June 9, 2012 three of us drove to Itako, Ibaraki Prefecture in a pouring rain to see an Iris Matsuri or festival. I would have hesitated to venture out, but Yayoi says Japanese people cannot afford to cancel events just because of a little rain. It is a beautiful location with thousands of irises located in a wet area next to a canal connecting Kasumigaura (lake) with the Pacific Ocean. The canal is used as a tourist waterway with Venice style boats the transportation. At one time in many parts of Ibaraki prefecture there were basically two means of transportation, boats and our inherent bipedal mechanism. The iris pond is criss crossed with walkways and in areas not filled in with irises water lilies are blooming. The festival occurs over a number of weekends as the irises bloom and the garden is being used for a very traditional style wedding procession for those brides fortunate enough to be able to obtain the services provided.
Click on Iris Garden to see photographs on Picasa.