The Garden is small, but is a beautiful restful place to visit. Located adjacent to Margaret T Hance park in Phoenix, the Japanese Friendship Garden is like stepping into another place. You will forget the freeway located right under the park. The paths are wide and easy to walk on. The first thing you'll notice when you step through the gates is the huge pond right in front of you. Don't forget to purchase some Koi fish food. Watching the Koi fish eat is a highlight of the visit. They are huge and very entertaining to watch. The best spot to view them is while standing on the bridge.
When you're aching for a nice Asian Garden stroll while in Arizona (oct to may only), head off to this Japanese Friendship Garden which is the product of the collaboration of the Sister Cities of Phoenix and Himeji, Japan.
This garden (Ro Ho En) is an authentic 3 1/2 acre Japanese Stroll Garden with wonderfully-set 1,500 tons of hand picked rock, stone footbridges, and lanterns dotted by more than 50 varieties of plants. It also has flowing streams, a 12-foot waterfall and my favorite - a Koi pond with over 300 colorful Koi fish. It is a favorite spot for weddings.
And there is also a nice park beside this garden where you can walk further and have some nice photosessions by a set of flags as my family did. And if you want a puppet show, right across the street is the Puppet Theatre!
The facility is open only from October through May. The garden is hours for regular visitors are Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed on Mondays. General admission is $5. Students/Seniors/Military $3. Children 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult. Parking is free.
Ro Ho En is also open to the public for free on the first Friday of every month between October and May from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in conjunction with the Phoenix First Friday event.
Public Tea Ceremonies are held on the second Saturday of each month, October through May. Reservations are required, and space is limited. The charge to attend the Tea Ceremony is $20, Senior (60+) $18.
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