If you want to watch autumn leaves in Tokyo, I recommend visiting Meiji-jingu Gaien Park in the Aoyama area. Meiji-jingu Gaien is one of the most famous spots to see autumn leaves in Tokyo. There are many ginkgo trees (also known as Ginkgo Avenue Tokyo) in Meiji-jingu Gaien. The ginkgo trees turn yellow in the fall and this scene can not be described in words.
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About Meiji-jingu Gaien
The full name of Gaien is Meiji Jingu Gaien Park. It is a part of the Meiji Jingu Shrine which was erected to commemorate Emperor Meiji. Although the park is not located next to Meiji Jingu Shrine but it is under the management of Meiji Jingu. Meiji-Jingu is the traditional shrine of Japan, but Gaien is more like a western park. If you have time, you should go to both places and experience the difference.
The park has many facilities for sports at Gaien Park such as baseball field, driving area, ice rink. Gaien is also a great place for cycling because the bike path are opened on weekends.
There are two huge ginkgo trees row along a street of Gaien. This street is 300m long and there are 146 ginkgo trees here. These ginkgo trees are trimmed in a unique way and they are just at the right for viewing. The ginkgo trees begin to turn yellow in mid-November. The best time to admire the leaves is from late November to early December. When it began turning yellow, the scene is fantastic! Especially, the beautiful scene with the museum behind these ginkgo trees. Some say the leaves look like gold. Gaien is a good place to take pictures. There are plenty of good places to shoot around the park especially in the fall.
Pay attention, because ginkgo trees leaves naturally fall at the same time. So if you see many leaves on the trees does not mean you can see them the next day. It is also very beautiful when most of the leaves of the ginkgo trees shed on the ground. It was look like a giant amber carpet and the street will become yellow.
The Gaien Ginkgo Festival
In the autumn season, the Ginkgo festival is celebrated in the Gaien Park. It is usually held in the second half of November to early December. The park is open from 10am to 6pm daily. Usually it opens 30 minutes earlier than the weekend and holidays. There will be many food stalls at the festival and you can eat fresh foods and vegetables from all over Japan. The festival is usually held annually. So if you have the chance to see the autumn leaves at Gaien, remember to experience a Ginkgo festival.
The Gingko Avenue in Meiji Jingu Gaien Park
Address: 1-1 Kasumigaokamachi, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0013, Japan
Opening times: 6AM–11PM
Phone: +81 3-3401-0312
Autums date: from late November to early December
By train: 5 minutes walk from Gaienmae station and Aoyamaitchome station (Tokyo Metro Gizan line) / or 8 minutes walk from Shinanomachi station (JR Sobu line)
By car: The “Gaien exit” on Metropolitan Expressway Route No.4 is the most convenient approach by expressway. The facilities are approx. 15 minutes from the nearest stations.
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