Itako is hosting its 61st Ayame Matsuri (Iris Festival) and this weekend is the last chance for any romantic strolls through the Iris Park. As an Ayame Musume (Iris Daughter/ Princess depending on the translation), I urge everyone to take a chance and come see this event. The traditions of the Ayame Matsuri create a lovely romantic atmosphere.
The Bridal Boats are amazingly beautiful events! This Saturday and Sunday at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. an Ayame Bride will walk through the park in an ornate ceremony to a boat waiting for her on the river. There’s a special treat at 8:00 p.m. when the entire park is lit up with paper lanterns for another Ayame Bride.
There’s traditional dancing events, as well. Taiko drummers play while people perform in the Ayame Park for your entertainment. Also, there’s fun to be had on the boats. You can sit and relax, cuddling with a special someone as you go down the river. However, if you feel more like a party person, you can go with a group instead to eat and drink on the boat.
There are nine Ayame Musume this year, two of which are Americans. You can also swing by just to see me and Samantha all dressed up!
These girls are very beautiful! They’ve made this event wonderfully memorable for me, and I’ll be sad this is our last weekend together. If you need any help at the park, please don’t hesitate to ask any of the Musume. That’s what we do!
For more information, here’s a pamphlet with more details: Itako Ayame Matsuri. Also, the Itako Sightseeing Guide website is useful, if a little difficult to navigate. You can get to Itako by the Kashima-jinju JR Line, by highway bus from Tokyo, and if you come by car there’s plenty of parking at the Imoa Mall very close by.
Hope to see you there!