Cycling: Suwa’s Ginko Tree

Ginko trees (inchō・銀杏), along with momiji (紅葉) and persimmon (kaki・柿) make for a staple of the Japanese autumn.

I don’t know how old this tree is but it has to be a few hundred years. How did it look one-hundred years ago? Two hundred even? My guess is that the tree, as well as the tiny hamlet of Suwa (諏訪町) in which it resides, haven’t changed that much.

I’ve been cycling past it and through the village since 2003 and every autumn I promise myself I’ll return with a camera. It was only last year that I actually stopped to make a few frames. I’ve done the same again this year.

The next goal is to take a walk around the village. With an aging population the walk could uncover a few old tales of life under the ginko.

In the meantime this long weekend is an opportunity to head to the Kiso Valley and walk a small section of the Nakasendō. The autumn colours should be spectacular.

Cycled since I was a kid, moved to Japan in 2001, bought my first 'serious' camera in 2005. Spent the later half of the 1990s travelling in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Nepal, Japan, and the Philippines and wish I'd photographed a lot more back then.

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