(Ellen) Ellen is a retired teacher who spent her early childhood in Japan. She feels that the Japanese Garden is a little gem in Balboa Park, an oasis for visitors to San Diego. She enjoys meeting people from,around the world and sharing the history, cultural aspects and botany of the garden with them!

(Mark HMark is an aerospace systems engineer working at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Autonomous Systems Division in Rancho Bernardo. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Control Systems Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has recent certificates as a Professional Systems Engineer, a Professional Quality Engineer, and a Professional Quality Manager. His hobby is Japanese gardens, also known as Sukiya living environments. He has travelled several times to Japan to study the gardens, and has traveled around North America to study the Japanese style gardens closer to home. Mark has taken master’s classes from Sensei Tamena (Head gardener at the Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto) in pruning and stone setting. He has also taken classes in Japanese landscape architecture. Mark has been volunteering at the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego since 2003.

(Rhonda T) While living in Japan, I fell in love with the people and the culture. I was an active adventurer. One of my favorite adventures was 2 years of tea ceremony lessons. Another was traveling the country visiting gardens. Each of these adventures were filled with sacred moments I will never forget. The Japanese Friendship Garden provides a beautiful place here in San Diego in which anyone can experience a bit of Japan and it's culture. So please join me for a tour. Come and learn new things. It would be my pleasure to share our garden with you.

(Alexis Aこんにちわ!welcome to the Japanese Friendship Garden ! I hope to share with you the history of how the Garden come to be and provide you with some interesting facts and trivia about Japanese culture. A Japanese phrase that will describe your visit is `` ichigo-ichi-e'', which means ''one-in-a-lifetime event''. You will surely discover something new about the Garden with every visit!

(Marjory K) For many years, Marjory has enjoyed the Japanese Friendship Garden as the most beautiful and healing garden in our city.  Now, she’s honored to share the stories and features of the Garden with residents and tourists alike.  An experienced and enthusiastic public speaker, Marjory loves to engage others as she guides them through the Garden – a respite of Japanese simplicity, serenity and beauty.

(Joan C) I became a Docent in 2012. I love to guide Lower Garden Canyon Tours on Wednesdays at 1 pm. and occasional school and private tours. My first trip to Japan was in 1980 for a wedding: my (white) son married a Japanese woman! I’m retired now, but my first career as a nature teacher in Massachusetts and a second career as an environmental impact report preparer in California were good backgrounds for learning about and cherishing the living art of Japanese gardens. I have returned to Japan three times, most recently to Kyoto on a garden tour led by Allan Mandell.

(Mari J) Mari has been the Beekeeper for the Japanese Friendship Gardens since 2012. She is always happy to answer questions and talk about her bees! As Docent, her goal is to share Japanese gardening elements and the experience of well-being so visitors will be curious to explore and discover its secrets. Mari has a master’s degree in Health Education and is the Founder of Heartlight Aerobics for Children, an after school program for boys and girls held in 100 schools in San Diego. She looks forward to her first trip to Japan in fall 2017.

(Vanessa J) Vanessa is a native San Diegan, a UCSD Alumni, with a love for tea, the Japanese culture and psychology. She became a member of the Japanese Friendship Garden in 2016 after falling in love with the tranquil and serene the garden provided. She hopes to provide you with the same experience and share knowledge.

 

(Yoko K)* Yoko is from Japan and has been living in San Diego since 2014. She decided to become a docent because she wants people visiting Balboa Park to know more about Japan as well as the Japanese Friendship Garden. While working as a teacher in Japan, for many years she hoped to live in the US. She has been enjoying the San Diego lifestyle. Yoko likes trying new things such as playing koto, zumba, and participating in Toastmasters. Her hobbies include cooking, baking, traveling, and folding origami.

 

 

(Rhonda Z)* Journey through the Japanese Garden with a professional educator. Walk the paths with me to delight in the artistry of nature, ignite your imagination, and find repose.

(Carol L)* Carol is a retired health care professional who has experience with educational programs in universities and community-based public health agencies. Her interest in San Diego's Japanese Friendship Garden revolves around being close to Nature and serving a community-based cultural organization.

(Sandra F) Sandra lived in Japan in the 90s and wants to expand her learning and sharing of Japanese culture and her volunteer work in Balboa Park. She has been a docent at the Mingei International Museum for several years. As a former teacher, she enjoys touring school groups. Sandra has lived and worked in 4 other countries and travelled in more than 80 countries worldwide. She was a Director of Development (fundraising) for several nonprofits in the Bay Area for 12 years. She currently has a business making art-to-wear, globally-inspired jewelry.

(Cindy S) After living in Japan nearly 5 years , Cindy has grown to love all things Japanese. She enjoys sharing the beauty of the garden from a cultural and historical standpoint.

(Mari JMari has been the Beekeeper for the Japanese Friendship Gardens since 2012. She is always happy to answer questions and talk about her bees! As Docent, her goal is to share Japanese gardening elements and the experience of well-being so visitors will be curious to explore and discover its secrets. Mari has a master’s degree in Health Education and is the Founder of Heartlight Aerobics for Children, an after school program for boys and girls held in 100 schools in San Diego. She looks forward to her first trip to Japan in fall 2017.