【City of Sapporo】 Golden-Yellow Leaves of the Ginko Avenue
post date : 2016.08.25
【From a Coordinator for International Relations in Sapporo City】
Ms. Marina Lakeeva
(Novosibirsk City, Russia)
In this article, I would like to share with you the treasures of autumn in Sapporo. Although recently it may feel as though the summer heat continues to persist even as September rolls around, to me, September is the start of autumn. Every year, I excitedly look forward to witnessing leaves slowly changing colour, and the resulting new life brought to the city from its dynamic shades.
Japan’s autumn foliage is well-known around the world and Hokkaido is the first place in all of Japan to experience autumn. Asahidake, one of the highest points in Hokkaido, starts to see its trees turn into shades by September! I highly recommend Jozankei for a good autumn leaves viewing spot in Sapporo. Staring at the beautiful, vivid colours as you soak in a hot spring is a perfect way to experience autumn the quintessentially Japanese way.
In Russia there is an expression called “Golden Autumn” and to think of autumn as a vibrant yellow or golden colour is normal. However, in Japan, autumn foliage is written as “crimson red leaves” or “紅葉” where “紅” represents a bright red colour. Perhaps the reason why I feel more familiarity with trees that have leaves that turn yellow as opposed to red is because of the common sight of white birches in Russia that turn a bright yellow in autumn.
The first time I came to Sapporo was in early October, at the height of autumn. It being my first stay in Japan, I was discovering all sorts of new experiences, one of those being the presence of gingko trees, which is not seen in my hometown of Novosibirsk. Had I been at the same place in summer, I would not have given it much thought, but autumn had transformed the gingko trees into a perfect golden-yellow colour, which was absolutely fascinating.
Gingko trees can be found in many places around Sapporo, and they light up the city as if reflecting the rays of the sun when autumn comes around. Even then, the best place to view their magnificence is at the Ginkgo Avenue in Hokkaido University. 70 gingko trees stretch on both sides of the street for over 380 metres there. As autumn rolls around, the latest information about the condition of the trees as they slowly begin to change colour can be found on the University’s official website. They even organise a light up event where the trees are illuminated into the night, creating an even more stunning atmosphere.
According to “The Travels of Marco Polo”, Japan is described as the “Golden Country”. Did the person who introduced Japan to Marco Polo perhaps visit in autumn then?
In Sapporo, enjoy more than just “crimson red” autumn foliage but also “golden-yellow” leaves!
＜Latest news from Hokkaido University＞
http://www.hokudai.ac.jp/news/news/ (Japanese only)
＜About the Gingko Avenue＞
◆ Contact us for any queries
International Relations Section, International Relations Department
General Affairs Bureau, City of Sapporo
Kita-1, Nishi-2, Chuo-ku, Sapporo 060-8611, Japan