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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Ginkgo

イチョウ

Ginkgo trees
Ginkgo leaves in Kojimachi, Tokyo


Tokyo, among numerous other Japanese cities, is full of gingko trees (Ginkgo biloba), and autumn in Tokyo is characterized by the vivid yellow of the gingko's fallen leaves, and the distinctive smell (AKA the stench) of its seeds.

Ginkgo leaves in Tokyo
Gingko leaves stuck to a wall

The ginkgo is a living fossil, and has no closely related species. Its leaves and nuts are held to have various medicinal properties, some of them ratified by modern science, but many claims having been found to be imaginary.

They lend great character to Japanese streets in fall, as seen by these photos taken last week.


Ginkgo leaves
Gingko leaves in Asakusabashi, Tokyo

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