gingko trees

In this article you will find ten places for gingko trees in Saitama Prefecture, close to Tokyo. They are divided into two sections: 1) gingko tree avenues and 2) sacred or ancient gingko trees at a shrine or temple. The best time for viewing varies greatly between location. For example: currently at least two of the gingko tree avenues are already yellow, but on the other hand some of these location’s trees will not turn yellow until December.

Section I : Avenue of Gingko trees

Five places you can see an avenue of yellow in Saitama Prefecture. Generally, the avenue of gingko change color earlier than the ancient gingko. On average, from around early to mid November, some earlier, some later.

  1. Chichibu Muse Park
  2. Kazo Hanasaki Park
  3. Kawagoe Park
  4. Besshonuma Park
  5. Okegawa

And an honorary mention to Hikarigaoka park which is officially in Tokyo, but right beside Wako City in Saitama Prefecture. It is one of the most famous places for gingko in the Tokyo area.

Section II : Ancient / Sacred Gingko trees

In addition, five places you can see ancient gingko trees in Saitama Prefecture. They typically turn golden around the end of November on average.

  1. Shoboji
  2. Kinsenji
  3. Kunikami
  4. “Gingko” Inari
  5. Tamashiki Shrine

Bonus section: Light up Information

Due to the pandemic there is not as many light up events as ‘normal’, but there at least five places you can see gingko tree lit up this year. Scroll down to the light up section for more.

Section I : Avenue of gingko trees

1. Chichibu Muse Park

Chichibu Muse Park straddles Chichibu City and Ogano town in the Chichibu district of Saitama. In recent years they are turning yellow as early as mid October and are generally the first to change. There are approximately 500 gingko trees lining the three kilometer long avenue. It is one of Saitama’s most famous spots for gingko. Further information including map, access, phone etc:

2. Kazo Hanasaki Park

In my experience, Kazo Hanasaki’s park are one of the first to change color in the Saitama area. Last year, they were already starting to turn yellow by mid October. The park also has some kochia which are red at the moment. You can get a photo of the kochia with the avenue of gingko in the background at this park. Further information including map, access etc: Kazo Hanasaki Water Park.

gingko trees saitama

3. Kawagoe Park

Kawagoe Park is well known for its late blooming cherry blossoms, but the park is actually quite picturesque in most seasons. The gingko trees are by the tennis courts near the embankment where you can see spider lilies in September. Moreover, Kawagoe has several other trees that change color in the autumn. Such as the large Metasequoia (Redwood) trees around the lake. More information:

4. Besshonuma Park

Besshonuma Park is located in the Urawa area of Saitama City. It is a great park for families with a lovely playground and convenient facilities. The park also has maple trees as well as Metasequoia trees. Rather than an avenue of gingko its more a wooded area of gingko. There is an avenue of metasequoia that also turn yellow and lead to the wood of gingko. The gingko generally turn golden around the mid to end of November. Information including address, map etc:

5. An off the beaten path spot in Okegawa

This spot was a “secret” spot when I first published this post, but due to an increase in the number of entries about this spot online, I’ve decided to share the information openly. Still, this off the beaten path gingko spot in Okegawa currently has no other English information online, but the Japanese entries have increased exponentially in the last year. Unlike the others, it is not in a park. The best time to see them is in November. If you want an off the tourist trail place for gingko, look no further:

Section II : Ancient and / or sacred trees

Next up, gingko trees that are either ancient, sacred or both. Each of these locations is at a temple or shrine in Saitama Prefecture. Firstup, my personal favorite gingko tree in the whole world!

6. Shoboji aka Iwadono Kannon

The featured photo (photo at the top of the post) is also from Shoboji Temple. It is the most magnificent gingko tree in the world in my humble opinion! In recent years, Shoboji temple needs little introduction as the temple (also called Iwadono Temple) is a renowned “power spot”. The famed and revered gingko tree at Shoboji temple is approximately 700 years old. Furthermore, it is a designated municipal natural monument. You can pick up all the information you need about the gingko tree in the post linked below:

7. Kinsenji

If you have visited Kinsenji for its famed hydrangea, you probably noticed the giant gingko tree in front of the temple. Its hard to miss as it is absolutely gigantic. Supposedly the main purpose of the gingko tree at Kinsenji was practical not aesthetic. The tree was planted to protect the temple from the winds that Ranzan is known for. The tree is approximately 300 years old. Furthermore, the circumference is approximately 3.5 meters wide making it the widest trunk in the area. Moreover, it is a whopping 31 meters tall, which is about four times taller than what I had guessed when I first saw it! Information for the temple:

8. Kunikami

The second natural monument of Saitama Prefecture on the list, Kunikami is located in the Minano area of Chichibu District. The width of the tree is more than eight meters and it is at least 22 meters high. Some say its more than 800 years old, others say 700 years old. Whichever, its ancient! Best viewing of this gigantic gingko tree is said to be from mid to the end of November. Unfortunately, there is no English online about this spot and I haven’t had a chance to write something up yet either. Furthermore, its not even on Google Maps in English. But it is on maps in Japanese: and official web page (unfortunately it is just a skeleton page)

Kunikami ancient gingko in Chichibu

9. “Gingko” Inari

Shusse Inari in Kawagoe city is also known as Ichou or “Gingko” Inari. The “Gingko” shrine is home to a pair of gingko trees said to be at least 600 years old. The shrine is otherwise unassuming, but given its central location in the tourist area of Kawagoe and the history of the shrine, it is a popular spot to admire gingko trees in their finest yellow.

Information in English on a Kawagoe bilingual blog page.

10. Tamashiki Shrine

Tamashiki Shrine is best known for its wisteria that blooms around Golden Week annually. However, the gingko at Tamashiki shrine is also very beautiful. Moreover, the gingko grows right by the temple. The temple is particularly stunning when its gilded roof is dressed in golden leaves from the gingko tree, which is usually around the first week in December. In addition, this is one of the places you can see light up in 2022, on Friday and Saturday nights in November. It is not advertised online except for on their Twitter account. Map, access etc:

Bonus section: light up information

In a “usual” year you can see gingko trees lit up at night at a few select locations around Saitama Prefecture. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic many of those places will not have a light up event in 2022. I will update this section for a usual year once things have gone back to normal, but for this year, a short list of places that have confirmed they will have autumn leaf light up this year:

Thankfully there are dozens of other places to see gingko around Saitama Prefecture. Most of them are individual or paired gingko trees at a temple or shrine. There are a few other places with gingko lined avenues that are not on this list, such as in Kumagaya, Niiza or Tsurugashima. Is there anywhere you would add? Generally speaking the best time for viewing gingko is mid to the end of November. But, as I said above, there are some places that turn yellow as early as October and others that wait until December to don their golden shroud. Autumn is such a beautiful time of year to get out and about in nature. I hope you can enjoy some Autumn leaves this year.


  1. I didn’t know anything about gingko trees when I visited Japan. They look so beautiful.

    Now, I drink the dried leaves.

    1. Author

      I must try drinking the dried leaves, I believe they have great health benefits. I love the golden yellow and most of all I love when they start to shed and create a beautiful carpet of yellow. Thanks a million Helen 🙂

      1. The leaves are apparently good for blood pressure. I don’t have an issue with my BP but they are supposed to help against tinnitus (due to raised BP and I do have tinnitus.

        1. Author

          Very interesting – I have slightly elevated BP, I really must start trying this out. Have you found any difference in your tinnitus since drinking?

          1. Unfortunately, my gingko drinking has been a bit sporadic. The tea is thirst-quenching, though, and helps me avoid caffeine 😊

    1. Author

      Hi Jo, Thanks a million, I’ll PM you if that’s ok – I can send a copy to your email if you’d like too?

  2. You mention Ukishima in Kawagoe in a 2015 post, as a great place to see ginkgoes, but you don’t mention it in this blog. So, it’s not in the top ten in Saitama?

    1. Author

      Hi Marian,

      thank you very much for your contact through the response form. I have replied to you via my gmail.

      I personally like Ukishima as a place to see the gingko and a carpet of gold, but Kawagoe tourist association tends to push Shussei as the best spot for gingko in Kawagoe so I followed suit on the “ten places” list. Kawagoe Hachimangu is also a popular spot for its gingko, but its not particularly old in the greater scheme of things!

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