Venue Details

19 Star Starred
Japanese Friendship Garden
located at Balboa Park 2215 Pan American Road. E San Diego, CA 92101
Venue website Get directions

Reviews & Ratings

Japanese Friendship Garden
10 ratings
4.8 average rating
  • 9
  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
8 events
6 reviews
4 stars
attended Sep 01 2013

I enjoyed tea ceremony event but the garden was still very much under construction while I was a member.

star this review starred report as inappropriate
17 events
5 reviews
14 stars
9 events
4 reviews
1 stars
attended Sep 01 2013

Beautiful, tranquil place. Well-manicured. Nice little cafe and gift shop. An oasis of peace in the middle of a busy city.

star this review starred report as inappropriate
More Information


Individual Membership (One Card)
Your one-year membership includes receipt of the JFGSD NIWA newsletter, invitations to members-only events, free admission to meditation classes, free admission to over 300 reciprocal gardens, a 10% discount at the Tea Pavilion restaurant next door, a 10% discount at the gift shop, and up to 20% discount on classes, programs and garden events.

Family Membership (Two Cards)
All above perks, plus entrance for up to four children (age 18 or younger) and one additional card for a guest of your choosing. Children are allowed entrance with either member.

Current/Upcoming Exhibitions:

Ningyō’s Presence: Japanese Dolls From The Permanent Collection
July 16, 2015 – September 3, 2015

Enjoy a rare glimpse into the Japanese Friendship Garden’s Permanent Collection with a display of the Collection’s finest Japanese dolls, or ningyō. Learn about the changing styles of ningyō and how these styles are specific to each region. This exhibition will highlight wooden kokeshi dolls, extravagantly costumed hina dolls, and clay hakata dolls, as well as the intricate textiles of ishostyle dolls. Come and celebrate the vibrancy of the Japanese Friendship Garden’s Permanent Collection, promoting Japanese culture and friendship which is made possible by our passionate community of donors.

Japanese Bamboo and The World Expo: A Century Of Discovery
September 11, 2015 – December 6, 2015

TAI Modern is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition, Japanese Bamboo and the World Expo: A Century of Discovery.

In honor of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition centennial celebration, TAI Modern is thrilled to present an expansive group exhibition at the Japanese Friendship Garden of San Diego, San Diego, CA, September 11 – December 6, 2015.The show will include over forty bamboo artworks created by a variety of artists. A special preview of the exhibition will be held at TAI Modern in Santa Fe, NM, July 10 – July 26, 2015, and will highlight historic works on view for the first time.

The 1915 Panama-California Exposition—which celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal and sought to establish San Diego as a port of call—was the site of a major early exhibition of Japanese arts and culture, including bamboo art, in the United States. Beginning in the late 19th Century, Japan’s participation in the world’s fairs initiated some of the earliest encounters with Japan’s art and culture within Europe and the Unites States, resulting in an enormous demand for their unique products.

Japanese Bamboo and the World Expo: A Century of Discovery will celebrate the fairs’ roles as critical moments of international exposure that inspired Japanese bamboo artists to further their crafts. With pieces spanning from an 1887 vessel by Hayakawa Shokosai I to Nakatomi Hajime’s 2015 Prism: Square, the exhibition will provide a rich introduction to the diverse developments bamboo arts have undergone throughout the last century. Organized around three primary regions of bamboo art—Kansai, centered around the historic cities of Kyoto and Osaka; Kanto,which encompasses the Tokyo metropolis and the urbanized center of Japan; and Kyushu,the southernmost of Japan’s main islands—the show will survey the development of Kansai’s elegant style and elaborate techniques, Kanto’s innovative and creative designs, and Kyushu’s powerful, unrestrained aesthetics.

TAI Modern is a Santa Fe-based fine arts gallery dedicated to exhibiting and supporting contemporary art in a variety of media, with a particular focus on Japanese bamboo art and baskets.It has been the world’s premier gallery for contemporary Japanese bamboo art for nearly twenty years. The Japanese Friendship Garden of San Diego is located in the city’s historic Balboa Park, the location of the 1915 Exposition. The Japanese Friendship Garden is well known for its unique setting, stone arrangement, koi pond, exhibition hall and ornamental tree collection.

See the Garden website for updates to the schedule of exhibitions.