Name: The Giant Ginkgo of Togakushi Shrine (戸隠神社のイチョウ)
Type: Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
Trunk Circumference: 5.7m
Age: 350 years
Location: 栃木県那須郡那珂川町大内 (36° 45′ 06″N 140° 13′ 55″E)
Date of Visit: 2011-8-13
Near the Ibaraki border, in the mountains, surrounded by rice fields, there is Togakushi Shrine. Off Prefectural Road 232, there is an arrow-straight 150m cryptomeria-lined path to the shrine. Behind the shrine, there’s a fairly large cryptomeria.
Standing in front of the main shrine building is this large ginkgo. The thick single trunk stretches skyward, and I feel this tree has a great character. Around the base, it can be seen where young suckers have been cut out. It’s been done to preserve this tree’s shape, I guess.
Ginkgo are dioecious. This means that there are female trees and male trees (unlike, say, tomatoes which have both male and female bits in the same flower — hermaphroditic, or cucumbers which have male and female bits on the same plant but in different flowers — monoecious). This is a female tree.
Surrounded as it is by cryptomeria, one can imagine that in autumn, this ginkgo truly shines, as the cryptomeria remains unchanging, this ginkgo will shine in bright yellow.
I try to show you my Japan. Won’t you show me your Japan?