Last week, Alice and I paid a visit to the Koiwa Iris Garden not far from my tiny rabbit hutch in Shitamachi. Alice was eager to show off her new spring dress, which I found at Doll Show 28 a few months back. However, gusty winds prevented her tiny props from accompanying her and the layout in general was not so photo-friendly towards Mini Pullip sized companions. Nonetheless, the gardens were beautiful.
It was a gorgeous early summer’s day, and quite warm. I decided to leave the apartment during the hottest part of the afternoon instead of resorting to the AC, riding my bike to the bank of the Edo River. Koiwa Iris Garden isn’t the most famous place for iris, but apparently boasts the most. Indeed, it’s not a seasonal section of a larger park, but rather a huge moat of iris framed in hydrangea, appearing out of nowhere amidst that vast baseball and soccer fields that stretch along either side of the river banks. The garden is a strange, shimmering seasonal jewel amidst the plain of dirt and dust.
On this particular day, the ornate walkways and covered pavilions were filled with elderly patients and their care staff. At least one nursing home was giving a tour to residents. There were a few professional (or amateur?) photographers with lots of fancy cameras and equipment taking pictures as well.
It was nothing short of luck that I was able to visit on such a pristine day, both in terms of the weather and the condition of the flowers. All of the iris were in full bloom, a few insects showed their faces and mosquitoes were nowhere in sight. The moats were filled with the movements of tadpoles in various stages of development.
The garden is free and open to the public year round, but the official “festival” with small local vendors is held only June when the flowers are in bloom. It can be accessed from Keisei Edogawa Station or via bus from the JR Koiwa or Ichikawa Station.
Official Edogawa Ward page (Japanese): Koiwa Iris Garden