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The Japanese Friendship Garden, San-Kei-En, represents a bond of friendship between the peoples of San Diego and Yokohama.  Situated in Balboa Park in San Diego, the garden was named after the San-Kei-En Garden in Yokohama.  Above is a picture of the Zen Garden where seven large rocks imported from Japan serve as meditation points in the raked gravel.

The origins of the Friendship Garden go pack to the 1915 Panama-California Exposition when a Japanese Tea Pavilion was built on the site of the Friendship Garden today.  After the exposition a Japanese family lived at the site and maintained the building and grounds until World War II when the site was dismantled.  The site reopened in 1990 as part of a sister city project between the citizens of San Diego and Yokohama.

One of several Bonsai trees on display in the garden.  This is a Japanese Black Pine that is 45 year old.
Another Bonsai.  This Chokkan style juniper is 40 years old.
Waterfall that spills into the koi pond
The koi pond again. Koi represent longevity and virility in Japan. A small island in the pond is shaped like a turtle, symbolizing the longevity of the garden and a wish for the people of San Diego


One of several stone lanterns that decorate the garden
The koi pond.
Some of the fish in the pond
A Slhiro Utsuri female peeks around a rock in the pond. The fish are maintained by the Koi Club of San Diego
The “Light of Friendship” was a gift from the Boy Scouts of Yokohama as a symbol of continued friendship between the two cities.
Pottery pieces on display in the exhibit center as part of a project called Cataclysmic Oddities by Michael Noble

The Friendship Garden is undergoing expansion.  The garden is open everyday except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year.  Adult admission is $4.

Learn more about the Friendship Garden at its website

Travel safe.  Have fun.


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