The Japanese Friendship Garden is tucked away just south of the San Diego Zoo, and Balboa Park museums.

Built along a hillside and cascading down into a beautiful valley gorge, it’s a spectacular place cared for with great pride. The plants are pristine, well-watered, and diverse. The pathways are uncluttered. Not a piece of trash is visible. Each person you pass greets with a smile. It was wonderful to see the people of different background and nationality walking among the trees and vegetation. Water trickling in the background. People of all types enjoying the same area of peace of tranquility.

Admission is $12 per person — allowing you on a journey down the beautiful pathway. It was roughly 3:30 pm when we started, with the facility closing at 5 pm.

Walking the Japanese Friendship Garden

We walked along the top of the ridge, and then made our way down the zig-zag path to the lower Japanese Friendship Garden.

At the bottom of the park, there are continued pathways, a beautiful stream, bridge crossing, and out-buildings where you can use the restroom and purchase food, drink, and snacks.

We purchased noodles, bottled water, miso soup, and a few pieces of candy. All for around $20. The food was fresh, hot, and refreshing after walking through the gardens. There is a seating area with umbrellas for covering and a bathroom facility right on the patio.

What All is Said and Done

One word comes to mind when I think of the Japanese Friendship Garden — respect.

I found myself thinking about respect for others when I visited, and I could see in others the same reverence. There’s a special feeling about this place. A feeling that makes you feel like everything is going to be alright. It’s a great feeling.

If I was a San Diego resident – I’d surely be a yearlong member.