Every June, Tokyo’s largest park is filled with a sea of white and purple for the Katsushika Iris Festival. The park is home to 200,000 iris plants representing 80 species. Kakitsubata, an iris found in the garden, is famously depicted by artist Ogata Korin on a screen displayed at the Nezu Museum in Aoyama. Here at Mizumoto Park, you can see the kakitsubata that inspired the work, and other species of Japan’s native irises, such as hanashobu and ayame, in this vast collection.
During the festival, visitors can shop at the open air market, and have snacks and drinks at the food stalls that border the reservoir. Catch some enka performances at the stage at the edge of the water, surrounded by the flowers.
Mizumoto Park is a vast green space and wetland that has a great diversity of bird and plant life. The park is notable for its wide views of woodlands featuring dawn redwoods and an avenue of poplar trees.
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You will see many of my stories on Japan Travel are about places and events outside of big city centers and tourist destinations. While I highly recommend the big name sights and experiences, I encourage visitors to see and feel the atmosphere off the beaten path, too.