Culture Rainy Season Summer Travel Guide

10 Best Iris Gardens to Visit in Japan

Japanese iris is a delicate flower that blooms in the summer. This year hanami wave has gone but Japan’s summer comes to surprise us with a variety of flowers including irises, lavender, sunflowers, lilacs, hydrangeas, poppies, wisteria and etc.

Whether you believe it or not that I used to skip school to see colorful irises! I am a nature lover. I love everything related to nature. Every summer, I look at the petals of iris and think “I wish if I could see them all year round.”

Purple Irises in a Garden of Tokyo, Japan. Photo credit: mrhayata at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Although viewing irises in a single spot could not satisfy me, so I had to visit several ones. In fact, you have got to find other places where variety of irises blooms. Just don’t rely on a single iris garden; if you do so then you will certainly be a big loser.

If you have a question like this “Where to go to see best iris gardens in Japan?” then you have come to the right place.

However, this article will take you to the best irises gardens you would ever find in Japan. Please note that the best time to see irises in Japan is from Late-May to July.

1) Horikiri Iris Garden:

Horikiri Iris Garden, Katsushika. Photo credit: KJim Shine at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Horikiri Iris Garden (horikiri shobuen) hosts a prominent summer festival called Katsushika Shobu Matsuri (Iris festival), which will begin in early June this year.

It is located in Katsushika ward, Tokyo. It is a remarkable sight and one of the oldest gardens in Tokyo that welcomes a lot visitor during its iris season. The best time to see irises here is in mid-June.

There are more than 6,000 iris plants of 200 different kinds. That’s a huge amount of flower plants, don’t you think so? It is said that, this garden’s area was used to be swampy area and the soil is perfect for growing iris.

This is a small traditional Japanese-style garden but an amazing spot to admire the beauty of thousands irises. Take a leisurely stroll and enjoy nature there. Horikiri iris garden has been featured in many wall decals. 

I suggest you to get there early before it gets crowded. Please note that there is no admission fee to enter the garden. 

2) Mizumoto Park:

Mizumoto Park Irises. Photo credit: ELCAN KE-7A at

My travel experience to this park last year in the summer made me think of putting this place as one of the best places to view irises in Tokyo.

Earlier, I have forgotten to inform you that Katsushika Shobu Matsuri is held at two locations, Mizumoto and Horikiri Iris garden. By visiting this iris garden I figured out one thing – there are about 80 kinds of irises and 14,000 irises can be found.

It is a lovely place for a morning and evening stroll alone or with your partner in early June when the irises are in full bloom. In order to see beautiful waterside landscape in Katsushika ward, you should get here.

The nearest station to this sight is the Kanemachi Station. It takes only about 15 minutes walk from this station. Also you can take bus that usually goes to Mizumoto Park.

3) Hondoji Temple Iris Garden:

Iris Enasta! Photo credit: jayscratch at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Hondoji is a famous Japanese temple, especially for its beautiful hydrangea garden during rainy season, and autumn foliage in the fall. Though, irises in this garden are quite extraordinary to experience by oneself.

I have been there before and I was stunned seeing the pond covered with thousands of irises. It is located in Matsudo city of Chiba Prefecture. It is only a 10 minutes’ walk from the Kita-Kogane Station (JR East’s Joban Line).

At the time you come here to see beautiful hydrangea in June, you also could expect to see mysterious irises. They look just pretty!

This five-tiered pagoda’s pond (temple) has approximately 5,000 irises plants of different varieties. Pay 500 JPY for admission to get to this temple ground.

4) Yokosuka Iris Garden:

Yokosuka Iris Garden, Japan. Photo credit: TMishina at Flickr &

Want to see tons of irises in a single garden? If so then Yokosuka is perfect destination for you, which is located near Yokosuka Naval Station in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

There is a beautiful Shobu-en Iris Garden so called Yokosuka iris garden that houses about 140,000 irises of over 410 different varieties. In fact, the atmosphear here is very delightful and tranquil.

I know it is a peak season of wisteria now (May) in this garden but in June, it will turn to irises season, attracting thousands of visitors.

You will be seeing multiple rows of irises once you enter the garden’s area. I have been to this iris garden back in 2013, stayed there for a month at a relative house. I was so lucky to spend my whole month viewing irises and visiting other top sightseeing spots in and around Yokosuka city.

You will have to pay 310 yen as entrance fee. That’s it. Get your camera ready for shooting vibrant purple and white irises and happily enjoy every moment you spend there.

5) Meiji Jingu Iris Garden:

Walk along the trail and enjoy the view. Photo Credit: shuzo serikawa at Flickr.

Meiji Jingu Shrine has a beautiful iris garden inside its area. As it is a famous shrine in Tokyo, a lot of visitors come here anytime of the year to see breathtaking view of seasonal beauty.

When time comes, Japan’s four season’s beauty reflects all over this place. It is really hard to say that which season suits best for this spot!

Every time I went there in different season, I found the real beauty of each season, so I can’t tell you which one is the best season to visit Meiji Jingu.

Here, summer reminds me of white and purple irises. There are about 1500 irises of 150 different kinds. That’s not a less amount of irises we could find out in a single garden.

I adore this garden since it is a part of the shrine. You can find irises here in early June but the peak season starts from mid-June to end of June.

The garden is open throughout the year and admission is only 500 JPY. Either you could choose Harajuku Station (Yamanote Line) or Tokyo Metro-Jingumae Station to access this garden; you will have to walk for a few minutes from these stations to reach the shrine.

6) The Suigo Sawara Aquatic Botanical Garden in Chiba:

Photo Credit: katorisi at Wikimedia Commons.
Rabbit-ear irises (Kakitsubata), Photo credit: KAKITSUBATA at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Suigo Sawara Ayame Park is located a bit far away from Tokyo city though as a tourist you must pay a good attention to it. Distance should not be your main issue not to visit this iris garden.

I know how delightful time I spent over there seeing blood irises and Rabbit-ear irises (Kakitsubata). You still don’t know why this botanical garden is famous for mostly.

It is famous because of two things, one is for having largest collection of irises in Asia and other is for having rich variety of lotus plants. Approximately, 400 types of 1.5 million irises bloom from late May to late June.

Beside irises, in summer, visitors can see about 300 species of lotuses here in July and August. Appreciate the beauty of lotuses while enjoying a pleasant boat ride, which in fact is a great experience.

You can reach the park by highway bus from Tokyo Station and get off at Ayame Park Entrance bus stop.

7) Hakko Gakuen Iris Garden:

You can a lot of white and purple irises in this garden. Photo Credit: t-konno at Wikimedia Commons.

Iris can’t beat the popularity of lavender in Furano, Hokkaido, though except visiting different flower gardens here we could see colorful irises in Hakko Gakuen Iris Garden.

While most of the irises garden in Tokyo and other parts of Japan start blooming in mid-May, here it starts from early July. So, when you finish exploring Tokyo’s irises garden I highly encourage you to see Hokkaido’s irises if you have time.

There are about 100,000 flowers of 450 species irises can be found. I like this garden for one reason that is – along with irises you can see a small lavender garden here. This sounds great!

Pay a little admission fee 300 JPY for adults and 100 JPY for students.

8) Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine Iris Garden:

The iris garden of Dazaifu Tenmangu. Photo Credit: Dazaifu-Tenmangu.
Purple Iris Flower! Photo credit: Dennis Lapets at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Dazaifu tenmangu shrine is considered one of the most visited places in Fukuoka Prefecture. This shrine is famous for having a large amount of ume (plum) trees.

You can read about Tenmangu shrine plum blossoms. As it has a large pool garden, variety of native Japanese irises bloom here during the monsoon season.

It might be raining during the time you visit the shrine, but rain cannot ruin your visit! I have an idea to share – just take an umbrella with you, and it protects you from the rains. You will be happy to know that this shrine has got no closing day for visitors.

Access to Tenmangu Shrine is quite easy from Nishitetsu Dazaifu Station, it will take you only a five minute’ walk. It is also accessible by car and bus, though always remember you will have to get off at Miya-mae bus stop if coming by bus.

9) Koishikawa Korakuen Iris Garden:

Koishikawa Korakuen Iris Garden. Photo Credit: Yoshikazu TAKADA at Wikimedia Commons.
White irises at Koishikawa Korakuen Iris Garden. Photo credit: kanegen at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

If you want to see white and light purple color irises in Tokyo city then why don’t you visit a famous edo period of public garden called Koishikawa Korakuen?

The garden is small but still it gives you much pleasure. Variety of irises that have been produced over the last several hundred years in this iris garden could amazes you a lot. The garden has nice looking strolls around the pond’s area.

If you think you want to see irises from very near then why not to stroll through! Get this chance at once.

To get there from Iidabashi Station (JR Chuo Line) it takes only 5 to 10 minute walk. This is the only way I prefer most to get in this garden. Please not that, you will have to pay 300 Yen as admission fee.

10) Ohta (Ota-Jinja) Shrine Iris Garden:

Ota Shrine Iris Garden. Photo credit: Kmarkfountain52 at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Ohta shrine iris garden is considered as a national natural treasure. When I do think of this, I can’t ignore it telling so as well.

It is one of the best irises viewing spots in Kyoto that usually gets crowded in early May. It is located on the eastern side of the massive grounds of one of Kyoto’s oldest, and most important Shinto shrines called Kamigamo Jinja.

This shrine iris pond is an oldest iris pond in Kyoto city.

I could name you several ponds but right now you should focus your mind on this one. Various kinds of purple color irises will make you stunned and you would just say “Wow! This purple color iris is different than that purple color ones”. It sounds quite interesting!

You are not requested to pay admission fee but donate some as part of it. I guess 100-500 yen is a great amount to pay as donation.

I have explained to you the most beautiful iris gardens of Japan. Now it is your turn which one you would like to visit first depending on your time and itinerary.

Enjoy your summer in Japan seeing beautiful irises. Good luck to you!

Leave a Reply