-･- From My Everyday Life to Japanese Culture -･- Why don't you see the real Japan, not the typical foreigners' version.
Icho (イチョウ, ginkgo biloba), a deciduous tree (落葉樹) native to China, is a popular boulevard tree in Japan. The leaves on the trees turn yellow in autumn and are pleasing to the eye.
An Icho tree that bears ginnans in a nearby park.
It’s a dioecious plant: individual plants are either male or female. Only female trees bear fruits called ginnan (ギンナン). Though the fleshy outer layer of the fruit is smelly, delicious nuts appear after peeling away it.
Roasted fresh ginkgo nuts are one of my favorites. They are beautiful jade green and go well with chilled sake (rice wine).
This time of year, I stop at the side of the road, look up at a ginkgo tree, and think that I would like to drink ginjo-shu (吟醸酒, a kind of sake made from polished rice) with the roasted nuts.
The fresh nuts are available only during fall and winter.