Learn About Our Various Educational Programs

See below for a list of our upcoming special programs followed by a list of our regular program offerings.

Upcoming Special Programs

Our Regular Programming

All class dates and times listed below is per our normal schedule. However, exceptions can occur now and then so feel free to contact our office at 619-232-2721 if you would like to confirm any class sessions. For more detailed information contact our Program Coordinator at either programs@niwa.org or 619-232-2722 or extension 1505.

Sake Talks

Enjoy the evening with Sake and Japanese small bites while learning about current events and Japanese Culture. March's topic is The Power of Resilience with guest speaker Mike Kawamura. Mr. Kawamura is a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Although he was only two years old when the bomb dropped, he remembers vividly the bright red color of the sky that was left in its wake. Having grown up in post-war Japan and observed the perseverance of his hometown and its subsequent prosperity, Mr. Kawamura was inspired to spread peace and understanding among people and nations. As a result, he has been heavily involved in community organizations. Mr. Kawamura holds an M.S. in Chemistry from Doshisha University. He joined Kyocera Corporation in 1969 and is known as one of the “Five Samurais,” a group of five pioneers who established Kyocera’s North American manufacturing operations in San Diego. Prior to retiring in 2012, Mr. Kawamura held many executive positions within Kyocera, including President of Kyocera Europe, President of Kyocera Brazil, and General Manager of Education and Planning at Kyocera International, Inc. In his talk he will discuss how his experience as an atomic bomb survivor inspired his dedication to world peace and his participation in the planting of Hiroshima "Peace Trees" and the San Diego WISH organization.



Chi Kung Class

Date & Time: Fridays  9:00 am - 10:00 am  
Fee: $6 Members, $8 General (attend 5 & the 6th class is free)
Instructor: Christian Drugan

Join Practitioner Christian Drugan in the art of Chi Kung. This class focuses on using breath to movement techniques for self-healing and cultivation of Chi energy. The postures and movements are fun and gentle. Anybody at any age can practice Chi Kung. 




Date & Time: 
Gentle Yoga Wednesdays 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Hatha Yoga Thursdays 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Vinyasa Yoga Fridays 9:00 am -10:00 am
Fee: $6 Members, $8 General (attend 5 & the 6th class is free)
Instructor: Lisa Hampton (Wed),Timothy Weir Schultheis (Thu), Taejung Lee (Fri)

Relax your body & calm the busy mind! Enjoy a mindful yoga class in the peaceful serenity of the Garden.
Practitioners of all levels are welcome. Please bring a mat & water, and avoid heavy foods before class.
Mornings can be cool, so dress in comfortable layers. The class will be held either


Go Club

Date & Time: Wednesdays 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Fee: Free with Admission
Instructor: Ted Terpstra

Go, the national game of Japan, is the oldest board game in the world. This introductory class is intended for students, but all are welcome to attend. Classes are typically held in the Activity Center. Each class will include instruction and time for individual games.

Photo Credit: Dominic Nepomuceno

Photo Credit: Dominic Nepomuceno


Date & Time: Tuesdays except for 3rd Tuesday 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Fee: Free with Admission
Instructor: Yumi Rakers

Meditation is a great tool for relaxation and peace of mind which also helps us deal with negative thoughts, emotions and situations. Your instructor will teach several techniques including breathing to guide you. Meditation will be held in front of the “Sekitei” (rock garden) viewing room. 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.


Sogetsu-style Ikebana Class

Date & Time: Tuesdays 9:30 am - 11:30 am
Fee: $15 one session, $50 for four
Instructor: Yumi Rakers

This weekly Sogetsu School ikebana 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, flowers and branches.



Craft Club

Date & Time: First Monday of the month 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Fee: $10 annual fee for club membership

The craft club meets the first Monday of each month. 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.


Tea Ceremony Demonstration

Date & Time: It is generally held two times a month on the first Saturday and second Tuesday of the month, but occasionally it may be held on a different date than usual. Check our calendar for specific dates.
Fee: Free with admission. Saturday tea and sweets tasting: $3
Presented by: Urasenke San Diego Association


Koto & Shakuhachi Demonstration

Date & Time: It is generally held once per month on the second Saturday of the month, but occasionally it may be held on a different date than usual. Check our calendar for specific dates.
Fee: Free with admission. 
Presented by: Kyoko Takeda (koto) & Jon Crick (shakuhachi)

Banner Photo Credit: Dominic Nepomuceno