Are you trying to find something to do with the in town relatives during the holiday season?  Take them to one of the Phoenix Points of Pride: The Japanese Friendship Garden. 

The beautiful and serene Japanese Garden is located in the Margaret T. Hance Park just steps away from the Roosevelt/Central Ave Light Rail platform.  

This hidden gem is a wonderful place to get away from the stress of the holiday hustle and bustle.  Here you can take a tour of the grounds that contain various terrains all found in Japan; grasslands, forested mountains, stone beach and woodlands.  The ‘grasslands” area was a good place to sit and watch all of the ducks gliding across the water and looking for food.

The pond holds several Koi and Western Mosquitofish.  While walking along the pond it appears the Koi swim along the edge following you hoping for food to be thrown their way.

The Japanese Friendship Garden has several events planned for the coming weeks.  Don’t miss the first Friday of the month where the gardens are open from 4 p.m.-8 p.m.  There will be Holiday Jazz and Wine on Sunday December 15 at 4 p.m.-7 p.m. with live jazz and a variety of wines, charcuterie boards and Japanese sweets.  

Plus, one of the more popular activities is the monthly tea ceremony.  It’s a traditional ceremony presented by kimono-clad servers and held in an intimate wooden teahouse. 

Please visit their website at www.JapaneseFriendshipGarden.org for more information. 

Dennise Metzger
Rail Operations Communications Specialist
Denni is a Phoenix native, born at St. Joseph’s Hospital and graduated from Paradise Valley High School. Her first career was with the Phoenix Police Department as a Communications Operator. During her career she received numerous commendations, including one of the highest honors from the Police Chief: the Police Chiefs Certificate of Recognition. She called her time there “an amazing, sometimes very stressful and fascinating career.” In November 2018 she retired from Phoenix PD and started a career with Valley Metro.