Event | October 29, 2016
Approximately 70 gingko trees grow on either side of the North 13th gate avenue of Hokkaido University. Each year in late autumn, the leaves on these trees change color to create a beautiful, 380-meter-long golden arch, attracting visitors from all around.
In order to convey and draw out the beauty of the autumn gingko trees, an event was struck up by students of Hokkaido University. Named Hokudai (meaning Hokkaido University) Konyousai (Kon’yōsai, meaning “the golden-leaf festival”,) this event is held on a weekend sometime between late October and early November, when the leaves’ color reaches its peak and the Gingko Avenue (North 13th gate avenue) is closed to traffic and open only to pedestrians.
Despite the bad weather, the event attracted many visitors last year (Oct. 24-25, 2015)
This event has been selected for the 5th year in a row since 2012 for the Houdai GENKI Project, the grant contest hosted by Hokkaido University Academic Affairs Department’s Student Support Division for promoting student-organized projects.
Student volunteers at the Konyousai 2015 (Oct. 24-25, 2015)
During the festival, visitors are able to enjoy not only the golden tunnel, but also a variety of activities the student organizers have prepared to entertain visitors night and day. The nighttime illumination of the gingko trees, however, continues to be the most popular of them all. According to Hiroki Yoneoka, who serves as the representative of the 5th Konyousai Organizing Committee, “The floodlit Gingko Avenue possesses a different appeal to that of the daytime. We hope it helps people appreciate the natural environment of Hokkaido University even more.” The nighttime illumination can be enjoyed from 18:30 to 21:00 on Saturday and Sunday night. Furthermore, a rehearsal open to the public will be held on Friday night.
Gingko Avenue during the daytime (2015)
Other activities prepared by the student staff can be enjoyed on both Saturday and Sunday as well. “We hope to put even more effort into the science experiment classes we introduced last year, and the natural craft workshops that are popular every year,” says Yoneoka.
Items produced in the hands-on natural craft workshops (Konyousai 2015)
“Music and other performance groups from the university have been invited to join the festivities. Hopefully, it will help a lot of people become more familiar with Hokkaido University through interaction with the students,” said Yoneoka.
In order to make the Konyousai a success, many student volunteers are involved in preparations for traffic control and measures related to safety and bad weather.
Gingko Avenue is located just south of Hokkaido University Hospital, stretching east-west from the gate to the T-junction in front of the School of Engineering. This year, the festival is to be held on October 29-30. The details will be also publicized on the official Konyousai Facebook and Twitter pages. Please keep an eye out for the #konyousai2016 hashtag for additional information. Visitors are encouraged to use public transportation due to limited parking.