Planning Your Visit
JFG ADMISSION TICKETS
General admission … $12
Student (elementary - university) … $10*
Senior (65+) … $10*
Military (active, retired, dependents) … $10
Children age 6 or younger … FREE
Balboa Park Explorer Pass* … FREE
Purchasing an admission ticket online is highly recommended. Admission tickets purchased online do not have an expiration date and can be used whenever you plan on visiting JFG. Upon completing your order, you will receive one confirmation e-mail as well as a second e-mail with your e-ticket(s). Upon your arrival have your e-ticket(s) ready to be scanned.
* Valid ID required for discounted admission.
Japanese Friendship Garden celebrates Cherry Blossom Week
This event has been canceled. Since 2005, the Japanese Friendship Garden has opened its gates to thousands of visitors in celebration of hanami — a traditional Japanese custom where family and friends gather under the cherry trees to view the beauty of sakura — cherry blossoms — in Balboa Park.
Formerly known as Cherry Blossom Festival, this year marks the Garden’s second year hosting the event as Cherry Blossom Week.
“It was changed ... last year as we wanted the celebration of the cherry blossoms to be more accessible and to give visitors the idea that the cherry blossoms are in bloom for more than just one weekend,” said Jon Osio, the Friendship Garden’s event and marketing coordinator. “Celebrating the spring season doesn’t need a “dedicated” time frame to experience its beauty.”
Visitors will experience special daily programming ranging from one-day performances to interactive workshops Monday through March 20 in the Inamori Pavilion. A full weekend of activities are slated for March 21-22 that includes a children’s arts and crafts corner in the lower garden; an adults-only craft beer and sake garden; a tea and dessert garden with brews and blends from Café Moto; live performances, including taiko drumming, bon dancing; and more than 40 different local and visiting food and merchant vendors.
Last year, more than 21,000 festival-goers walked the 12-acre oasis, an increase of 40 percent from last year.
“What makes this event special is that it represents the unique immersion of two different cultures " he said. “It amazes me to see Japanese practices demonstrated by those that are native and non-native to Japan, to notice the influence of Japanese culture to some people’s craft, as well as the influence of American culture for others, and to experience the interaction of the diversity found during Cherry Blossom Week.
“I hope visitors are able to see that the Japanese Friendship Garden isn’t just a “garden” and more of San Diego’s central hub for information and the introduction to different aspects of Japanese culture.”
Kamishibai: Pronounced ka-mee-shee-bye, this centuries-old Japanese form of street theater and storytelling combines the use of hand-drawn visuals with the engaging narration of a live presenter. It was popular during the Depression of the 1930s and the post-war period in Japan until the arrival of television during the 20th century. This magical art of storytelling has seen a resurgence in schools and libraries over the past several years. 10 a.m. to noon Monday near the upper garden koi pond.
San Diego Kendo Bu: Founded in 1972, one of the oldest kendo dojos in Southern California will demonstrate the traditional Japanese martial art of swordsmanship in two performances, “Let’s Kendo: The Art of Japanese Fencing” and “Do You Want to be a Samurai?” 5 p.m. Friday; 4 to 4:20 p.m. Saturday;1 to 1:20 p.m. Sunday in the south half of the Inamori Pavilion.
Sumo folk songs: Although sumo wrestling and singing are an uncommon match, jinku, a form of folk singing, is a common occurrence on sumo provincial (off-season) tours and retirement ceremonies. Six wrestlers wearing kesho mawashi (elaborate apron-like belts) take turns on the microphone in the center of the ring while the others clap and chant in unison. The songs they perform include verses relevant to the region that they are passing through, or have verses relevant to the retiring rikishi (sumo wrestler). Ryogoku Sumo Jinku Kai from Japan, Mr. Akira Uchida and five members, will be at this year’s festivities. 2 to 2:20 p.m. Saturday in the Inamori Pavilion.
Bamboo fluteboxer: G-Moto merges the techniques of blowing air into the shinobue (Japanese bamboo flute) as he beatboxes at the same time to cover songs from anime and video games, along with original music. He has performed at various anime conventions such as Anime Expo in Los Angeles and at various cultural festivals, including last year’s Cherry Blossom Week and San Diego Lunar New Year Tet Festival. 12:30 to 12:50 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 to 11:50 am Sunday in the Inamori Pavilion.
DID YOU KNOW
The cherry trees at the Japanese Friendship Garden are grafted to other trees — usually a pear tree — so they can survive San Diego’s tropical weather.
Cherry Blossom Week
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through March 22
Where: Japanese Friendship Garden, 2215 Pan American Road E., Balboa Park
Cost: $14 online presale; $12 general admission; $10 seniors, military and students with proper ID
Phone: (619) 232-2721
2020 - 15th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival Celebration - Japanese Friendship Garden, Balboa Park (30+ Vendors) March 16-22, 2020Newly Listed
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SELECT DISTINCT e.PkID, e.Title, e.StartDate, e.StartTime, e.EndTime, e.TBD, e.Description, e.LocID, l.Name, l.Lat, l.Lon, e.SeriesID FROM hc_events e LEFT JOIN hc_locations l ON (e.LocID = l.PkID) WHERE (e.SeriesID = '719' OR e.LocID = '719') AND e.IsActive = 1 AND e.IsApproved = 1 AND e.StartDate >= '2021-10-23' ORDER BY e.Title, e.StartDate, e.TBD, e.StartTime
Date: Sunday, 22 March, 2020Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Time: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
- No Additional Dates. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
The Japanese Friendship Gardenâs (JFG) Annual Cherry Blossom Week returns for its 15th annual celebration! During March 16 through March 19, select vendors will be set up throughout JFG giving guests a sneak peek of whatâs to come during the weekend. During the day, the Inamori Pavilion will be host to various special programming. Schedule announcements will be announce as we get closer to Cherry Blossom Week!
JFG will bloom into a full festival from March 20 through March 22 with visiting and local merchants offering unique crafts and presents in the upper garden; performances, a beer & sake garden, and tea garden at the Inamori Pavilion; mouth-watering street food in the lower garden courtyard; and an arts & crafts area for children! Get all the latest vendor and performer highlights and ticket purchase updates by following us on social media and signing up for our online newsletters!
* Please note that the March San Diego Residents Free day at the Japanese Friendship Garden is scheduled for March 24, 2020.
Cherrry Blossom Location
Japanese Friendship Garden - Balboa Park
Maps, Parking & Layouts
ParkingÂ Instructions -Â See DirectionsÂ
Map of Balboa Park -Â See map
Festival Map - See Layout
Food & Merchants: See List
Performers: See schedule
One of the most beautiful seasons in the Garden is when the cherry trees blossom into delightful pink clouds. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore the Garden while enjoying delicious Japanese food, arts and crafts, unique gifts, entertainment, cultural demonstrations and the crowning of a new Little Miss Sakura.
Guided docent tours will be provided into the Garden's expansion site which will lead to the home of over 150 enchanting cherry trees blossoming with briliant pink flowers for everyone's enjoyment and endless photo opportunities.
March 16 - March 22, 2020
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
$12 General Admission
$10 Students/Seniors/Military w/ I.D.
**Tickets sold seperately for food and games**
Cherry Blossom Title
2020 - 15th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival Celebration - Japanese Friendship Garden - Balboa Park (30+ Vendors) March 16-22, 2020
Sunday, 22 March, 2020
Other Dates For This Event
Event/Festival ContactCherry Blossom Week Balboa Park
Website: Click to Visit
Halloween at JFG
Heading to Balboa park on Halloween Sunday? Stop by JFG for some kid friendly fun!
Register and join us for SHICHI-GO-SAN 2021. Girls who are three and seven years old and boys who are five are dressed in traditional kimonos and brought to the Japanese Friendship Garden for a professional photoshoot.
Pop-Up Exhibit | Discover Japan
Hosted in the National City Chamber of Commerce building, JFG will exhibit art and provide free cultural and educational programming. The pop-up exhibit will be available October-December 2021.
Adopt a koi
Sponsor a koi fish at the Japanese Friendship Garden! Gift yourself or a loved one a JFG Koi Sponsor Package. Your $30 sponsorship will help support one (1) koi fish for six (6) months. YES - you get to name your koi and will receive a photo and bi-monthly updates from your fostered fish! Koi fish will be assigned randomly, however you will not receive two of the same photo if selecting a quantity greater than one (1).
Community Supported Agriculture
Pre-order your November CSA box today! We partner with Yasukochi Family Farms to bring farm fresh produce to our community every other month.
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