Travel notes, reviews and useful tips

Beautiful Irises at Sankeien Garden

It’s early summer, time for the irises to bloom and show off their violet, purple and white gorgeous clothes. There are several places to see these summer blessings, and one of them, the best in Yokohama as far as I’m concerned, is at Sankeien Garden. (Continued after the Japanese summary)




I wrote previously about the plum blossoms in this garden. They’re lovely, but for those who can’t make it in spring another wonderful time would be in June, for the irises, called 花菖蒲 hanashoubu in Japanese. Their violet, purple, indigo and white petals are simply gorgeous against the fresh greens of early summer.

Here is a series of photographs for you to enjoy. The flowers are so pretty it makes you not mind the summer heat, and actually be thankful for tsuyu or rainy season, moist and humid as it may be.

A Little Bit of Paradise

The park has four areas with fields of irises. My favorite one is the Yatsu-bashi bridge area near the main entrance. Enter and turn left: you can find brightly colored flowers against the green trees and bushes.

Around the main lake there are three other areas where the irises bloom.

They don’t bloom at once. The area between the lake and the bridge blooms earliest most of the time.

As you know, iris flowers change colors as they go through their lifespan. First they appear in deep purple. Then a lighter purple. And finally, white.

So the good thing about the fields not blooming at the same time is that we can see the flowers in their different life stages. Meaning: pretty colors all around.

At around the same time as the irises blooming, a 「蛍の夕べ」 Hotaru-no-yube or firefly watching event is also held. I haven’t managed to get to the park at night, but it must be a lovely sight!

When To Go

It’s best to go there as early during the day as possible (9 AM sharp), not only because it’s cooler, but because there are less people. And the flowers look better in the morning, me thinks.

When the flowers bloom expect to have lots of amateur photographers, often with tripods, often in groups. There are also the artists who sit on their little stools sketching or painting the flowers.

The photos in this article were taken on June 16, 2012. I opted not to bring a tripod knowing the park will be somewhat crowded during this time of year. I don’t regret my decision!

The park regularly updates the Sankeien-dayori or newsletter, with the latest photos from the park.

Before going, be sure to check out the page to get a glimpse of the state of the flowers this year.

How to Get There

From Yokohama Station’s East Exit go to bus stand No. 2 and take the No. 8 or 148 bus. Get off at Sakuramichi (most people get off here to stroll past the cherry trees outside the garden, instead of getting off at Honmoku-Sankeienmae).
横浜駅東口 2番乗り場《市バス8・148系統》約35分 本牧三溪園前下車・徒歩約3分

External Link

Sankeien Garden – official site. You can download an English-language pamphlet here.

I Would Love to Hear from You!

So, what do you think of this article? For those who have been to Sankeien, any other tips? Please share your thoughts and opinions in the Comments section below.

Related Products

I have a few products containing one of my iris photographs in the gift store. They are easy to personalize and make wonderful gifts.

If you’d like to see a photo in this article on a product you like, let me know so I can make it for you!

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  1. hanS /

    those are beautiful pics! reminds me of kitayama-koen in tokyo. last time i was there was what, five or six years ago? miss the hanashoubu matsuri 🙂 anyway, gorgeous shots, love them.

    • beverlyclaire /

      Hey Han! Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you like the photos—they were fun to take 🙂 I haven’t been to Kitayama-koen yet but it’s so famous for hanashoubu I really need to get there ASAP! Hope you’re enjoying the early days of summer. Miss having you here!

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