One of the joys of autumn is the changing of the leaves. In Kyoto, there are many famous places to see the autumn leaves, but you can also feel the autumn in your daily life as the trees on the streets turn red.

Street trees in cities give a sense of calmness and unity to the cityscape, showing a variety of expressions and bringing peace and moisture. In the spring, the green of the young leaves gives us a sense of life, in the hot summer sun, it forms a shade to reduce the rise in temperature in the surrounding area, and the autumn leaves and the winter shape of the tree directly convey a sense of season. In this way, it can be said that street trees are the most "familiar nature of the city" where we can feel the seasonal changes.

The history of street trees is long, and in Kyoto, street trees have been a part of the Kyoto landscape since the founding of Heian-kyo. During the reign of Emperor Kammu, willow trees were planted along Suzaku-oji in Heian-kyo and Japanese pagoda trees, cherry and willow trees were planted at equal intervals along Oji-koji. Trees were also planted along the approaches to many shrines and temples, such as in front of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine and Nanzenji Temple, and a row of pine trees is depicted on the north side of Nanzenji Temple in "Miyako Meisho Zue," a local magazine of Kyoto published in the mid-Edo period.

During the Sengoku period, Oda Nobunaga is said to have built tree-lined roads to ensure the safety of travelers and comfortable traffic, and pine and willow trees were planted along the Tokaido and Tōsandō roads. Later, as the Tokugawa clan improved the roads throughout the country, pines and cedars were planted and ichirizuka were built to mark the distances and serve as resting places. In Kyoto, black pines were planted along Kamo Kaido, and willow and cherry trees were planted along the main riversides as rows of trees.

In the 1890s, cherry trees, willow trees, and maple trees were planted along the Lake Biwa Sosui, and a walking path was developed, making it a famous place for cherry blossoms.

Street trees in Kyoto City were first planted in the Karasuma Street (Kyoto Station to Marutamachi Street) in 1872, when the agricultural scientist, Viscount Hayato Fukuba, planted lily-of-the-valley trees that he presented to the governor of Kyoto Prefecture. Today, lily-of-the-valley trees can still be seen along Karasuma Street and Shijo Street.

Among the street trees, ginkgo, sugar maple, cherry, and zelkova, which can be enjoyed in their autumn colors, are planted on many streets in Kyoto.

Ginkgo trees are planted on lines that emphasize the view of the prospect because their conical shape brings a sense of unity to the streetscape. Ginkgo trees can be seen on many streets, including Karasuma Street and Marutamachi Street, but the rows of ginkgo trees along Horikawa Street are particularly impressive. The rows of ginkgo trees along the median up Imadegawa Street are towering yellow ginkgo trees, and the entire area underfoot is covered with ginkgo leaves, like a yellow carpet. Kyoto's parks are laid out along the flow of the Horikawa River, so you can take your time to enjoy the scenery.

The zelkova tree is one of the most popular street trees because of its beautiful shape, with branches spreading out from its straight trunk in a broom-like pattern. You can see them on Shirakawa Street, Oike Street, etc. On Oike Street, the zelkova trees in autumn colors look beautiful against the buildings lining the street.

Even the most familiar streets change their scenery with the seasons. Why don't you find autumn in the city this year?

Imadegawa Showroom (Open from 14:00-17:00 on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday)
Sanjo Showroom (Open all year round, 12:00-18:00, except for New Year's Eve)