The Ginkgo tree was brought to Japan from China, at the same time with Buddhism and the trees were planted near the Buddhist temples. The Japanese people were impressed by the tree’s beauty and by its beautiful leaves, so they started using the ginkgo leaves as family crests (mon) and as ornaments for ceramics and textiles. One of the best known uses is the Tokyo metropolitan Symbol and Logo, made of three arcs representing a ginkgo leaf and also the letter T for Tokyo.
The ginkgo trees are the official Tokyo metropolitan trees since 1996, November 8. They are used as ornamental trees, planted along the streets (ginkgo is known to resist very well to pollution and city stress), like this ginkgo from the entrance to the Asakusabashi Station, photographed during winter, covered in a spectacular golden color:
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: