Phone: (619) 232-2721
Dog-Friendly: No Kid-Friendly: Yes
Admission: $ 12 – Adults (18+) // $ 10 – Students, Seniors (65+) // Active Duty Military (Must show ID) // Children 6 & under free
HOURS: Monday – Sunday 10:45 am – 4:45 pm // Last Admission 3:45 pm
NOTE: This garden is free on the 3rd Tuesday of every month if you're a San Diego resident!
The Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park (JFG) is an expression of friendship between San Diego and its sister city, Yokohama. It illustrates two cultures and creates an immersive experience into Japanese culture. JFG’s design is based on centuries-old Japanese techniques adapted to San Diego’s climate and florae and seeks to foster a relationship between humans and nature, providing a respite attuned to Japanese simplicity, serenity, and aestheticism.
JFG sits on a 12-acre plot. It offers a variety of educational programs, exhibits, and festivals as well as accredited horticultural classes to enhance and deepen visitor appreciation for Japanese culture. As a valued community resource, it is well known for its unique setting, stone arrangements, koi ponds, water features, sukiya-style buildings and landscape.
The Japanese Friendship Garden was first opened in 1991. The second phase, opened in 1999, was designed by renowed landscape architect Takeo Uesugi. This phase added the Exhibit Hall, Activity Center, and Koi Pond. The third phase, completed in 2015, comprised 9 additional acres which included a 200 cherry tree grove, large azalea and camellia garden, a water feature reminiscent of the San Diego watershed, and the state of the art Inamori Pavilion.
Today, the Japanese Friendship Garden is visited annually by close to 100,000 people from all over United States and around the world. JFG is our gift to the citizens of San Diego as we continue to provide the community with educational programs to foster better understanding of Japanese culture. We are thankful to the citizens of San Diego who have helped in throughout our development. We feel it is our responsibility to build upon this legacy and continue to promote friendship among diverse cultures.