Japanese Friendship Garden
The Ro Ho En Japanese Friendship Garden is a phoenix in the city of the same name.
“Ro” is for the heron, the bird symbol of Himeji City, while “Ho” stands for the mythical phoenix. “En” is garden. The 3.5-acre Japanese Stroll Garden boasts a tea house, representing the relationship between Sister Cities Phoenix and Himeji, Japan.
The Japanese Friendship Garden offers residents and tourists a peaceful place to take friends and family on quiet afternoon. The garden aims to bring the essence of Japan to Arizona, melding the cultures of the East and West.
Himeji was Phoenix’s second official Sister City, an affiliation that began in 1976. According to the garden’s website, the two cities “participate in business, governmental, cultural and educational exchanges that promote international goodwill and understanding.”
The garden, which opened to the public in 2002, features more than 50 varieties of plant, a 12-foot waterfall, multiple streams and a Koi pond with over 300 fish. Guests can purchase Koi food at the gift shop.
The venue hosts events and workshops throughout the year, including a decoration-making class on December 9. A public tea ceremony on December 16 will give the public the opportunity to learn about Japanese culture.
Be sure to visit during the garden’s remaining active months, which run from December through May, Tuesdays to Sundays.
Japanese Friendship Garden, 1125 N. Third Avenue, Phoenix, 602.291.9209, jfgphx.org, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday, $7, with discounts for seniors, students and military personnel. Children younger than 6 are admitted free.