The tree with the yellow leaves is the Ginko tree and ginko nuts looks like jade, surrounded by a hard and yellow shell

銀杏並木 Food / Drink

Source of Ginko History

Sobue town, Inazawa city, in the Chubu area, is the largest producer of Ginko nuts in Japan. About 100 years ago, people used to keep Ginko nuts as a back-up food stock for when there was a poor harvest of rice.

Around 1901, people began to cultivate Ginko trees to collect edible Ginko nuts. In Sobue town, there are many Ginko trees that are over 100 years old. Ginko nuts of Sobue town are bigger than others and slightly bittersweet and have an addictive chewy texture.

Ginko nuts look similar to walnuts.  The nut is hidden inside the shell, and has a bright jade color that will remind you of the treasure you are about to eat. The small Ginko nut is interesting and has a desirable taste waiting for you inside of that tough shell, we will teach you to eat.

Ginko Nuts

How to prepare and how much is a good portion of Ginko Nuts?

For the typical preparation of this tasty treat, you need a tool to lightly and gently crack the lining of the shell.  Then you need to put the Ginko nut into a pouch filled with salt and heat them in a microwave for one minute. Putting them in the microwave helps to also remove the shell easily. Usually, it comes out of the shell on its own during the heating process. They’re then ready to eat. It’s as simple as it is delicious. Consumption should be monitored however, since too much of a good thing, is not a good thing. Eating too many of these nuts can lead to adverse effects.

Ginko Nuts

Origin of the Ginko Tree and its Name

The Ginko tree has its own interesting history. The name actually is based upon the leaves of this wondrous tree. The shape of the leaf looks like the footprints of a duck. The Chinese characters used to write about this are “鴨脚”, pronounced “Yājiǎo”. At first Japanese people could not pronounce “Yājiǎo” but they kept trying, and eventually started to say other sounds, like Yjiǎo”, Ychǎo , Ichǎo. After a long period of switching between these pronunciations, Japanese people evolved the name to sound like Ichou.Throughout the summer, the leaves of Ginko trees start off light and gradually become a brilliant deep emerald green. Towards the end of the fall season, at the end of October, they turn yellow, while outside is still warm. We like to see the shiny, dark, fallen yellow leaves have carpeted the ground, as we walk under the yellow leaves that remain on the branches. The remaining leaves will become an even darker yellow color until it gets cold. Experiences like this with the Ginko tree and the leaves are some of the reasons why fall is definitely one of the best seasons in Japan.