By no stretch would I call myself a nature buff. Although I’m willing to try anything once, it’s unlikely that you’ll find me back-packing or hiking every weekend. That being said I do enjoy what I call “controlled nature” – as in light strolls through the park or maybe a pedal boat ride across a lake. Tokyo is good for those kind of activities. It has very masterfully merged nature with its industrial side, making it so that you can hop off the metro at a busy street and walk to a gorgeous park all within ten minutes. 

That’s exactly what I did back in November when the ginkgo trees were in full bloom. 

Gingko trees are native to Eastern Asia, and are possibly the most beautiful trees on earth when they’re in season. The term “gingko” is derived from the Japanese “gin” – meaning “gold”. It’s a fitting name for the trees which turn vivid hues of yellow during the Fall. There are many different areas throughout Japan and Tokyo specifically to view the gingko trees, although the timeframe to view them is incredibly short (only two to three weeks long). I chose to take a train ride to Meiji Jingu Garden, one of the most popular areas in Tokyo to view the trees. Here, gingko are lined up in two straight columns down a single street which on that particular day, was closed off so pedestrians could get the perfect angle to snap pictures. 

A walk down the street likely takes all of ten minutes, but it was definitely a pleasant little adventure on a cool Autumn afternoon. If you happen to be in Japan during October-November, I recommend going to see the gingko as they’re a rare sight and only easily viewed in Japan, South Korea and a few other East Asian countries. 

Find more beautiful gingko spots here: 

Cost: Completely free! 

Transportation: Train followed by a short 5-10 minute walk

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