A festival of beautiful blooms and brides
The Suigo Itako Iris Festival is an annual event that takes place in Itako, Ibaraki, japan. This festival celebrates the beauty of iris blossoms and the tradition of yomeiri-bune, where brides ride down the canals in rowboats. It attracts around 800,000 visitors from all over Japan who come to admire the colorful sea of irises and participate in the various events and activities.
Itako’s riverside park is transformed into a stunning display of purple, white, and yellow iris flowers during the festival. The park is home to one million iris plants representing around 500 different varieties. Walking through the park feels like entering a rainbow of colors, with each iris showcasing its unique shape and hue. The best time to visit is around the second week of June when the irises are in full bloom.
One of the highlights of the Suigo Itako Iris Festival is the opportunity to take photos of the beautiful irises and other blooming flowers. The park is filled with vibrant blooms, creating a picturesque backdrop for photographers and flower enthusiasts. Visitors can spend hours capturing the beauty of nature and immersing themselves in the tranquil atmosphere of the park.
Another must-see event during the festival is the yomeiri-bune tradition. This long-standing tradition dates back to a time when boats were the primary mode of transportation in Itako. New brides would board rowboats with their in-laws and be rowed down the canal, symbolizing their union with the groom’s family. During the festival, visitors can witness brides dressed in traditional attire as they pass through the waterways in rowboats. It is a beautiful sight that showcases the cultural heritage of the region.
In addition to the stunning flowers and traditional ceremonies, the Suigo Itako Iris Festival offers a range of fun events and activities for visitors to enjoy. Musicians take the stage, playing traditional Japanese instruments, while dancers perform the Ayame Dance to celebrate the arrival of summer. The festival creates a lively and joyful atmosphere, filled with music, dance, and laughter.
As the sun sets, the park is illuminated with a beautiful show of lights. The colorful lights bring out new dimensions in the flowers, creating a magical ambiance throughout the park. The bridges and canals reflect the vibrant colors, turning the park into a fairytale-like setting. Taking a rowboat cruise during the illuminated evenings is a unique experience that allows visitors to appreciate the beauty of the irises in a different light.
Getting to Itako is easy, as the town is well-connected by train from nearby towns and cities. Itako Station is located on the JR Kashima Line, which runs between Kashima-Jingu Station and Sawara Station in neighboring Chiba Prefecture. The station is just a short distance from Itako Park, where the festival takes place. It is also accessible from Narita, with a travel time of approximately 40 minutes.
The Suigo Itako Iris Festival is not only a celebration of nature’s beauty but also a cultural event that showcases the traditions and customs of the region. It is a time when locals and visitors come together to appreciate the splendor of the irises and immerse themselves in the festive atmosphere. The festival provides an opportunity to connect with nature, learn about the local traditions, and create lasting memories.
In conclusion, the Suigo Itako Iris Festival in Itako, Ibaraki, is a vibrant and enchanting event that celebrates the beauty of irises and the cultural traditions of the region. With its stunning displays of colorful flowers, traditional ceremonies, and lively events, the festival offers a unique experience for visitors. It is a time to admire the natural beauty, immerse oneself in the local culture, and create unforgettable memories. Whether you are a flower enthusiast, a cultural enthusiast, or simply looking for a delightful experience, the Suigo Itako Iris Festival is a must-visit destination.
Address And Maps Location:
1-1-5 Ayame, Itako-shi, Ibaraki-ken