5 Ginkgo Tree Spots To Visit in Fukushima this Autumn

When it comes to the Japanese traditional of autumn leaf viewing, Fukushima Prefecture has so many fantastic spots to choose from. Whether the leaves of dark red maples, or bright yellow ginkgos, there are countless places worth visiting. In this post, I’ll introduce some of the famous and lesser-known ginkgo tree spots to visit this autumn.

1. Azuma Sports Park, Fukushima City

Azuma Sogo Undo Park (5)

116 ginkgo trees line the pathway for over 500m at the centre of Azuma Sports Park in Fukushima City. This park is easy to get to, has a huge car park, and looks spectacular in the day or in the evening, when the trees are lit up from below. It’s also quite a good date spot!

 

Autumn Leaf Season:

Late October to Early November

2017 Light Up Dates:

October 21 – November 19 (closed on Tuesdays)

Reaching Azuma Sports Park by public transport

Take a train to Fukushima Station. Then take a bus on the Sabara Line 佐原線 heading to Arakawa Hatsudensho (荒川発電所), and get off at Azuma Sports Park. This bus leaves from outside Fukushima Station (east exit).

Reaching Azuma Sports Park by car:

Take the Tohoku Highway. Get off at Fukushima Nishi IC, then drive for 10 minutes.

 

2. Shirahata Shrine, Shinchi Town

白幡のいちょう

This 240 year old ginkgo tree stands like a protector right at the back of Shirahata Shrine. As the yellow leaves start to drop, they create a beautiful yellow carpet in front of the shrine. Looking up from the ground at the tree makes a really beautiful photo.

 

Autumn leaf season:

Late Nov to Early Dec

Getting to Shirahata Shrine by car:

Take the Joban highway to Shinchi IC. After exiting the IC, the shrine is a 5 minute drive.

Getting to Shirahata Shrine by public transport:

10 minute taxi drive from Komagamine Station.


3. Shingu Kumano Shrine Nagatoko, Kitakata City

Nagatoko (1)

This beautiful 800 year old ginkgo tree stands just in front of Nagatoko – a space for worship which is central to Shingu Kumano Shrine in Kitakata City. Nagatoko’s unique architecture (thatched roof and open-air plan) makes for a great photograph, and it’s even more picturesque during autumn leaf season.

 

More information here

Autumn Leaf Season:

Mid Nov – Late Nov

2017 Light-up Dates:

Daily from November 15 – 22 (17:30-19:30)

Getting to Shingu Kumano Shrine by public transport:

10 minutes by taxi from Kitakata Station

Getting to Shingu Kumano Shrine by car:

Take the Ban Etsu Highway and get off at Aizu Wakamatsu IC. From there, it would take around 20 minutes to reach the shrine.


4. Furumachi, Minamiaizu

古町の大イチョウ (4)

The amazing ginkgo tree at Furumachi is estimated to be 800 years old. It stands 30m tall and 11m wide.

 

Autumn Leaf Season:

Late Oct to Early Nov

2017 Light-Up Dates:

Daily from November 7

Getting to Furumachi by car:

A 15 minute drive from Shirakawa IC off of the Tohoku Highway.

Getting to Furumachi by public transport:

From Aizu Tajima Station, take a bus (Aizu Bus) on the Tajima Uchikawa Line (只見内川線). Get off at Furukawa Nokyomae (古川農協前).From there, it is a 2 minute walk.


5. Hoyo-ji Temple, Aizu Misato

大銀杏と法用寺

The yellow leaves of Hoyo-ji Temple’s ginkgo tree line the sides of a path, welcoming visitors to pray at the temple. Not only is this a very scenic spot, it is also a very historic one. The temple was established in the year 702, and the Kongorikishi Buddhist statue carefully preserved on the temple grounds dates back to the Heian era (794 – 1185). Visitors to the shrine are welcome to wander around as they like, but those wanting to visit the Kongorikishi statue should reserve a timeslot to see it in advance.

 

Tourism Assocation Contact number:

0242-564-772 (Japanese language only)

Autumn Leaf Season:

Mid to Late Nov

Getting to Hoyo-ji Temple by car:

15 minute walk from Shintsura Smart IC off of the Joban Highway.

Getting to Hoyo-ji Temple by public transport:

45 minute walk from Aizu Takada Station (Tadami Line)

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