Garden Etiquette

JFG is a highly interactive form of art where the beholder is permanently summoned to participate in the creation of meaning. One is thus drawn into a dialogue with the composition, and at the same time with oneself.

JFG is a place of meditation and contemplation, so walk slowly, relax, and take in the quiet environment. In order to preserve the beauty of the Japanese Friendship Garden for all to enjoy, we ask that Garden visitors respect the following Garden Etiquette Guidelines.

  • No outside food is allowed in JFG. Please seal all food containers when inside.

  • No pets are allowed in JFG, except for service dogs that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. 

  • JFG and all of Balboa Park is a non-smoking environment. Smoking is defined as inhaling, exhaling, burning or carrying a lighted or vapor-producing tobacco product. Tobacco is defined as all tobacco-derived or containing products, including, but not limited to, cigarettes (clove, bidis, kreteks), electronic cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos, hookah smoked products, and oral tobacco (spit, and spitless, smokeless, chew, snuff).

  • Please stay on the path at all times. Walking on mondo grass areas in the upper and lower part of the canyon is strictly prohibited.

  • Please do not climb trees, rocks or enter waterfall/pond areas. Any altering of the landscape (i.e. moving rocks, standing in the koi pond, throwing coins in the koi pond..etc.) is strictly prohibited.

  • To maintain the quiet and serenity of the garden, please refrain from using loud voices and shouting. Running is prohibited.

  • Children must be supervised by an adult at all times.

  • Please do not feed koi, unless participating in koi feeding with designated Koi Club volunteers.

  • Please put all waste into designated waste receptacles.

  • Dockless vehicles (i.e. bikes, scooters, etc.) are prohibited. Please ride and place dockless vehicles responsibly when in public space.

The Japanese Friendship Garden reserves the right to ask a visitor to leave for inappropriate or offensive behavior. Visitors will be held liable for any damage to the Garden property.

Wheelchair and Shuttle Service
For those in need of wheelchair accommodation or shuttle service from the lower garden, please contact us at (619) 232-2721.

Please visit our ‘Photography’ page to reserve any planned and/or professional photo and video sessions. Contact (619) 232-2721 Ext. 1500 or for a Reservation Form and information on our policies and fees. 

Banner Photo Credit: Dominic Nepomuceno