The Japanese Friendship Garden (JFG) is located in Balboa Park and represents the friendship between San Diego and its sister city in Yokohama, Japan. It binds the two cultures to create a unique experience for visitors from all over the world. JFG is considered in Japanese culture to be a living work of art and is designed to present an atmosphere of elegant simplicity and beauty. JFG includes a bonsai exhibit, a moon-viewing deck, beautiful black pine trees, azaleas and ornamental plants such as camellias, magnolia, wisteria and cherry blossom trees, and the largest and oldest bronze Kannon statue in the USA.
Following the original Sankeien in Yokohama, JFG is a three scene garden that is characterized by water, floral, and mountainous features. As guests stroll through the various areas, they will find aesthetics unique to Japanese gardens (i.e. wabi sabi), enjoy nature and the outdoors, and get a sense of tranquility. JFG is home to two amazing koi ponds with waterfalls and priceless koi collections. Visitors follow a meandering path through various arrangements of rocks, shrubbery and trees. In March of 2015 the lower garden expansion was completed, transforming two acres of JFG into a multi-level, eleven-acre attraction. In the lower garden, trails, photo ops, and nature take over the urban feel of San Diego. The Inamori Pavilion also hosts rotating exhibits and is the perfect spot for private events ranging from weddings to proms. Traditional features such as stone lanterns and bamboo fences enhance the garden design and provide transcendental experiences for those seeking solace, meditation, or personal renewal.
JFG is a gift to the community that upholds the responsibility of offering educational programs that introduces and nurtures a better understanding of Japanese culture while continuing to promote friendship among diverse cultures.
Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.
For the ultimate guide to planning your San Diego vacation, view and download the San Diego Visitor Planning Guide, packed with useful information that will help you plan the perfect San Diego getaway.
English | Change Language