Often seen as a sign of faith and hope, iris flowers grow in abundance across many parts of Japan in late spring and early summer. This guide covers some beautiful iris gardens in the Kanto region.
Meiji Shrine Inner Garden, Tokyo
Meiji Shrine is one of Tokyo's must-visit destinations year-round, and during June the shrine's inner garden pops with the color of around 1500 iris plants in bloom. While the shrine itself is free to visit, there is an admission fee of ¥500 to enter the inner garden – quite reasonable when you consider the history and beauty you can enjoy.
1-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 151-8557
Yokosuka Iris Garden, Kanagawa
One of Japan's leading iris venues, the Yokosuka Iris Garden is home to approximately 140,000 irises in over 400 varieties that bloom from the end of May to the end of June. For those wanting more of a glimpse into iris season here at its best, be sure to check out this Japan Travel article which shows the garden in all of its colorful glory.
8-1 Abekura, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 238-0033
Fukiage Iris Park, Tokyo
Each year during June, Fukiage Iris Park on the outskirts of Tokyo sees thousands of irises bloom in numerous different varieties. The flowers are set up in a color gradient format, with deep purples progressing into lighter purples, all the way to white ones. Boardwalks throughout the park offer the chance to appreciate the flowers up close, and in typical years there are also food booths on-site selling things like yakitori (skewered grilled chicken) and yakisoba (fried noodles).
Fukiage, Ome, Tokyo 198-0015
Suigo Sawara Ayame Park, Chiba
Chiba's Suigo Sawara Ayame Park is home to an annual iris festival with 1.5 million flowers for visitors to enjoy. When the flowers are in full bloom, the park shop sells a range of different local products, souvenirs, and even iris plants if you'd like to try growing your own at home. For those who enjoy hands-on experiences, it's worth checking out the events and classes held during the festival dates, which have previously included things like workshops on how to separate iris roots to propagate more plants.
1837-2 Ogishima, Katori, Chiba 287-0801
Nezu Museum, Tokyo
Located just a short walk from Omotesando Station, Nezu Museum is known for its extensive collection of Japanese and East Asian art. The museum also has an expansive garden that includes many beautiful irises at this time of year. In fact, you can even check on their progress via the official Nezu Museum website before you stop by.
6 Chome-5-1 Minamiaoyama, Minato City, Tokyo 107-0062