Class & Event Schedule at Japanese Friendship Garden Society of San Diego, May & June

The vision of the Japanese Friendship Garden Society of San Diego is to be a premiere nonprofit organization that will build friendships by demonstrating the universal appeal of Japanese aesthetic sensibilities and views of nature.

The Garden is a place of contemplation for visitors where Japanese garden concepts and symbolism have been adapted to the climate and topography of San Diego.

Japanese garden concepts and symbolism have been adapted to the climate and topography of San Diego, making for a serene place of contemplation for visitors.

Get in to Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego as well as 45 attractions with the Go San Diego Card.

Location / Directions

Japanese Friendship Garden Society of San Diego

2215 Pan American Road. East, San Diego, CA 92101

Phone: (619) 232-2721. Fax: (619) 232-0917. eMail:

Mailing Address: Japanese Friendship Garden Balboa Park Administration
Building, 2125 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101

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In May and June, 2011

The Garden offers a unique array of classes and demonstrations to members and non-members. It is a vital part of our mission to provide educational programs that encourage understanding of the Japanese heritage among people of diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Please call the office at (619) 232-2721 X105 or email: to register.

Fees help to cover class expenses and support the Garden.

Cancellation Policy: Refunds are made only in the event of the Garden’s cancellation of the class.

Docent Tour Schedule

May 14, Saturday, 11:00, 12:30, 2:30

May 22, Sunday, 11:00, 12:30, 2:30

June 18, Saturday, 12:30, 2:30

June 25, Saturday, 11:00, 12:30, 2:30

Class Schedule

Hatha Yoga Class (weekly class)

Date & Time: May 5, 12, 19, 26 & June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Thursday 5:15 pm – 6:15 pm

Fee: $8 Members ($40 six pack), $10 Non-members ($50 six pack)

This class will be held at the Koi Pond. The movements and techniques used in this friendly yoga class are accessible for both beginning and advanced yoga practitioners.

All the asanas and activities can be tailored to suit each individual. Please wear loose comfortable clothing, bring a mat and water and avoid eating a heavy meal prior to class.

Pre-registration appreciated.

Instructor: Tracy Ohm Norris

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Sogetsu-style Ikebana Class (weekly class)

Date &Time: May 10, 17, 24, 31 & June 7, 14, 21, 28 Tuesday 9:30 am – 11:30 am

Fee: $15 one session, $50 for four

This weekly Ikebana class is led by Yumi Rakers of the Sogetsu School. The class is designed for a wide range of talents from novices to advanced students.

Please bring your own kenzan, a shallow container, Ikebana (gardening) scissors, and flowers and branches.


Meditation (No class on the 3rd Tuesday of each month.)

Date & Time: May 10, 24, 31 & June 7, 14, 28 Tuesday 1 pm – 2 pm

Free with admission

Meditation is a great tool for relaxation and peace of mind which also helps to deal with negative thoughts, emotions and situations.

Your instructor will teach several techniques including breathing to guide you how to meditate. Meditation will be held at the “Sekitei” (rock garden) viewing room.

Here, the bare simplicity of the raked white gravel and grey rocks absorbs our thoughts and is devoid of clutter.

One is able to gaze without judgment; without criticism; nothingness; reaching the quietude of oneself.

Instructor: Yumi Rakers, R.Y.T.


San Diego Garden SashikoSashiko Table Place Mat or Draw String Bag

Date & Time: May 14, Saturday 10 am – 12 pm

Fee: $20 Members, $25 Non-members

Enjoy making a Koi table mat on an indo ground with gold thread and your choice of backing design.

Pictured is a simple curved design; white ground with Navy thread.  You can choose to finish the table mat as a draw string bag (pictured in lower right hand.)

Instructor: Laura Breen


May Temari Ball Class

Time & Date: May 21, Saturday 10 am – 1 pm

Fee: First time students: $50 – the cost includes a starter kit. The cost is the same for anyone who would like to take just one temari ball class.

Fees for Additional Classes: $10 Members, $15 Non-members

May’s Temari ball is a Rose Garden in a stained-glass effect using a simple eight division ball on a black ground.

New skills learned in the class is marking with invisible thread, keeping square corners sharp at right-angles and keeping guidelines in place while stitching.

Instructor: Laura Breen


San Diego Garden Kimemomi DollKimekomi Doll Class (two-day workshop)

Date & Time: May 28 Saturday & 29 Sunday 10:00 am – 2:30 pm

Fee: $ 60 members, $70 Non-members

Make your own kimekomi girl doll, “Ai Ai Do-jo.” All materials will be provided. Some preparations will be necessary.

Please contact the office for additional information. If you have your own materials, you are welcome to join the class. Please bring a sack lunch for a half an hour lunch break!

Instructor: Naoko Lee


Garden Construction and Maintenance Techniques Seminar Series

Date & Time: June 4, August 27, October 22, December 10 & 11

Saturday 10am – 2pm

Fee: $65/class for Members, $75/class for Non-members (If you register for more than one class, you will be entitled to discounts.

Please call (619) 232-2721 X105 for learn more about these discounts.)

The content of the seminars, in addition to tree transplanting, will be black pine pruning and shaping, shearing/hedges/shrub arrangement, stone arrangement/hardscape and broad leaf tree pruning.

Each seminar will focus on a single subject and explore the basic technical aspects of the subject as well as its context within the historical narrative of Japan.

The June seminar will be Japanese black pine pruning for Japanese gardens and beyond. The guest speaker for this seminar will be well-known Japanese black pine pruner and Vice-President of the Japanese Friendship Garden, Fred Miyahara.

This class offers an opportunity to work on black pine garden trees in development and learn about how trees are designed in traditional and non-traditional settings.

A bento lunch will be provided.

Instructor: Garden staff


Craft Club

Date & Time: June 6, Monday 10 am – 12 pm (monthly class)

Fee: $10 General (Annual fee)

The craft club meets the first Monday of each month. During each session, the group makes unique items which the Garden offers for sale at the main entrance.

The crafts include book markers, note cards, and gift cards made of beautiful Japanese washi paper.


San Diego Garden RozashiRozashi Japanese Silk Needlepoint

Date & Time: June 11, Saturday 10am – 12pm

Fee: $35 Members, $40 Non-members

Rozashi is needlepoint worked on 30 gage silk mesh. The mesh surface will be covered with a stylized kimono design by using a highly twisted silk thread.


June Temari Ball Class – (monthly class)

Date & Time: June 25, Saturday 10am – 1pm

Fee: First time students: $50 – the cost includes a starter kit. The cost is the same for anyone who would like to take just one temari ball class.

Fees for Additional Classes: $10 Members, $15 Non-members

This month’s Temari class will be a Sunflower – a simple 12-division ball with a stem stitch center and layered diamonds around the equator.

Instructor: Laura Breen

San Diego Garden Temari Sunflower


Events Schedule in May and June

Tea Ceremony

Date & Time: May 7 & June 4, Saturday 1 pm & 2 pm

Free with admission, tea and sweets tasting: $3

Instructor: Urasenke Tankokai San Diego Association


Annual Spring Luau Dinner and Show

Date & Time: May 14, Saturday 6 pm – 8 pm

Fee: $35 Members, $50 Non-Members

The Garden will celebrate the arrival of spring at the Haru No Matsuri (Spring Festival) with a Luau Dinner and Royal Polynesian Show.

A Pacific-rim style buffet will be catered by Yokoz Pacific Island Catering.

Guests will be treated to a tour of the Polynesian Islands with an exciting show including hula, tahitian and fire dancers.

This event will sell out. Please call (619) 232-2721 to make your reservation today. Aloha!


Koto Performance

Date & Time: May 14 & June 11, Saturday 1 pm – 2 pm

Free with admission

Musician: Kyoko Takeda


Special Presentation: The Japanese Spirit of Resilience and Dignity, Traditional Insights and the Japanese Garden

Date & Time: May 19, Thursday; 5:00 – 7:00 PM

Free to the public

A special presentation to examine the resilience and dignity of the Japanese people as they struggle with the after mass of the earthquake and tsunami disaster.

Donna Kobayashi will explain how the Japanese Garden is a living example of the “way the general public can experience the values of Japanese understanding of order, resilience, and hope through nature and to tie together your insights.

A panel of speakers from the Japanese community will also share their insight.

Presenter: Donna Kobayashi, Director of Shin ka LLC


Lecture – Wabi-Sabi: Traditional Japanese Aesthetics

Date & Time: June 18, Saturday 10am – 12pm

Free with admission

“Wabi-Sabi” is the Japanese term that defines the aesthetic principles that form the foundation behind the design and maintenance of a Japanese-style garden.

This introductory lecture to Wabi-Sabi provides a historical perspective to its development and strives to make the term accessible and useful to a wide cross-section of attendees.

Examples of Wabi-Sabi will be shown along with a brief tour of the Garden.

Lecturer: Mark Halverson


Annual Bus Trip

Date: June 17, Friday

Time: 7:00 am – 5:00 pm

Fee: $80 for members, $95 for non-members

James Irvine Garden & Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden

Lunch is included.

Please check our website for more details at


San Diego Garden Summer CampSummer Camp Schedule

1st and 2nd graders – July 11 thru July 15, from 1 pm – 4pm

3rd and 4th graders – July 18 thru July 22, from 9 am – 12 pm

5th thru 8th graders – August 1 thru August 5, from 9 am – 12 pm

Fee: $85 for members, $100 for non-members

Please check our website for more details at

Additional dates TBA: Please check our website and Facebook!

Our programs are partly funded by the City of San Diego Commission of Arts and Culture.