Ginkgos Avenue – Icho Namiki
“Icho Namiki” (銀杏並木) avenue is the main way to enter the Meiji Jingu Gaien gardens (not to be confused with the Meiji Jingu temple). “Icho” means Ginkgo and “Namiki” means “tree line”.
The yellow of the ginkgo leaves is fascinating during this time. It is one of the most visited places at the end of October and beginning of November. Don’t miss the chance to visit it if you are around during that time in Tokyo. The start of the avenue can be seen just outside “Aoyama 1-chome” station (Ginza or Hanzomon line).
The other day, my friend Xavier Verdaguer, came to visit Japan, and asked me: Why does it smell so bad when you are near the ginkgos? It turns out that the ginkgo fruits, called ginnan, fall on the street, are smashed by pedestrians and smell quite bad. The funny thing is that when they are grilled they smell very good and are delicious.