Tokigawa Iris Garden

Tokigawa Town in the Hiki District of Saitama Prefecture is just over an hour from Tokyo. The town is famed for a rarer type of Iris; Iris Japonica or Butterfly flowers in English. However, there is also a small Iris garden in the town with the “hanashobu” variety of Iris known as Tokigawa Iris Garden. Since 2022, they grow sunflowers in the garden too, in July. The iris garden is located along the Toki River, a section with clean water suitable for river play.

Tokigawa Iris Garden

Tokigawa Iris Garden
May 28th 2023

The Iris Garden in Tokigawa is quite small and only requires a half hour or so to appreciate. In 2021 that turned out quite convenient as due to the pandemic the town requested that people spend no longer than 30 minutes in the garden. Also, as the flowers bloom during rainy season, you might not want to stay out too long anyway! However, despite its relatively small size it is popular for iris viewing. It also helps that the garden is located close to several other tourist attractions. Including the famous Showa Retro Hot springs – a good spot to warm up after being caught out in the rain!

Tokigawa Iris Garden
On a rainy day June 2019

The garden was actually very badly damaged by typhoon Hagibis in Autumn 2019. Before the typhoon there were about 8200 iris in the park annually. However, since the typhoon, the local volunteers plant about 5000 irises over a 7000 m² area. Moreover, some of the boardwalks didn’t survive the storm, but they have since been replaced. I first visited before the typhoon, in June 2019. There have been improvements since I visited, mainly they did a lot of work on the river and now it is a nice place to play on a hot day.

If you are not into river play or fishing though, I highly recommend that you plan to visit other attractions in the area too. As I said above, the iris garden alone wouldn’t take up much of your time. Thankfully, there is plenty to do in Tokigawa. You will find some suggestions at the bottom of the post.

Iris Bloom Period

The Iris in Tokigawa generally bloom for the month of June. But given that all other blooms were early this year, it is likely that the Iris in Tokigawa’s Iris garden will also be early this year. Which means they may start to bloom as early as late May. If that is the case, they will also finish early too. They generally bloom for about three to four weeks.

Tokigawa Iris Festival

Date: Saturday June 3rd to Sunday June 18th. More detailed information:

River Play

Stepping stones on the Toki River at Tokigawa Iris Garden

While you only need about half an hour to visit the iris garden, you could easily spend a leisurely few hours if you are planning to play in the river. The Toki river is shallow in this area so it is suitable for paddling your feet. There are stepping stones on the river – always a hit with kids! There are a lot of shrimp and catfish in the river so you can also fish here too. However, as children play in this area, net fishing is recommending. If you walk south toward Tokigawa Canoe factory there are areas where you can use rods.

Toki River Tokigawa Iris Garden

While the area is good for water play, the problem is there are no facilities. According to a map by the river, you can use the toilet in the library, the back of which is right beside the parking lot. However, you need to use the front entrance which adds a bit of distance and use of stairs. Moreover, you need to actually go into the library, past reception, for the toilets. If you are dripping wet from playing in the river, this is obviously not ideal! There are toilets in the corridor outside which would be more convenient, but they are currently closed.


Spot: Tokigawa Iris / Sunflowers and Toki River

Hours: In theory 24 hours. However, during the period of the festival they ask people to leave by 4 pm. We have been there until around 6 pm at night in the past, outside the festival period, no problems. The outdoor parking lot is not closed off in my experience. The parking lot under the library is probably closed at 5 pm.

Cost: In previous years, the garden was free to enter, but they did welcome donations. Since last year, 2022, they charge 100 yen per adult during the period of the festival only. The river area is also currently free.

Venue: Tokigawa Iris Garden, 2508 Tamagawa, Tokigawa, Hiki District, Saitama 355-0342. View on Google Maps.


The Tokigawa Iris Garden is about a 13 minutes walk from the quaint JR Myōkaku Station on the Hachiko Line. You can also take a bus from this station, it takes about 3 minutes by bus. You can take a bus from the west exit of Musashi Ranzan station on the Tobu Tojo line to the Sesaragi Bus Center. From there you can either get another bus to the town hall or walk 30 minutes.

Myokaku Station Tokigawa
Myokaku Station in the background

The garden is 20 minutes by car from the Kanetsu Expressway’s Higashimatsuyama Interchange. You can park in the town hall’s car park. There is no fee for the car park.

Official iris garden web page

Things to do in Tokigawa

  • Make a night of it!? The Kinomura Campsite has cabins as well as tents for rent. It is one of the most scenic campsites in all of Saitama!
  • The Tokigawa Totoro is commutable by car. If you are visiting late May or early June, the poppies and cornflowers may well be still in bloom at this location.
  • If you are visiting the iris around mid June, I recommend also visiting the nearby lavender festival. Although the lavender festival is in Ranzan, if you are travelling by car they are relatively close.
  • For those visiting later in June, the hydrangea at Suzumegawa sabo dam should also be in bloom.
  • If you are lucky to get a sunny day, I recommend Komonoyasan for a coffee along the Toki River. Or if you prefer shaved ice, you have to check out the highly acclaimed Yamadaya.
  • The aforementioned Showa Retro hot springs usually have a seasonal event on in summer.
  • Others:

First published in April 2018. Updated annually. Last full republish (due to significant changes in the festival) was May 15th 2022.

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