Phoenix enjoys a Sister City relationship with Himeji, Japan. In 1987, the mayor of Himeji proposed building a classic Japanese garden in Phoenix to celebrate its friendship.
The garden is an oasis of serenity and beauty in the midst of the desert metropolis. Despite its location near a busy interstate freeway, bustle and stress are banned from the garden. Their photography policy forbids professional photo shoots during regular visiting hours. Casual photography is permitted, with the condition that it does not detract from the enjoyment of other patrons.
I did take a lot of pictures when my daughter Katie and I visited there last Friday evening, but I tried to be as unobtrusive as possible.
The structures in the park bring to mind Japan’s rich history and culture. I especially admire the way the trees and bushes are pruned, like bonsai. They remind me of the artwork on Japanese scrolls. (Click on the smaller pictures to enlarge.)
And the pond! So carefully landscaped with plants and boulders and waterfalls!
But the stars of the pond are the koi who thrive there. Some are more than 18 inches long.
Below is the Tea House. Traditional tea ceremonies are offered monthly.
This sculpture represents the Shachi, a mythical creature with the face of a dragon and the body of a fish:
I have no idea what these plants are, but I found them lovely and interesting:
The Japanese Friendship Garden is closed during the months of August and September, so I was glad we got to see it last weekend. It will be an especially lovely and tranquil spot to bring visitors from out of town.