Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hanashobu(Japanese water iris)

Japanese water irises(花菖蒲, hanashobu) are in full bloom in many iris gardens.

Horikiri(堀切) has always been famous for Japanese water irises.  Japanese water irises at Horikiri appear in "One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (名所江戸百景)" which is a series of prints by Utagawa Hiroshige.
Horikiri Iris Garden(堀切菖蒲園) in Katsushika Ward of Tokyo has 6,000 irises of 200 different species and is open to all visitors free of charge. The garden has the hanashobu varieties that have been improved at Horikiri since the early Edo period.

Yamasaki Japanese Iris Garden(播州山崎花菖蒲園, Bansyu Yamasaki Hanashoubu-en) created in 1979 in Hyogo Prefecture

Nishishinjuku Iris Garden of Grandpa and Grandma(西新宿おじいちゃんとおばあちゃんの花菖蒲園) in Hyogo Prefecture

In 1996, elderly people started to develop abandoned rice paddies. They planted 10,000 irises there. Now you can see half a million irises of 170 different species.

Eitaku-ji Iris Garden(永沢寺花菖蒲園) in Hyogo Prefecture

Hanashobu have grown wild on the site of Eitaku-ji Temple for 600 years.
You can see more irises of Eitaku-ji on this site.

Takeda-teramachi Street and Takeda River(竹田川) in Hyogo Prefecture

Hyogo Prefectural Flower Center Iris Garden(兵庫県フラワーセンター花しょうぶ園)

Amagasaki Agricultural Park(尼崎農業公園) in Hyogo Prefecture

photos by 神戸観光壁紙写真集
Kamo Garden(加茂花菖蒲園) in Shizuoka Prefecture

This garden was created before the gate of the Kamo family's house built in the middle of the Edo Period.
The memers of the Kamo family served as a village headman for generations.

photo by 日本列島お国自慢

Magatama-ike Iris Garden(勾玉池菖蒲園)

In 1954, an iris garden was created in Magatama-ike Pond on the site of Ise Jingu Shrine Geku(伊勢神宮外宮) in Mie Prefecture.

Yagyu Iris Garden(柳生花しょうぶ園) in Nara prefecture

Expo Commemoration Park (万博記念公園) in Osaka
Takitani Irs Garden(滝谷花しょうぶ園) in Nara Prefecture

photos by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

Kagurame-ko Iris Garden(神楽女湖菖蒲園) in Oita Prefecture

The garden is located next to Lake Kagurame.

Ishibashi Cultural Center(石橋文化センター) in Fukuoka Prefecture

Photos by

Bonari Plateau Ayame Garden(母成高原あやめ園)

Ayame means Siberian iris. The garden has various types of irises.

photo by 日本列島お国自慢

Maekawa Iris Garden(前川あやめ園)

Suigo Itako Ayame Festival(水郷潮来あやめまつり) is being held from May 21st to June 26th in Itako in Fukushima Prefecture. Suigo means a riverside district. The earthquake in Tohoku Region did partial damage to a part of venues for the festival. This festival shows not ayame(Siberian irises) but Hanashoubu(Japanese water irises).
Waterways were a common part of people's lives in riverside districts such as Itako.
Brides used to head for their grooms' houses by boat. Now some brides dressed in white kimono take a boat during the festival.  Only the couples decided by lot can take part in this wedding event as a part of the festival. During the festival, young women move a Sappa boat with tourists by pulling an oar.
The Suigo Sawara Aquatic Botanical Garden (水郷佐原水生植物園) in Katori City in Chiba Prefecture

photos by  花とハイキングでエンジョイ

Shakujii Park(石神井公園) in Tokyo


  1. Hello, from the Pacific Northwest, USA. I used to live in Japan. My favorite flowers are Japanese Shobu. May I copy one or two of your photos for my blog: Kamakura Mirror Micropoetry?

    1. Thank you for your comment. I use free images. I think you may use these images on your site if you provide a link back to these sites.


  2. I've enjoyed looking at more of your site, and found that we both have articles on Tanka and Women's diaries and Tanaka poets. Please take a look at my blog.

    1. Poetry is difficult to translate. My English ability was not good enough to convey every nuance of the original. I respect your works.

  3. Thanks, Ichinen, you did a good job of translating. I know how hard that is. I will be adding articles on tanka poets such as Saigyo, Shiki and Yosano Akiko. They are so remarkable.

    I also lived in Yokohama before living in Kamakura. One of my sons lives on the Bluff with his wife.

    1. He is living in a nice place! It's typical of Yokohama.

      I'll visit your site again.