Find Your Zen in the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix

Photo Credit: Reed Michaelsen

Photo Credit: Reed Michaelsen

Get ready to lose yourself in one of the most serenely spellbinding gardens in the country. The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix is a 3.5-acre cocoon of enchantment tucked away in the heart of the city. This genuine strolling garden will take your breath away with its meticulously manicured landscape and peaceful ambiance. It’s the perfect sanctuary for anyone needing an escape.

Visual Poetry

Referred to as Ro Ho En, the pristine wonderland is an artistic depiction of Japanese history and traditions. Each section has been purposefully arranged to reflect the culture. As you stroll from grasslands to woodlands, you’ll feel the magic of the Orient drawing you in. The lush foliage, stunning water features and charming decorative elements create the same soothing ambiance of traditional Japanese gardens.

Photo Credit: Trover

Photo Credit: Trover

Every aspect of Ro Ho En has a dreamlike mystique and elegant fluidity. More than 50 plant varieties adorn the property, including beautiful silk oak trees and white rain lilies. A flowing, stone-lined stream leads to a koi pond filled with hundreds of vibrant fish. Gorgeous rocks line walking trails, a 12-foot waterfall cascades over large boulders, and quaint footbridges lead to picturesque views.

Tours of Discovery

Gracious docents are available at the garden to lead you through each astounding twist and turn. The guides are knowledgeable about the history of Ro Ho En as well as Japanese culture. You’ll be captivated every step of the way as you pass by the awe-inspiring, multilayered backdrops, which include rushing water, dazzling blossoms, verdant plant life and iconic statuary.

Photo Credit: Carrie ✿ ‏@CATinPhoenix

Photo Credit: Carrie ✿ ‏@CATinPhoenix

Consider taking a self-guided tour if you want to fully savor the garden’s natural splendor. Meditate on one of the teakwood benches, feed some friendly koi fish, or relax underneath a canopy of leaves while listening to the tranquility. You may also want to enjoy a quick photo shoot. No matter what your adventure becomes, you’ll leave feeling refreshed in mind, body and spirit.

Photo Credit: Nina Rocket ‏@cilantrostyle

Photo Credit: Nina Rocket ‏@cilantrostyle

Special Events at the Garden

Exciting workshops, lectures, art shows and other festivities take place throughout the year at Ro Ho En. One of the most mesmerizing events is the tea ceremony. This ancient and beloved custom is held every month in the on-site wooden teahouse. Servers in traditional kimonos prepare and pour green tea in a methodically reverent manner.

Photo Credit: Anthony Rodriguez ‏@newantt

Photo Credit: Anthony Rodriguez ‏@newantt

When you need a break from your busy life, head to the Japanese Friendship Garden. It’s open Tuesday through Sunday from October to May. Tickets are $5, and children under 6 get in for free. If you stay at Best Western Plus Scottsdale Thunderbird Suites, you’ll only be 20 minutes from this exquisite haven and an eye-opening experience you’ll remember for a lifetime.


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