Please be started my story by a photo which I took when I had a chance to visit Tokyo last September.
It is a manhole cover photo. Why? The reason is the art in public construction can tell you some stories about the culture of the country you visit.
It is same with this photo. In the center of the manhole cover is the symbol of a sakura flower and the leaves of Ginkgo tree. When talking about Japan, surely no one don't know about the sakura flower. So, what is about Ginkgo tree





Ginkgo tree appeared more than 290 million years ago (1*). This tree family is the oldest tree family in the world. It existed before the appearing of dinosaurs. This plant doesn't have any natural diseases or pests. Therefore, the Ginkgo tree has eternal vitality.

In the summer of 1945, the historic bomb explosion in Hiroshima can kill every thing lives on the ground but the Ginkgo tree. You can visit Myojoin Temple ( Higashi Ward, Hiroshima) and see the only living witness of the atomic bomb. So from that day, Ginkgo tree is considered as the hope bearer tree.

On June 1st, 1989, Tokyo city adopted the symbol which is made of tree arcs resembling of a Ginkgo leaf to form up the T letter in "Tokyo" word(2*). Since then Ginkgo tree has become the Tokyo tree. You can commonly find out the Ginkgo tree with fan-shaped leaves along Tokyo's streets or avenues. The tree symbolizes for strong vitality, steadfastness and everlasting beauty.

Every year, at the end of Autumn, the entire Ginkgo tree forest will turn its leaves from green to yellow, flying with a small wind like the swan feet touch on the sky. Icho Namiki is the best place to see that romantic scenes.



Moreover, Ginkgo tree also brings the benefits to people in term of health. Dried Ginkgo leaves help promote brain health, support treatments of asthma and bronchitis.
Japanese use Ginkgo seeds to prepare many delicious of dishes such as takikomi rice, rice soup, grilled skewered meet, chawanmushi, ...


Reference Links:

  1. Ginkgo biloba
  2. Tokyo's symbol

The post uses the free photo from Freepik site

Leave a comment

*