kubi-kake derives from the successful relocation of the tree which was thought to have been impossible at the time. Dr. Honda said, “I will have it transplanted even if my head is put on a stake.”
Kubi-kake Gingko in Hibiya park
This great tree is over 400 years old, and has thus become one of the best power spots in Tokyo. The S-shaped garden paths lined with Gingko trees and the golden leaf-lined Hibiya Street are also very popular sites to appreciate the beauty of the leaves.
Hibiya Park Hibiya Matsumotoro
Gingko lined Hibiya Street
Yasukuni Shrine is a spot well-known for its landmark cherry blossom tree which announces the official coming of spring with its flowering, and in autumn, the golden Gingko trees can also be enjoyed. An impressive sight to behold is the approach between the main torii (gateway) and the second gateway lined with Gingko trees that stand 20 meters tall. During the peak of the autumn leaves’ color changes, the fallen leaves create a golden carpet that results in a spectacular view of contrast and beauty!
Gingko trees in Yasukuni Shrine
Gingko trees in Yasukuni Shrine
Komazawa Olympic Park
Komazawa Olympic park was developed in 1964 to coincide with the Tokyo Olympics. The Gingko avenue connecting from Komazawa Street to the trees near the West Gate Park Information Center is known as the “Golden Tunnel.”
Exceptional beauty abounds here and can easily make you forget that you’re in the middle of a big city. On its extensive grounds there are a surprising 670 Gingko and Zelkova trees. It’s an open space where admiring the Gingko trees can be combined with outdoor activities such as jogging through the jogging course in the park!
Autumn leaves at Komazawa Olympic Park
Autumn runs are the best Komazawa Olympic Park
Tree lined path in Komazawa Olympic Park
Gingko Avenue on Koshu Kaido
In Hachioji city, starting from near the Koshu Kaido Oiwake Intersection and leading all the way to Takao station, are streets lined with 763 Gingko trees that were planted in 1929 to commemorate the building of the Taisho emperor’s Imperial Tomb.
Autumn is a lovely season for a drive down this golden lane. 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of Hachioji Gingko avenue, which is around the same time that 2019’s Gingko leaves start yellowing, therefore, you might even be able to enjoy the fun and activities of the festival if your timing falls into place.
Koshu Kaido Gingko Avenue
Hikarigaoka Park is a place where many families and people from the surrounding neighborhood play sports and enjoy the outdoors, and it’s also the location of a well-loved symbol of the park, a 200-meter-long Gingko lined road, where all the trees are over 130 years old.
Hikarigaoka Park Gingko leaves just starting to get their color
Hikarigaoka Park, rows of Gingko trees
Showa Memorial Park
Showa Memorial park prides itself in beautiful flowers that blossom each season.
In autumn, there are two areas where the Gingko trees can be admired. The first, located in close proximity to the fountain, is known as “The Gingko-lined Canal.” There are 100 trees on either side of the canal which display a rare geometrical beauty in their arrangement.
“The Gingko-lined Canal”
The second spot is the “Katarai Gingko Rows” where the Gingko trees continue for 300 meters in tunnel-like fashion. An experience of beauty reserved only for the season, is the golden carpet made from the fallen leaves which creates a heavenly “golden pathway”.
Katarai Gingko Rows
- Showa Kinen Park
- Tokyo Tachikawashi Midorichou 3173
- [Mar.-Oct.] 9:30-17:00 (19:00 Closed until Aug. 3rd Sunday in Pool Operating Period, 18:30 Closed on The 3rd Sunday After The Next Day)
[Apr.-Sep. Saturday Sunday Public holiday] 9:30-18:00
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- New Year's Holiday (12/31-1/1), 4th Monday on Feb. and its The Next Day
Tatsumi no Mori
The popular Japanese drama “HERO” was filmed on this Gingko lined path which continues on for a length of 600 meters. Known to only a select few people, this is a relatively secret spot for enjoying autumn’s spectacular colored leaves. If you have a chance, it’s definitely a place worth checking out before fame attracts the crowds.
Tatsumi no Mori