Traditional boat wedding recreated at iris garden northeast of Tokyo

A traditional Japanese wedding ceremony has been recreated at a riverside garden in Ibaraki Prefecture amid irises in full bloom.

Surrounded by lakes and rivers, Itako City, northeast of Tokyo, has long been a water transportation hub.

Until around the 1960s, brides in white wedding kimonos were taken down the river in rowboats to meet their bridegrooms.

The present-day recreation has been a highlight of the annual Suigo Itako Iris Festival for about 40 years. Couples must apply to the city for the right to take part in the event.

On Sunday, a boat carrying the day's bride set out at 11 a.m. to the sound of applause from watching tourists on the riverside.

The bride and groom then met up at a dock and walked into the iris garden for a photo opportunity.

Bride Uchida Marina said she was nervous at first, but the cheers from people on the riverside made her relaxed and happy.

Groom Uchida Masato, who's from Itako City, said taking part in the event has made him more proud of local history and tradition, and deepened his love for his home city.

The ceremony can be seen on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays through June 18.