It's Official! The Iris fields of Kijioka are now in bloom.
This first picture was taken on Saturday April 2nd. We couldn't have asked for better weather for our tasks. The day was sunny yet cool and although it warmed up as the day went along, you just couldn't have asked for more. Well, except for maybe some more flowers in bloom!
Ryukyu Mike, a man who is clearly "outstanding in a field," had to get up close and personal just to get a decent picture.
Still, the evidence was clearly there that while the lighting was right, our timing wasn't. We would have to make one or more trips back to get the images we wanted! The photo below was taken exactly one week later on April 9th. This time we had plenty of flowers as well as terrorists, er make that tourists to fill up our SD cards with photos of. Unfortunately this time, the lighting just wasn't quite right. But, as you can see, that didn't stop the visitors and photographers from stopping by to get a photo as well as stopping to buy! The locals do sell flowers if you're interested!
Kijioka is a small sub-village and part of the Ogimi Village governmental unit. To get there drive north along Okinawa's West Coast on Highway 58 past Nago City. You will pass through Shioya and past the Ogimi Village hall. Look for the signs for the Bashofu Weaving Center and drive along the narrow back streets till you get to the iris fields. There are signs in Japanese but if you don't happen to read Japanese, don't worry, Kijioka is really small and eventually you'll find it.
If you happend to go up on the weekend of April 16th & 17th, just follow the hoards of terrorists till you find it!
By the way, just a quick side note for personal interest. While Okinawan's in general are known world wide for their longevity and spryness well into their senior years, Kijioka is THE one place on Okinawa that is known for where people live the longest!
By the way, this is my submission to this week's Travel Photo Thursday