Hello, this is Mizuho from FBI blog editorial!
Here we are entering another autumn.
When you think about autumn, what first comes to your mind?
Climax of the baseball season, or school sport festival, the season of saury, or Halloween with lots of pumpkin delicacies?
For me it’s the color of autumn. The color of changing leaves. One of the trees that represents autumn is a ginkgo tree, or in Japanese we call it icho.
A bit of information about it, according to Wikipedia:
Ginkgo biloba, known as ginkgo is the only living species in the division Ginkgophyta, all others being extinct. It is found in fossils dating back 270 million years. It has been designated an endangered species by the IUCN Red List.
After doing some research this was a surprise to me to find out that it is an endangered species.
I am pretty sure that lots of Japanese don’t really know about this.
Needless to say, we must keep protecting and taking good care of them for years to come.
Does everybody know that there is a famous ginkgo tree in Fukuoka?
The tree is standing right at the entrance of Kushida Shrine that is located in the center of Fukuoka-city, and is well known as “Kushida-no-ginan.”
I visited the shrine last week, and yes, there it is!
Too bad the leaves haven’t changed their color yet. I was a little bit too early.
Well, I’m sure we can get to see them in the gorgeous golden color very soon.
The fruit of the ginkgo tree is called ginnan.
There, the tree was producing lots of ginnan fruit. Can you see?
This fruit is quite unique. First of all, it unbelievably stinks!
Also it could cause skin rush if you touch fresh ones with bare hands. Be very cautious when handling it.
However, the seed is edible, and in fact it is quite tasty.
I would call it “Japanese pistachio”, although the texture is a lot softer when cooked.
You could grill, deep fry in batter as tempura, cook with rice, or however you like!
This also has become one of the sign that says autumn has arrived.
So the ginkgo tree which is an endangered tree, is quite a symbol to Japan, and especially to the locals here in Fukuoka. It might not be comparable to Sakura tree as a symbol of spring, but to me it is one of the icon of autumn among many that form a perfectly balanced and enjoyable season here in Japan.
Come see it for yourself!!! ✈?