Ginkgo Tree Roads in Korea | 14 Awe-Inspiring Places to See Golden Ginkgo Leaves in Fall
Resplendent ginkgo tree roads in Korea are one of the most sought-after fall foliage views in the country. And no wonder. As the weather cools, the fan-like leaves on these ancient trees turn a riveting golden yellow, before falling to the ground in a stunning carpet of crunchy leaves.
Asan Ginkgo Tree Road is undoubtedly one of the most famous of these autumn avenues in Korea, but it IS a bit of a trek from Seoul. Don’t fret if you can’t make it down there, there are plenty more gorgeous ginkgo trees in Korea to gawk at.
In this guide
- 1 Ginkgo Trees in Korea
- 2 Best Time to See Golden Ginkgo Leaves in Korea
- 3 Where to See Gingko Trees in Korea
- 4 Just Released | Limited Edition Fall Tours
- 5 Ginkgo Tree Roads in Korea | 은행나무길
- 5.1 Asan Ginkgo Tree Road | 아산 은행나무길
- 5.2 Ginkgo Tree Lane, Nami Island | 남이섬
- 5.3 Deoksugung Stone Wall Road | 덕수궁 돌담길
- 5.4 Seoul Forest | 서울숲
- 5.5 Hongcheon Ginkgo Forest | 홍천 은행나무숲
- 5.6 Wiryeseong Daero Ginkgo Tree Road | 위례성대로
- 5.7 Tongiljeon Ginkgo Tree Trail | 통일전 은행나무 길
- 5.8 Songjeong Embankment Walkway | 송정제방길
- 5.9 Gyeongui Line Forest Park | 경의선숲길
- 5.10 Garosu-gil | 가로수길
- 6 Monumental Gingko Trees in Korea
Ginkgo Trees in Korea
You’ll see gorgeous gingko trees roads in Korea every which way you turn. They’ve long been cultivated here – not just for their stunning yellow colour – but also for their incredible longevity and ability to withstand pests, disease, and urban pollution.
Hailing from the Paleozoic period, 300 million years ago, these ancient trees are older than dinosaurs, and rightly considered, a living fossil.
In fact, the ginkgo tree is so resilient, it was designated as the official tree of Seoul on April 3rd, 1971 to symbolize the city’s enduring prosperity and development.
During fall in Korea, gingko berries fall from the female trees and emit a foul odor, which can get caught in your nose if you’re not careful. They are however, tasty snacks that are good for the brain, nasty smell aside. Look out for them at street food stalls and festivals in cooler weather.
As autumn slowly gives way to winter, fan-like ginkgo leaves in Korea fall to the ground by the thousands, creating a golden carpet that would make anyone feel like a celebrity. I might even say that I find this time of the year more beautiful than the height of fall in Korea.
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Best Time to See Golden Ginkgo Leaves in Korea
The streets of Seoul might become a minefield of rotting and rancid smelling ginkgo berries in autumn, but it’s worth the smell in my opinion. Because by the end of October in Korea, we’re graced with the glorious sight of gorgeously golden ginkgo leaves instead.
After living in Korea for the last 13 years, I’ve noticed that the deep yellow colour we’re all looking for, is a late autumn thing. And if you want to experience a golden carpet of fallen ginkgo leaves at the same time, you’d want to time your trip to South Korea for early to mid-November for the best odds.
Where to See Gingko Trees in Korea
Strong, resistant to pollution, and majestically beautiful, gingko trees make up about 35% of all the trees in Seoul. You really don’t have to go anywhere special to see them in all their fall foliage glory.
If you’re got golden ginkgo on the brain however, seek out one of the 23 ginkgo trees in Korea that have been designated as natural monuments, or go in search of a stunning tree-lined avenue or magical yellow forest.
Just Released | Limited Edition Fall Tours
Ginkgo tree roads in Korea are not the only leafy game in town. These fall tours only take place for about a month each year and they get booked up fast, because timing for them is so limited. If you’ve got your heart set on seeing any of these places while visiting Korea in fall, I recommend reserving a spot as soon as your travel dates are confirmed.
Here are the limited edition fall day tours available in Korea for 2023.
- Hwadam Botanic Garden + Namhansanseong Fortress (UNESCO) | September 3rd – October 19th, 2023
- Jangtaesan and Jeonju Hanok Village Day Tour from Seoul | September 25th – November 25th, 2023
- Seoraksan Maple Leaves Tour (optional Cable Car) | October 2nd – 20th, 2023
- Alpaca World + Hongcheon Ginkgo Tree Forest | October 10th – 24th, 2023
- Seoraksan National Park with Cable Car Day Tour from Seoul | October 16th – November 3rd, 2023
- Seoraksan (Osaek Autumn Foliage) + Nami & Garden of Morning Calm OR Alpaca World | October 16th – November 3rd, 2023
- Seoul City Autumn Tour (Gamaksan, Eunpyeong Hanok Village, Haneul Park + Jingwansa) | October 16th – November 24th, 2023
- Nari Park, Pink Muhly Grass + Dumulmeori from Seoul | October 18th – 31st, 2023
- Jirisan Scenic Autumn Day Tour from Busan | October 23rd – November 2nd, 2023
- Classic Naejangsan National Park Tour (VIP Bus Available) | October 26th – November 15th, 2023
- Gyeongju Autumn Foliage Day Tour from Busan | October 28th – November 15th, 2023
- Memorable Autumn Hunting Day Tour from Busan | October 28th – November 15th, 2023
- Naejangsan Autumn Foliage Maples Leaves Tour | October 30th – November 5th, 2023
- Naejangsan National Park + Jeonju Hanok Village from Seoul | November 1st – 13th, 2023, Wednesdays and Fridays ONLY
Ginkgo Tree Roads in Korea | 은행나무길
What is it about a row of tall amber-leafed trees, standing like soldiers at the side of an avenue that’s so appealing? Symmetry? Volume? Whatever it is, it’s a scene worth seeking out.
Here are some of the best ginkgo tree forests and roads in Korea to fulfill all your deep yellow dreams.
Asan Ginkgo Tree Road | 아산 은행나무길
Address: 259-2 Baegam-ri, Yeomchi-eup, Asan-si, Chungcheongnam-do | 충청남도 아산시 염치읍 은행나무길
As fall foliage season hits Korea, crowds of people converge upon Asan Ginkgo Tree Road to marvel at the insane beauty of deep amber leaves set against a brilliant, blue sky.
Located next to the scenic Gokgyocheon Stream, Asan Ginkgo Tree Road was created in 1966 as part of the Seongyeoksa Temple Project. The avenue stretches just over 2-km, from Chungmuhyo Bridge to Hyeonchungsa Temple, and is lined with 350 towering ginkgo trees – most of which are over 50 years old.
Ginkgo Tree Lane, Nami Island | 남이섬
Address: 1, Namiseom-gil, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do | 경기도 가평군 가평읍 북한강변로 1024
Nami Island is already one of the best spots to visit during the fall season in Korea, with stunning maple, Korean pine, and metasequoia trees spectacularly changing colour. But if you’re after a lustrous leaf fix, make sure to stroll down Songpa Ginkgo Tree Lane.
This is a magnificent 100-metre long autumn lane lined with ginkgo trees on both sides. Head south off the Central Plaza to find it.
NAMI ISLAND DAY TOURS | This is one place where I really recommend joining a day tour, especially if you want to see other places in the same region, like the Garden of Morning Calm, Alpaca World or Legoland. These places are NOT close to each other, and NOT close to Seoul. Check out options here.
Deoksugung Stone Wall Road | 덕수궁 돌담길
Address: Jiha 101, Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 중구 세종대로 지하 101
Deoksugung Stone-Wall Road is a pedestrian friendly walkway, that connects City Hall to the Seoul Museum of Art. Lined with 130 gorgeous maple and ginkgo trees, this is a particularly wonderful ginkgo tree road in Korea to explore.
Careful who you walk down Deoksugung Doldam-gil with though. Urban myth says that any couple who walks down the 900-metre pathway together is headed towards a break-up!
DEOKSUGUNG WALKING TOUR | Learn the tragic history of the Korean Empire under Japanese Colonialism and see Korea meets West architecture on this highly rated walking tour of lovely Deoksugung Palace. Check full details here.
Seoul Forest | 서울숲
Address: 273, Ttukseom-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 성동구 뚝섬로 273 (성수동1가)
This ginkgo tree forest in Korea is full of mighty woods and golden leaves. It’s a literal fall foliage dream come true.
Seoul Forest consists of 5 separate parks, covering nearly 600,000m² of land, that includes playgrounds, a deer park, flower displays, a skate park, an experiential learning park, and a ton of gorgeous trees. Be sure to check out nearby Seongsu-dong for fun pop-ups and trendy clothing stores.
Hongcheon Ginkgo Forest | 홍천 은행나무숲
Address: 686-4, Gwangwon-ri, Hongcheon-gun, Gangwon-do | 강원 홍천군 내면 광원리 686-4
Walking through the deep golden crunch of a carpet of fallen ginkgo leaves in Korea is just as captivating as seeing them adorning towering trees during fall… and the Hongcheon Ginkgo Forest might just be one of the best places in the country to do just that.
Hongcheon Gingko Forest in Korea is actually on private land that’s been planted and maintained by a single man for over 30 years. He graciously opens his land to the public for free, for the month of October ONLY, so plan your visit accordingly.
ALPACA WORLD + HONGCHEON GINKGO FOREST | It’s a bit challenging to get to the Hongcheon Ginkgo Grove from Seoul, so why not combine it with a visit to Alpaca World for the ultimate hassle-free autumn trip. Check full details here.
Wiryeseong Daero Ginkgo Tree Road | 위례성대로
This is a popular fall foliage spot for locals to the area, but it’s not very well-known among tourists. You’re in luck though, because there are 1,320 majestic gingko trees in Seoul, lining this stretch of road next to Olympic Park, and it likely won’t be overrun with people.
Head out Exit 1 of Mongchontoseong Station on Line 8 to walk under this almost 900-metre avenue of golden ginkgo leaves in Korea, then head over to nearby Seokchon Lake Park for more stunning fall foliage.
LOTTE WORLD TOWER OBSERVATORY | With crystal clear skies, autumn is an exceptional time to see Seoul in all its megacity glory from the top of Korea’s tallest building, 123 floors up! Check full details here.
Tongiljeon Ginkgo Tree Trail | 통일전 은행나무 길
Address: 6, Chilburam-gil, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do | 경주시 칠불암길 6(통일전) to 경주시 통일로 26(통일전 삼거리)
Gyeongju is so full of UNESCO World Heritage sites, history, and temples, that it’s considered an open air museum without walls. The city is worth a visit in any season, but it’s known for being particularly beautiful during fall in Korea. Don’t hesitate to make a trip there if you can!
At Tongiljeon, you’ll be greeted by a long row of spectacular ginkgo trees in Korea leading up to the memorial hall.
Watch for falling ginkgo leaves by mid-November, explore the tranquil grounds, and learn about the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Shilla, Baekje and Goguryeo at the same time.
Songjeong Embankment Walkway | 송정제방길
Address: 23-7, Songjeong 18ga-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 성동구 송정18가길 23-7
In spring, the Songjeong Embankment Walkway might be filled with Korea’s delicate pink cherry blossoms, but in autumn, you’ll be richly rewarded by the sight of majestic yellow gingko trees in Korea, every which way you turn.
This 5-km stretch of pathway from Seongdonggyo Bridge to Jangpyeonggyo Bridge is a super local spot where you can enjoy peaceful vibes and the sounds of the Jungnangcheon Stream nearby.
Gyeongui Line Forest Park | 경의선숲길
Address: start from Exit 3, Hongdae Station
The Gyeongui Line Forest Park is an urban park that was created when an abandoned railway was moved underground. It stretches 6.3-km from Hyochang Park to Gajwa Station, and is an excellent city stroll, lined with independent cafes, restaurants, and stores.
Head to the 1-km long ginkgo tree road in Yeontral Park, which became a fall foliage hotspot in Seoul, after appearing in the Korean drama “Because This is My First Life,”
DEMILITARIZED ZONE TOUR | Learn about Korea’s tragic history on a day tour to the DMZ. Visit Imjingak Park, the Freedom Bridge, the Third Infiltration Tunnel + take a peek into North Korea using binoculars set atop observatories. Check full details here.
Garosu-gil | 가로수길
Address: Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 강남구 신사동 일대
Garosu-gil actually translates into “tree-lined street,” and the moniker is pretty accurate. This narrow street in Seoul’s Sinsa district is lined with more than 160 magnificent ginkgo trees in Korea.
These days, the main street is mostly filled with big brand cafes and shops due to the impact of gentrification. But head to the maze of nearby back streets, collectively known as Serosu-gil for a sophisticated vibe and unique cafes, restaurants, and boutiques.
Monumental Gingko Trees in Korea
Colossal. Gigantic. Mammoth. These ginkgo trees in Korea are a true feast for the senses.
Many centuries old, there are at least 23 humungous ginkgo trees that have been designated as Korean Natural Monuments, due to their cultural or historical significance. Here are just a few.
Wonju Bangye-ri Ginkgo Tree | 원주 반계리 은행나무
Address: Gangwon-do, Wonju-si, Munmak-eup, Bangye-ri, 1496-1 | 강원 원주시 문막읍 반계리 1495-1번지
If you make the short journey out to Wonju from Seoul, make sure you don’t miss the ancient ginkgo tree located in Bangye-ri. This colossal tree is Korean Natural Monument Number 167.
Thought to be at least 800 years old, this spectacular ginkgo tree in Korea is nearly 35-m high, 15-m in circumference, spans 38-m from east to west and 31-m from north to south. It is completely awe-inspiring.
WONJU DAY TRIP | Sogeumsan Mountain in Wonju has a thrilling sky tower and the longest suspension bridge in Korea. Walk 100-metres in the air, with gorgeous fall foliage around you, then hit Yeoju Premium Outlet for some shopping! Check full details here.
Jeonju Hyanggo | 전주향교
Address: 139, Hyanggyo-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do | 전라북도 전주시 완산구 향교길 139
If you’re exploring Jeonju Hanok Village during fall in Korea, be sure to make a stop at the Jeonju Hyanggo. This Confucian school is famous for absolutely massive gingko trees in Korea.
The scene is particularly stunning in late autumn, when the grounds of Jeonju Hyanggyo are hidden beneath a layer of lustrous amber ginkgo leaves.
JEONJU HANOK VILLAGE | Explore Korea’s biggest hanok village, centuries-old temples, and traditional workshops on this convenient day tour from Seoul. Don’t forget to eat some Jeonju bibimbap! Check full details here.
Andong Yonggye-ri Ginkgo Tree | 안동 용계리 은행나무
Address: 744 Yonggye-ri, Giran-myeon, Andong-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do | 경북 안동시 길안면 용계리 744외 8필
At risk of submersion due to the construction of the Imha Dam, this 700 year old gingko tree in Korea was considered so important, it was transplanted at a cost of 6-billion won in the late 1980s.
Relocated to Yonggye-ri in Andong, it took 4 full years to lift and re-plant the 680-ton gingko tree in its new location. Let’s hope it does not have to be moved again!
KOREA’S GOLDEN ROUTE | After visiting Seoul, get a feel for the rest of the country on this 5 day tour that stops at important cities and sights in Korea. Visit Busan, Gyeongju, Andong, Jeonju, Yeosu, Seoraksan + many more on this all-inclusive tour of Korea’s Golden Route. See full details here.
Munmyo Confucian Shrine | 서울 문묘와 성균관
Address: 31, Seonggyungwan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul | 서울 종로구 성균관로 31
You don’t have to travel far if you’ve got colossal ginkgo trees in Korea on the brain. Natural Monument Number 59 can be found right on the streets of Seoul, at Munmyo Confucian Shrine.
Planted in 1519, these ginkgo trees are 21-metres tall, and feature branches that spread out 10.5-metres to the east, 12-metres to the west, 10-metres to the south, and 12-metres to the north. Look out for aerial roots hanging down from the branches, which are rare in Korean ginkgo trees.
It’s said that Confucius loved to read, think, and teach his followers under a ginkgo tree. Fitting then, that you’ll find these ancient ginkgo trees in front of the Myeongryundang (original lecture hall) at Munmyo.
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Gingko Trees in Korea : Essential Info and FAQs
Ginkgo tree roads are among the most sought after fall foliage sights in Korea. Which places are on your list?