The Japanese Friendship Garden, located in the Balboa Park Gardens, is currently two acres of relaxing garden paths, bonsai trees, a koi pond and an exhibit house where classes, such as sushi making or conversational Japanese, are offered on weekends. The Zen environment of the gardens instantly relaxes visitors and provides a pleasant break from the hustle and bustle of Balboa Park.
The Garden also offers delicious traditional Asian cuisine for those seeking food and refreshment at the Tea Pavilion. After you’ve walked around the gardens, you can indulge in a Chicken Teriyaki bowl or one of the extensive flavors of tea offered at the Pavilion. At any given time, the Tea Pavilion’s outdoor tables are almost always full, which is a nod to the great food made there.
Because of the Garden’s popularity, they are expanding the gardens to the full 11 acres. With this expansion, there will now be a traditional teahouse, a pavilion that will hold 300 people, an outdoor amphitheater, and garden paths that are suitable for handicapped patrons. Other additions include a tea and herb garden, a grove of cherry trees, an azalea and camellia garden and water features, like streams and a waterfall. There will also be a koi pond where people can donate their koi or purchase koi straight from the pond.
Construction should be completed by January 2015. If you would like to tour the gardens under construction before then, it is free for members of the Japanese Friendship Garden Society of San Diego and an extra $2 for non-members.The garden is open daily from 10 AM to 4 PM, with the last admission at 3:30 PM.
Do you enjoy visiting the Japanese Friendship Garden? What other things do you enjoy visiting at Balboa Park? Tell us in a comment.