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Japanese Friendship Garden

Closes in 23 min: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Open today: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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  • Excellent34%
  • Very good38%
  • Average17%
  • Poor6%
  • Terrible5%
Travelers talk about
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The Japanese Friendship Garden is located within Balboa Park, San Diego. It is an expression of friendship between the city and its sister city, Yokohama. The Garden is also known as San-Kei-En (Three Scene Garden), and it design was based on the...more
Closes in 23 min
Hours Today: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Suggested duration: 1-2 hours
2215 Pan American Rd E, San Diego, CA 92101-1656
Balboa Park
+1 619-232-2721
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Reviews (312)
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All reviews koi pond cherry blossoms rock garden balboa park japanese culture water features bonsai display upper garden dry stone rotating exhibits relaxing stroll peaceful place explorer pass organ pavilion cod fish entry fee take your time
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1 - 10 of 282 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago

It's usually quite empty and quiet. The price is worth it if you get here early and you can walk through within an hour, however they should have discounts if you get there just before closing. I feel like there isn't much to see inside...More

Date of experience: July 2019
2  Thank ztaeng
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

This experience was disappointing. Especially when you compare this garden to the Morikami Japanese gardens in Boca Raton FL. A pleasant walk if you didn’t pay an admission.

Date of experience: September 2019
Thank John D
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The Garden is located on the sides and bottom of a ravine at Balboa Park. It is very attractive and maintained by an experienced landscaping crew, many of which are Japanese. In addition to various plants and trees, there is a "brook" with "water falls"...More

Date of experience: August 2019
Thank johncV8024PU
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

It is very lovely, but pricey in my opinion.Adult entry was $12; Children $6; Free for children under a certain age. Having lived in Japan is one thing but being able to learn what the meaning is behind the garden scenery was very nice. There...More

Date of experience: July 2019
2  Thank Original P
Reviewed July 25, 2019 via mobile

Looking for a lovely garden with waterfalls and bonsai, bridges and paths? Go to the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park!

Date of experience: July 2019
Thank myriamgbst
Reviewed July 25, 2019 via mobile

Great for a quiet place in Balboa Park. The gardens are well kept and the koi are ready to show off. It's a bit of a walk down hill but has ramps for stroller and handicap access.

Date of experience: July 2019
Thank Jessica W
Reviewed July 21, 2019

The Japanese Friendship Garden set in the heart of Balboa Park can be either a quiet walk or an active experience. You can walk through the upper garden that includes bonsai trees, a koi pond, and a small Zen garden that can also be seen...More

Date of experience: June 2019
Thank GlobalGypsy_13
Reviewed July 19, 2019

We went there during low season, so it was nice that there isn't many people around. It's' a lot of walking. Nice bonsai to look at. The zoo also had bonsai I believe (we did so much sight seeing, my memory is failing me). They...More

Date of experience: May 2019
Thank memeh613
Reviewed July 14, 2019 via mobile

Just revisited the Japanese friendship garden after a few years and since the upgraded lower gardens. I’m so sorry to say that it’s underwhelming. I’m a huge Japanophile and try to educate myself every opportunity I have and this garden set in the beautiful Balboa...More

Date of experience: July 2019
Thank AlinaSD
Reviewed July 4, 2019

Many pretty areas to view, take pictures, exhibits to see. We did hike down to the bottom of the garden and it was nice to see. But the Seattle gardens are much more beautiful to see and appreciate. But being in California with their different...More

Date of experience: April 2019
Thank WaSunlover
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Questions & Answers
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September 10, 2019|
Response from Susie1028 | Reviewed this property |
March is probably the best month of the year to visit. They hold an annual cherry blossom festival during the month of March. In 2019, it was from March 18-21, but those dates change each year.
March 12, 2017|
Response from TinaMarie1957 |
The parking closest to the garden may by along Presidents Way. Turn in off Park Blvd