• Culture
  • Ibaraki

Suigo Itako Iris Festival

Blooming irises on the riverside of Itako announce the arrival of early summer

Over the month from late May to late June, around one million irises of 500 varieties blossom all at once during the Suigo Iris Festival held in the Iris Garden of Itako, Ibaraki Prefecture. Back in the days, the "Robune" rowboat was the day-to-day mode of transportation through the canals of Itako. Today, the robune is brought back to life just during this festival for a pleasant cruise. In addition, enjoy a host of events including the Yomeiri-bune (marriage boat) carrying a beautiful Japanese-style bride and the iris dance performance.

Yomeiri-bune celebrates the marriage of a true bride

In years past, "robune" rowboats also played an essential part in marriage. The robune would have carried the bride and her household possessions across the river, and the nostalgic scenery is re-created only during the Suigo Itako Iris Festival. An actual bride slated to be married takes part in this reenactment of the Yomeiri-bune, dressed in a beautiful traditional Japanese wedding kimono. A celebratory mood fills the atmosphere as the crowds call out their congratulations to the bride from above the bridge surrounded by iris blossoms.

Travel back in time on the robune cruise

The nostalgic robune boat is not to be missed when visiting the Iris Festival. Passengers can wear the same Kasa hats as the rower, as the boat is maneuvered by hand just like the old times. Enjoy the charm of the canal town while the rower tells about its history. Take in the beautiful view of the irises and fresh green willows on the riverside from the leisurely paced boat.

Relax in the calming atmosphere of Chosho-ji Temple

Located about 550 meters from the Iris Garden, Chosho-ji Temple is a historic establishment with a peaceful air. During the Iris Festival period, visitors can enjoy tea and Japanese sweets here with beautiful teaware while gazing at the picturesque Japanese garden. The temple also offers much to see, such as the bronze bell tower designated as a national important cultural property and other valuable cultural assets.

Location

Name Suigo Itako Iris Festival
Website https://english.ibarakiguide.jp/kanko-spot/itako-iris-park
Address 1-5 Ayame, Itako-shi, Ibaraki
Access Approximately 3 minutes' walk from Itako Station on the JR Kashima Line
From Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit Bus Terminal Dock No. 1, take the bus toward Kashima Jingu Shrine or Kashima Central Hotel, and get off at Suigo Itako Bus Terminal (approximately 85 minutes)
Approximately 10 minutes' drive from the Itako IC on the Higashi-Kanto Expressway
Business Hours 9:00 to 22:00
Inquiries TEL: 0299-63-1111

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