New Stadium at Meiji Jingu Gaien May Be Set Back from Street to Preserve Ginkgo Trees

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
A ginkgo tree-lined street is seen in the Meiji Jingu Gaien area in Minato Ward, Tokyo, in Nov. 2017.

Plans to redevelop the Meiji Jingu Gaien area in central Tokyo and build a new stadium there have drawn criticism for the more than 700 tall trees that would be cut. However, Meiji Jingu shrine, one of the project’s stakeholders, is considering several measures to preserve popular ginkgo tree-lined streets, the shrine told The Yomiuri Shimbun. After examining the ginkgos’ roots this winter, a decision will be made on specific methods for construction.

Unlike the many trees to be cut, the ginkgo trees will be preserved, but they are only about 8 meters away from the proposed site of the new stadium that will replace Jingu Baseball Stadium, and there are concerns about the impact on their growth.

According to Meiji Jingu Gaien, the stakeholders plan to make a second assessment of the ginkgo roots this winter. If the roots extend beneath the proposed construction site, they are considering such measures as moving the entire new stadium further away from the street, setting the wall around the right field bleachers farther back from the street, and using construction methods that won’t harm the roots during foundation work. Fencing and scoreboard placement will also be adjusted to ensure they don’t obstruct sunlight or the view.

“We want to make careful adjustments to balance the preservation of the ginkgo streets with the rebuilding of the stadium,” said a representative from Meiji Jingu Gaien.

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Ginkgo tree-lined streets are seen in the Meiji Jingu Gaien area in Minato Ward, Tokyo, in Nov. 2020.