Iris is the flower of faith, hope, wisdom, courage, and admiration. Told in the legend of Ancient Greece, the goddess Iris is the messenger of the God, the embodiment of rainbow, the bridge linking earth and heaven. Greek men usually plant an iris on the grave of the woman they love, expressing respect to the goddess leading souls to heaven. One more interesting truth is that the black pupil of our eyes is also called iris, as everyone has a piece of heaven inside. Iris blossom is a kind of symmetrical six-lobed flower with three petals spreading or droop downwards called falls and the remaining three standing upright. The petal is very light and thin, naturally curly in the edge like a shape of sword and scimitar, emitting the refined and noble manners and attitude.
Visitors coming to Nara city this occasion of June will hear the very slight call of iris from the peaceful village Yagyu in the east heart of the city. Yagyu iris garden lays down over a slope of a former rice terraced paddy. On one fine day of 1985, local farmers started to plant Japanese iris as an action of revitalization campaign. In this peacefully beautiful village, the famous samurai Jubei Yagyu was born and growing up. After a long time travelling around Japan, he came back to his home town and opening a sword class Dojo in the charming embrace of iris valley. Nowadays, when visiting Yagyu iris garden, we can still hear the slight sound from sword classes floating over the garden. Just about a 15 minute walk, you can approach the former manor house of samurai family over the hill area.
Yagyu iris garden covers an area of about 10000 square meters by about 80000 plants of different 450 species. Everytime June gives the way for July, the whole community of these iris plants together bloom in full, dyeing the valley with colorful lines of blossoms bobbing like colorful slender brooks of dye flowing along each muscle line of soil down the hill. Out of the bustling city, Yagyu keeps such a completely quiet atmosphere, giving iris a fresh world to breath and emit its sweet perfume and beauty. Standing in the middle of this scene, admiring the looming roof of thatched buildings faraway, iris blossoms of blue, white, yellow and purple on the background of green trees seem to together with you recall the nostalgia of samurai period.
Ao Takeshijo Iris (花菖蒲 青岳城) is a loving amuse of very dark blue color. Ryoyu iris (花菖蒲 涼夕) is white, simply and pure. Aichi iris (愛知の輝き) has a brightly yellow, shining dazzlingly beside Chiyo Spring iris (千代の春) of light blue and purple. As a generous gift, June leaves a part of hydrangea flowers for Yagyu iris garden for a more perfect beauty. It will be some rainy season when you see behind rainy curtain, iris together with hydrangea rise vividly and brightly.
-Open time: From June 1st to July 5th
-Admission time: from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
-Adult: 650 yen
-Children: 350 yen
Take Yagyu or Oji-nakamura-iki bus for Yagyu from JR Nara Station or Kintetsu Nara station, get off at Yagyu Ue stop and take a 10 minute walk.