Kinmokusei (Orange Osmanthus)

It's the beginning of the fall season and already the noisy bug sounds of summer have disappeared , now the breeze is cooler and the days are shorter and apart from all the product labels and window displays that signal fall is here, there is also something all over Kyoto that signals the season has changed. It's called kinmokusei

Kinmokusei is a shrub or small tree that seems to be in every house with a backyard in Kyoto. You can find different varieties of Kinmokusei trees all over Asia : white, pale yellow, yellow, or orange-yellow but for some reason in Kyoto everybody seems to have the same type of orange kinmokusei tree.

The flowers on the Kinmokusei tree grow in bunches and have a very pleasant fragrance, and since so many people have them all over the city ( places like typical neighbourhoods and hospital parks, train stations, but not the more urban parts of town) there is a very citrusy sweet scent in the air that makes any walk a pleasant experience.

I took the picture above while walking around a neighbourhood in Nagaoka , you can see 2 large kinmokusei trees , but all the houses on that street had at least 1 kinmokusei tree in them. Kinmokuseki ga daisuki !!!!!!

Mata ne


bindra said...

Beautiful picture! I had been to Japan once during fall. Really the flowers in fall season so beautiful everywhere in Japan. I would love to visit again.

Tokyo said...

Tokyo is a beautiful place in Japan. I would love to go there in any season. Since I am a vegetarian food is the only problem for me. But I can manage. These flowers so beautiful and so colorful.

Bobbi said...

The kinmokusei trees are a large part of the reason why I love Japan in the fall!!! The smell is so invigorating. I love walking down the streets. You know fall has arrived when you can start to smell the trees :)

by the way - they call the white flowered trees ginmokusie - but they are much more rare and dont smell as much.

Wendy said...

I was just in Japan last month. While traveling in the Osaka / Kyoto / Nara areas, I smelled this sweet pleasant scent and thought it was from an ice cream shop. Later I found from our tour guide in Nara that it was from a flower that grow on a tree. She said it was very popular in the area. I was looking online to find out the name of it and here I am. Thank you! I love to close my eyes now and smell that scent again.

to822 said...

I grew up with the tree in the yard. My father was into plants like all the neighbors in Japan. I've been looking for this tree in Illinois but none. The tree does not tolerate the harsh weather up here. All I can do is to close my eyes and try to remember the smell. Thanks for the blog, whoever you are.

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Mark Benson said...

The kinmokusei is one astounding time to be in the country through flights to Japan. Kinmokusei wonderfully displays the changing of the seasons and is one sight not to be missed at all when touring Japan near the time of kinmokusei.