Saturday, April 8, 2017


As I mentioned yesterday my wife and I paid a visit to the Japanese Friendship Garden, known in Japanese as Ro Ho En, on Thursday as we marked 46 years together.

The garden is designed as a place of serenity in the heart of a bustling major city.

An interstate freeway travels through a tunnel below Margaret Hance Park, named for a former mayor, just to the north of it but the quiet in the park would never let you know that.

On most days.

During our visit the serenity of the park was disturbed by a constantly circling police helicopter just above us.

Just before the chopper left the area SWMBO heard an annoucement from it stating that they had spotted some miscreant below and a canine unit was now pursuing him.

Life in the city.

But back to the garden.

The enterpiece is a huge pond shared by hundreds of koi fish and ducks.

At the top of the above photo you may be able to spot some tiny ducklings that appeared to be quite newly hatched.

I had noticed a pair of white swans swimming together but it was Judy's sharp eyes that noted they were not real.

They were styrofoam!

Nice touch, though, as they are quite well done.

There is a waterfall, surrounded by carefully handpicked boulders from near Congress, Arizona.

The largest, I believe just to the left of the falls, weighs 25 tons.

This huge tree started out as a humble ficus plant.

Another water feature is designed to resemble a burbling mountain stream.

A representation of a pagoda with its 13 levels which in Japan were a storage place for Buddhist relics.

And Shachi, a mythical fish with the face of a tiger (or dragon), which is used as a talisman against fire in his native Japan.

Here he has become the symbol of the garden.

Without police helicopters circling overhead, the Japanese Friendship Garden is a welcome place to escape the stress of the city for awhile.


William Kendall said...

Quite a pretty place! You wonder what the birds and fish think of each other.

Timothy Hecht said...

I've been there. It's very cool.

L Lewis said...

I will have to go there. Who couldn't use a little serenity in their life? You have only been married 6 years more than Rick and I!

Steve said...

Nice tour and photos.

Val said...

Hope the fish didn't eat too many of the ducklings! And the ducks not too many little fish...if there were any "little" fish in that group.

Tom Cochrun said...

A lovely respite. Thanks for sharing it.

Stephen Hayes said...

Beautiful pictures. Those fake swans were realistic enough to fool me.

Zhoen said...

46 years! And you still like each other! Good on you, both.

Fishes and ducks, oh, my.

joeh said...

I had the same thought as Val.

Tom said...

A truly delightful post, Bruce. This reminds me of a similar, but Chinese, place in Sydney, Australia. Peace and tranquillity are much needed in the modern world. Congratulations to you and Swmbo and long may your journey together continue.

Sharon Anck said...

I used to visit this place all the time when I lived on that side of town and now far away. It's small but ever so peaceful. When they started building those condos in your second photo, the peacefulness started to diminish with all that constant construction noise. I'm hoping that wen those are done, it will be peaceful again. I just recently renewed my membership. I don't know what to think about the styrofoam swans. That seems a bit odd to me.

Steve Reed said...

Interesting pictures of an interesting garden. I wonder why they don't have real swans? Maybe the heat is too much for them to take?

Thérèse said...

It sounds like a great place to visit, the fake swans are here to entice real ones to come, visit and stay.