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Japanese Friendship Garden

Neighbourhood: Balboa Park
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Address: 2215 Park Blvd, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone Number:
+1 619-232-2780
10:00 - 18:00
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 10:00 - 18:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

The Japanese Friendship Garden includes a koi pond, a meditation hall...

The Japanese Friendship Garden includes a koi pond, a meditation hall viewing a Zen garden, bonsai exhibit, fujidana (wisteria arbor), and strolling pathways down to the new garden expansion with pond and waterfall.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 174 reviews
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    Very good
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a Garden in January

January in a garden - not much to see you would think - but the lovely serene Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park has wonderful walks that you amble through the winter... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 days ago
San Diego, California
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174 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 156: English reviews
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
59 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

January in a garden - not much to see you would think - but the lovely serene Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park has wonderful walks that you amble through the winter garden. it was peaceful and alive with life growing and resting worth an amble then stop and have a hot tea at the Japanese Tea House at the... More 

Thank SDTraveler515
Ripon, California
Level Contributor
131 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

I enjoy gardens but this one was too boring to bring kids to. They only thing that was neat to see was the bonsai trees.

Thank wingnut457
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
251 reviews
151 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park has a variety of activities -- yoga classes, koi ponds, special exhibits, a lower garden walk with birds and flora, a meditation room, and a bonzai garden. And seasonally the well groomed look changes. Currently, a blow up Christmas bear sits in front of the administrative building. The cafe is on the outside... More 

1 Thank GlobalGypsy_13
Cerritos, California
Level Contributor
510 reviews
257 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This is a pleasant stroll in the park. It is on a hill - so be prepared to walk down and back up. It is quiet with numerous benches. Azaleas were blooming, but not much else, given the time of the year. It is not huge, but enjoyable, We stopped at the top at their tea shop - good rice... More 

Thank Barbara F
Johnson City, New York
Level Contributor
47 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I guess I was disappointed that they charged $8 for this garden and it's really not anything special. There's a bunch of bonsai trees and ornamental japanese pottery and bambooish looking things. But ehhhh I could've walked around trees and water for free in Balboa Park. It was a Saturday and it seemed very 'off season' here. It could be... More 

Thank Diane H
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
187 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 December 2016 via mobile

Small and intimate, unfortunately the second floor pond is under construction. First floor is pretty, wish there were more sitting areas. No koi in the pond.

Thank C L
Bethesda, Maryland
Level Contributor
143 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 November 2016

Be prepared for a good walk. If you do the whole garden, it is probably close to 2 miles. I'd call this good, but not a great garden. There is a limited number of types of greenery. There are some beautiful Koi in a couple of ponds, but except for the bonsai, this garden need not be Japanese. I feel... More 

Thank BT20812
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
240 reviews
101 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 November 2016

I haven't been to many Botanical Gardens, but I did enjoy my visit here. I think the main highlight for me was the mini Bonsai Trees, they are cute neat to see. We had a pleasant time just walking around the grounds and exploring. This is a very peaceful place. Admission was $8 or included on the Balboa Explorer pass.

Thank NYCaliKara
Level Contributor
148 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 November 2016 via mobile

These gardens are worth the visit. Tickets are $8 per adult and worth every penny. There are great Japanese plants including a Peace tree that just arrived from Hiroshima. There are a couple of cascading water areas and ponds with colorful fish. Just sitting there listening to cascading water on rocks will rejuvenate you

Thank PeterTravelAdvisor
Greater Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
2,725 reviews
1,712 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 525 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 October 2016

The garden is set in a valley and has the usual Koi pond,and typical rocks and plants , ponds and waterfall seen in a Japanese garden.There is a bonzai exhibit and wysteria arbour as ell. cost is $8.00

Thank Oldjack

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