After 5.5 years in Okinawa, I finally made it to the Kijoka Purple Iris Fields in Ogimi Village with my friend Lauren. I had seen photos from others who had visited, but really had no expectations. It was the most gorgeous spring day and as we drove closer to the pin on Google Maps, we spotted a sea of purple. We were so pleasantly surprised by how many flowers there were! There are a handful of fields, but the main one was in full bloom when we visited.
According to a sign, this is one of the last remaining paddy fields in the Okinawa prefecture. Rice and straw were grown for tatami mats were grown before, but now the irises are the areas main crop. Surprisingly learned that their leaves are shipped out to be used for ikebana, Japanese flower arrangements. The Kijoka fields are an important habitat for several species of local wild birds. The local elementary school kids have been studying the birds since 1988 and work hard to protect their environment.
I’m pretty sure there was a photography tour because there was a huge group of elderly Japanese people with amazing cameras. We had the cutest little moment trying to have a conversation with a lady about the flowers and our cameras. Then two other ladies asked if they could take a photo of us… and we obliged. We walked away and after a few minutes realized they didn’t stop taking photos of us. We had our awkward model moment with paparazzi and all.
Have you been to the Kijoka Purple Iris Field in Ogimi?
Don’t miss out on my other spring posts:
Things To Do In Okinawa: Spring Edition, Sunflower Festival 2013, Sunflower Festival 2014, Cosmos field in Kin-Town, First Sakura Blooms at Yogi Park, Nago Cherry Blossom Festival, Azalea Festival at Higashi Village, Lily Festival on Ie Island, Yohena Ajisai (Hydrangea) Garden.