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“Relaxing morning feeding the fish...”

Japanese Friendship Garden
Ranked #35 of 238 things to do in Phoenix
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: We are a traditional Japanese stroll garden in the heart of Downtown Phoenix. We are 501(c)3 non profit organization in cooperation with the city of Phoenix and Phoenix Sister Cities Organization. The garden was designed and built by garden master designer "Mr. Nozomu Okita" with the cooperation of Phoenix Sister City Himeji garden association. This truly unique point of pride sits on 3.5 acres and includes a traditional Tea House. The Tea House is open once per month for tea ceremonies, by reservation only by contacting the office. This tranquil and beautiful setting features more than 1,500 tons of hand-picked rock, stone footbridges, lanterns and more than 50 varieties of plants. As you stroll the path, you will enjoy flowing streams, a 14-foot waterfall, and a Koi pond with over 1,000 colorful Koi fish. The garden hosts a variety annual artistic and educational special events and programs. Please see our website and Facebook page.
Reviewed January 30, 2013

I checked out the garden this morning, just after they opened, which was the perfect time to go. There was only 1 other couple in the garden. It is rather small, but nice and relaxing. Plenty of places to sit and enjoy the surroundings.

Pay the extra $1 to feed the koi, it's definitely worth it.

Thank Kimberly J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"koi fish"
in 26 reviews
"tea ceremony"
in 13 reviews
"large pond"
in 7 reviews
"buy fish food"
in 4 reviews
"tranquil place"
in 4 reviews
"a small gift shop"
in 3 reviews
"wonderful garden"
in 3 reviews
"water features"
in 4 reviews
"heart of downtown"
in 3 reviews
"special events"
in 6 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 3 reviews
"phoenix area"
in 3 reviews
"waterfall"
in 41 reviews
"ducks"
in 37 reviews
"meditation"
in 9 reviews
"beauty"
in 24 reviews
"trees"
in 18 reviews
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262 - 266 of 283 reviews

Reviewed December 19, 2012

What a pleasant surprise! We were looking for something different to do and came upon the Japanese Friendship Garden. It was my understanding that they are celebrating their 10th year and I never even knew they were there. This beautiful and peaceful garden is just south of the I-10 freeway and once inside the gate, you would never know. The garden is beautifully maintained. It has a large coy pond, complete with ducks, a waterfall, a bridge and a tea house. The tea house is only accessible when you are at a ceremony so we were unable to see inside and will save that for another day.

If you find yourself with extra time on hand (waiting for dinner res., or an event to begin) - or want a romantic place to take the special person in your life or to simply relax and see this beautiful Garden itself, I do recommend the Japanese Friendship Garden.

As a side note: we were told that volunteers help maintain the Garden and they are always open to more. They are gardeners (experienced and novice), designers, architects, hiorticulturists, etc... who are willing to share their knowledge and expertise as you assist.

2  Thank Gwen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2012

Wonderful and relaxing place to visit. If you are looking for a place to have a wedding, this would be a great location.

3  Thank Rebecca B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2012

Beautiful setting for my son's wedding. The staff were very helpful and the photographer stated this was one of his favorite places to do weddings. The weather was fantastic, the koi amazingly active and recommended for a peaceful place to relax.

3  Thank ZirTin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 28, 2012

I am an amateur photographer and have gone to the Japanese Friendship Garden previously with one of my classes at the local community college. We had all shown up on a Saturday morning with our cameras and tripods and had a wonderful morning shooting the koi, grounds, etc. Note sure what happened today but I truly had a horrible experience and will probably not go back.
When we arrived my husband was carrying my tripod and when he came out from paying the admission he was told by a lady standing by admissions that he would have to pay $150 for a photo shoot pass if we were professional photographers. My husband assured the lady I am not a professional photographerand we went in. I was shocked to hear that esp after we had paid our admission and was not told that inside. We reviewed the information given us with our admission and it said nothing about tripods not being allowed. I forgot about it until I felt the same lady was literally following me around. She came up to me and repeated what she had said to my husband, I told her again I was not a professional photographer that I had been here before with a photography class and that she had already talked to us once. She then said there is a woman on the Board who is adamant about tripods and if she should approaches me to tell her I paid the $150. I reminded her that nowhere is it posted on their website or in their information that tripods are not allowed. Again later we saw her walking around near us and I tried to avoid her. We were finally getting ready to leave and I stepped off the sidewalk to shoot a photo standing in the grass (not with my tripod) and she immediately came up to me and said one of their Board members wished to talk with me and that I was not allowed on the grass. (Yes it did say in the information to stay on the paths) but people were sitting in the grass and the grounds were set up for a wedding later that afternoon, in the grass. I felt I was being harassed and told her so - that I did not want to speak to her Board member and that I would be sure and post their new policies on my Facebook so others would know. She followed me to the exit where at that time I had really had enough of her and went in and asked for my admission price back. I am not sure what happened - but I don't think I will be back. Enter at your own risk if you have a camera or set foot on the grass!

17  Thank spidersuz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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