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Now’s the Perfect Time to Enjoy the Iris Ochroleuca Flowers (Kijoka, Ogimi)
post : 2020.04.13 06:00
With the recent wet days, it seems as though the rainy season has already arrived in Okinawa, but now is the only season to enjoy the beautiful iris ochroleuca flowers. An area that’s well-known for these flowers is Kijoka in Ogimi Village in the norther region of Okinawa Island. The Tabuku (rice paddies) in the area turns into a brilliant purple carpet as the irises bloom!
Usually, the flowers are in full bloom when the annual Igimitiguma event takes place around the beginning of April, but this year, the flowers are taking a little longer than usual to reach full bloom, and they began opening their petals the following week. Actually, the iris ochroleuca flowers are the most beautiful when they’re about to bloom! So, now is the best time to see them!
Many of you may not be familiar with this purple flower and its name, ochroleuca, but the leaves of these flowers, with a clear, sharp form, are more commonly used for Ikebana flower arrangements. The ochroleuca is a genus of iris from the Iridaceae family, and the scent is similar to lilies.
With the recent rain, the beauty of the flowers is enhanced as they bloom beautifully with the raindrops they adorn on their petals. On clear days, you will see groups of local children from the village taking a stroll along the paths between the flower fields and enjoying a peaceful, spring day.
The ochroleuca flowers are available at the direct sales booth next to the fields, so you can buy some and take them with you to enjoy at home. The price is great, at only ¥100 a bunch! If you have a big vase, arrange about 10 irises or two bunches or so., and the gorgeous flowers will liven up any room. The flowers are sold while they’re still buds, but after you buy them and take them home, they’ll open up their petals beautifully by the next day, so enjoy them.
Rice Paddies in Kijoka, Ogimi Village
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Hiroshi Kuwamura (KUWA)