Japanese Friendship Garden


I vaguely remember coming to the Japanese Friendship Garden as a kid on a school field trip. The things I remember most are feeding the koi fish in the ponds and being shooed off the grass by park rangers. When I went back to visit yesterday, there were neither koi fish to feed nor rangers on patrol.

The garden is a living reminder of one of San Jose's sister cities: Okayama, Japan. The Japanese Friendship Garden was dedicated in 1965 and its design is inspired by the Korakuen Garden in Okayama. The original koi fish were brought over from Okayama, too. It's a beautiful backdrop for photos and a great place for a quiet stroll.

I think the park, like others in San Jose, has been affected by the city's budget cuts. The tea house in the garden looked empty and there was not a single koi fish to be seen. Luckily there is still enough of a budget to keep up with the park's landscaping, because the gardens are clean and manicured. Maybe when times are better, the koi will be back, too. 

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