My Most Favorite Tree in Autumn

When I was in the university, there was a big tree near our cafeteria that turned bright, golden yellow each autumn. It stood alone, apart from the other trees, as if in embarrassment because of the stinking smell of its seeds which fell on the ground. But its striking color easily made it my most favorite tree of all, and it became something to look forward to every autumn season.

maidenhair tree leaf

I learned that the name of the tree is “ginkgo” or ichou (Ginkgo biloba). Right at our institute, we can enjoy a beautiful avenue lined with ginkgo trees. Every autumn many people would stop and take photos of this avenue. Some of them would even pick up the seeds (which are supposedly edible). As to why people would want to eat the seeds with such stinky smell (well actually it’s just the rotting flesh), your guess is as good as mine. Well, we do eat durian, which is probably the smelliest fruit ever, right? Anyway, when the tree leaves are in their brightest yellow, you can expect them to last for only a week or so, and then the leaves start falling down.

It amuses me to know that the English name for ginkgo is “maidenhair tree.” Quite an amusing name for a tree that produces one of the smelliest seeds around. By the way, here is an interesting website I came across while searching for some related information on ginkgo.

Let me just share some photos I’ve taken of these trees. Lovely, aren’t they?

ichou avenue aist

Every year, we bring Aya with us to take photos of the ginkgo inside our institute.

yellow leaves and aya

Here’s another shot, taken one really fine autumn day about two years ago. The building on the right is the AIST Tsukuba headquarters.

aist headquarters

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24 Responses to My Most Favorite Tree in Autumn

  1. karmi says:

    i was also fascinated by the ginkgo trees. andrés used to collect leaves to explain how the ginkgo is distinct from other trees. the way to university from sakuri dori is also very beautiful in autumn.

  2. Gypsy says:

    Wow! Fantastic photos! I saw yellow tree-lined streets here, too but was in a car so wasnt able to take photos, sayang…speaking of trees, my favorite is still the fire tree in the Philippines, the ones that bloom a fiery orange but only in the summer. :)

  3. mitsuru says:

    they say, it’s good for one’s memory…

    teka, ano nga ba itong post mo?

  4. annamanila says:

    Gingko boloba — thats being marketed as a food supplement. Haven’t tried it yet, so I didnt know it stinks or whether it really does those wonderful things it supposed to do for one’s bodily and psychic wellbeing.

    But at least one thing is sure … the gingko leaves and trees are beautiful. Japan is really gifted with flora aside from the famous cherry blossoms, ne?

  5. Leah says:

    Lovely photos! Ang galing ng kuha, especially the 1st and 2nd one.

    It is a beautiful tree. and I guess it has a lot of benefits. I’ve seen bottles of Vitamins with this name.

  6. kathycot says:

    sis! favor me win this award thanks!

  7. rhodora says:

    Ang cute naman ni Aya.

    Oh, I love those ginkgo trees. Dream season ko ang autumn. I’m just fascinated with fallen and falling leaves. Here in the Philippines, siguro ang counterpart ng mga trees na yan sa pics, ay ang tinatawag na “golden shower”. During this time of the year, it’s yellow-golden leaves and flowers fall to the ground. I so love it!

  8. dimaks says:

    these trees are also one of my photo subjects during my first autumn in Tsukuba.. the colors are just too stunning.

  9. verns says:

    awwww…ganda nga magpa picture hehe pretty sight indeed.

    I think some food supplements have ginkgo biloba…:)

  10. zherwin says:

    ang ganda ng kulay, parang straight from a movie! i always dream of photographing these kinds of scenery, just looking at them makes you smile.

  11. bw says:

    THe uniform yellow color of the leaves creates a vibrant picture of the entire neighborhood. It is a very pretty sight :)

  12. Gina says:

    SO pretty naman. And so pretty din your little model =)
    I like the beautiful colors of fall and that tree has one of the most vibrant shade of yellow. Ang ganda!

  13. kathy says:

    The city planners of Tsukuba really made sure they planted a lot of those trees! Don nga lang sa Tsuchiura gakuen dori, ang dami na. Meron din pala sa Tsukuba-U.

  14. kathy says:

    The fire tree sounds familiar, but I’m not sure if I remember it correctly. Yung fire tree ba eh yung tree na mabango yung flowers – the one that gives it an orange color?

  15. kathy says:

    It’s just about the tree, hehe…hey, I didn’t know it is medicinal!

  16. kathy says:

    Hi anna, I didn’t know about its medicinal and health benefits until you and Bill pointed it out. Tsukuba, in particular, has many tree-lined avenues and parks – a harmony of science and nature, so they say. :) It does make a conducive environment for all the academics out there, heheh.

  17. kathy says:

    Thanks Leah! Oh, you’re the third one to mention about its health benefits…hehe…funny, I had been largely ignorant of this fact.

  18. kathy says:

    Ooops, sorry I missed this. What was the award all about?

  19. kathy says:

    Thanks Rhodora. :)
    I love the colors of autumn, too…in fact, autumn is my most favorite season of all. Yung golden shower na sinasabi mo ba ay related don sa sinabi ni Gypsy sa taas na fire tree?

  20. kathy says:

    Yeah, those trees would definitely make you take out your camera and shoot photos, even if you’re just an amateur or you just simply appreciate its beauty.

  21. kathy says:

    Oo Verns, sobrang ganda…nakakapanghinayang nga na nahuhulog din ang dahon after some time. You wished they would stay that way forever. :)

  22. kathy says:

    Even an amateur photographer like me couldn’t take a bad photo of those ginkgos, hehe. :) The colors are even more vibrant on a sunny day. Ganda talaga.

  23. kathy says:

    Bw, we enjoyed the beautiful scene for about two weeks or so…now the trees are bare, tsk tsk. But at least we had two weeks, eh? :)

  24. kathy says:

    Thanks Gina. It was only later when I realized that I made Aya wear “autumn colors” on that particular day. What a coincidence!

    Marami rin ba ganong trees in your area?

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