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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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Private Tour: Balboa Park in San Diego

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 165 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 44
  • 54
    Very good
  • 30
  • 10
  • 12
A nice walk in the park

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... read more

3 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
Bethesda, Maryland
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165 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 150: English reviews
Bethesda, Maryland
Level Contributor
140 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

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
Marina del Rey, California
Level Contributor
229 reviews
97 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

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 4 weeks ago 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
2,435 reviews
1,490 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 460 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
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 October 2016

We spent six nights in the San Diego area, and the Japanese Garden in Balboa Park was, by far, the worst experience on our trip. Perhaps it was the time of year that we were there, but it was a lot of walking around in order to see basically nothing. After visiting the Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon in 2014,... More 

Thank beach_vacation26
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 October 2016

Really enjoyed the beauty of the various plant life and scenery that they've put together. Loved to see all the water ways. Would suggest going with older kids, not little ones. My little kids complained too much with the walking. It's not a long walk either, so take your time and enjoy it. Don't rush through it.

Thank Lance H
south yorkshire
Level Contributor
157 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2016 via mobile

Really enjoyed the peace and tranquility of this garden. The bonsai trees are stunning. If you want a place to relax and contemplate life this is the place.

Thank goldenjag
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Level Contributor
60 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 September 2016

This is the only garden in Balboa Park with an entrance fee ($8 per person) It's very pretty but I have seen Japanese Gardens in other cities and liked the hoers better. But that doesn't mean this wasn't good. It really is very well-maintained, the plantation is enormous, plenty of photo spots and just simple divine feel to the garden.... More 

Thank PriyamGopani
Murrieta, California
Level Contributor
838 reviews
549 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 August 2016 via mobile

The friendship garden is located in Balboa park. Admission is $7. It is decent enough, but can be crowded at times with school children. My opinion, it doesnt measure up to others I have visited in San Francisco or Portland that are more serene, peaceful and zenlike.

Thank SoCalOregonian
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
211 reviews
120 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2016

The Japanese Friendship Garden comes alive with all types of activities. You can sit and mediate viewing the dry rock garden through a large picture window. You can enjoy one of the rotating exhibits; currently the "Art of Saori Weaving" features stunning handmade pieces. Other options include checking out the bonzai garden, taking one of the many classes including yoga... More 

Thank GlobalGypsy_13

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